torstai 17. joulukuuta 2015

17. Tämä maa on varsinainen joulun sulatusuuni!






Uskottava se on että joulupukki kulkee taivaalla porojen vetämän lahjareen kanssa, näin sen meinaan omin silmin Montreuxin joulumarkkinoilla! Tänään luukusta paljastuu maa, josta on lähtöisin monet tämän päivän tunnetuimmat joulutraditiot mm. joulupukki on stailattu täällä. Eikä ihme että suuri osa traditioista tulee juuri täältä, sillä vastaavasti moni maahanmuuttaja on tuonut mukanaan jouluperinteet omasta maastaan, kuten alun perin hollantilaiset toivat tänne joulupukin! Se on tietenkin Yhdysvallat! Ohessa ystäväni tarina amerikkalaisesta joulusta.

Thank you Shawn for your lovely story and I am so happy that you were able to share it in my blog! I just love the idea about how you make the Christmas cookies together, I would like to start this kind of a Christmas tradition… We actually have a similar thing in Finland for example, when somebody needs to build something or when you do some other things and you need hands for help,  we call it ”talkoot” and we do things together, I don´t know the english word for that, but I will explain it to you later…




Christmas in the United States






America is a land of immigrants and a melting pot of different cultures and religions. As such, there are traditions that people have brought with them from other parts of the world and certain customs they observe according to their religions. The popularized view of Christmas in the US is in many ways nonsecular, but tends to be observed most by most Americans.  We may not all celebrate precisely the same way, and if we are non Christian, may not celebrate in this way at all, but most, if asked would say that what I describe below constitutes an American Christmas.  

I was born in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, where the winters are cold and there is frequently snow at Christmas time. Many of our traditional Christmas carols and songs we love to sing during the holidays celebrate snow at Christmas, “White Christmas”, “Frosty the Snowman”, “Sleigh Ride”. As a young girl, It was a magical and exciting time of year for me as I prepared for Santa Claus's arrival in his open sleigh pulled by reindeer on Christmas Eve late at night when I was fast asleep. Since I was always a good girl (or so I thought), I hoped to receive lots of nice presents from Santa in my stocking hung by the mantle and also under the tree.  I envisioned Santa sliding down our chimney with his sack of presents and was always pleasantly surprised when in the morning, voila -  there they were (naughty children only got a lump of coal in their stocking).


Kuva:Wikipedia, naapurikateutta ilmassa?


Christian Americans are fond of adorning their houses with lots of different Christmas decorations. Many families nowadays have at least one Christmas tree in their home and the outside of their houses are often decorated with lights. In some neighborhoods, it seems as though a competition is held every year to see how many lights people can hang not just on their houses, but on the small trees, bushes and other ornaments on their front lawns. They start decorating after Thanksgiving in November. The day after Thanksgiving, which is called Black Friday and has become well known for getting great shopping deals, is the official start of the Christmas season.  In my house, my parents would spend many hours replacing normal adornments with Christmas decorations. They have two Christmas trees, garland, greens, Christmas pottery and dishes, towels, wreaths and a nativity scene which they display every year. It is a production like this for many families.


Kuva: Wikipedia, tyypillinen amerikkalainen joulupöytä

On Christmas Eve, many families like to observe the religious origin of the holiday, the birth of Jesus Christ, by attending church services. Others may have a big dinner with family. After opening presents on Christmas morning, the next order of business is cooking the Christmas supper which usually consists of a stuffed turkey and or a spiral cut ham or any other nice piece of pork or beef. It is a time for family and always revolves around food. If there is turkey, there is almost always mashed potatoes and gravy, a vegetable casserole and cranberries. Different families have different favorites for the Christmas dinner. Typical desserts are plum pudding, creme de menthe cheesecake or other flavored cheesecakes, pecan pie, and cranberry apple pie to name a few.  





Christmas cookies are also very popular during the holidays.  There are so many different kinds to make that many people participate in cookie exchanges - parties where each guest makes a batch of favorite cookies to share with other guests.  You go to the party with one type of cookie and leave with 10 or 15 other types. Candy canes are a symbolic Christmas treat and a typical drink we serve is egg nog made with eggs and cream and rum - very rich but always a favorite. 

My husband, kids and I have lived outside of the United States for 11 years now. We always try to go back to the US for Christmas to my parents house every year if at all possible. Even though it is my heritage, my European husband and his family have always loved to share the magic of Christmas with my family in the States.

-Shawn-


Kartta: Wikipedia, Michigan Detroit



Merry Christmas!


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