In the United States, Christmas begins even earlier than for Latinos, since Thanksgiving counts as the first day of the holiday season. Everything is decorated with lots of lights, there are parades and celebrations everywhere, and even Santa Claus walks along the streets of New York. This is the most expected signal: Christmas shopping has begun!

What are the distinctive features of the American Christmas?

<strong>Decorations: </strong>Christmas decorations are found inevery shop and house. Christmas trees, garlands, lights synchronized to traditional or modern songs and allegoric ornaments flood the streets, squares and shops all throughout December.<a href=”http://o1visa.us/?attachment_id=5055#main” rel=”attachment wp-att-5055″><img class=”size-full wp-image-5055 aligncenter” src=”http://o1visa.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/christmas-lights.png” alt=”christmas lights” width=”497″ height=”371″ /></a>

<strong>Lights:</strong> Christmas would not be Christmas without the lights. People use their creativity to decorate their houses with unique designs in the shape of trees, snowmen or Santa. It is a tradition to go around the neighborhood with one’s family to see the light decorations of the houses.


<strong>Christmas Eve: </strong>December 25<sup>th</sup> (not the 24<sup>th</sup>) is the official holiday in the United States. On that day, families get together and celebrate. At most of work places, there are Christmas parties, and shops are open until late to serve last-minute clients.

<strong>Christmas dinner:</strong> There is turkey, of course, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pies. The traditional Christmas drink is liquor or eggnog made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped eggs and brandy or rum.

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<em>And how is Christmas celebrated?</em>

Presents are not open on Christmas Eve, as it happens in other places of the world, but on the 25<sup>th</sup> in the morning. Children hang their classic Christmas stockings on the fireplace before going to bed. The following day, they find their presents inside the stockings and under the Christmas tree. Family has breakfast together while everyone opens their presents and drinks hot chocolate.

What places are worth visiting in December?

<strong>Rockefeller Center: </strong>This famous mall is one of the most praised during the holidays in New York. The most famous Christmas tree in the city is on display by the mall from December 2<sup>nd</sup> to January 7<sup>th</sup> every year.

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<strong>The Metropolitan Museum of Art:</strong> Located on the Fifth Avenue, in the heart if Manhattan, the museum is always full of lights during the holidays.

<strong>Ice rinks:</strong> One of the most popular ice rinks is located at the Rockefeller Center