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American Christmas Traditions

Americans celebrate Christmas as a festive holiday. Christmas celebrations vary between regions of the United States of America, because of the variety of nationalities which have settled in it.
 
Americans visit family and friends and exchange gifts and greetings on Christmas. In some regions of America, Christmas Eve to Midnight Mass is the most important part of the Christmas celebration.

'Santa Claus' was born in America. 'Santa Claus' originated from the Dutch word St Nicholas, Sinterklaas. The Dutch had brought him with them in the 17th century, he did not take an important place in Christmas celebration until the Novelist Washington Irving put him in a novel written in 1809.

This first Santa Claus was known as St. Nicholas. Gradually, changes have taken place. American Traditional Christmas food consists of roast turkey with vegetables and sauces, goose, duck or ham served with cranberry sauce. Rich fruity Christmas pudding like plum pudding with brandy sauce, pumpkin pie, mince pies, pastries are taken as desserts followed by chopped dried fruits and nuts.

The Moravians make a landscape, called a putz - under the Christmas tree in Pennsylvania, while in the same state the Germans are given gifts by Belsnickle, who taps them with his switch if they have misbehaved. A star on a pole is taken from door to door, followed by Herod's Men, who try to capture the star in Alaska. Colonial doorways are often adorned with pineapple, a symbol of hospitality.

A huge, spectacular tree is lit royally when the President presses a button and turns on the tree's lights in Washington D.C. In Boston, carol singing festivities are famous. The singers are accompanied by hand bells and in California, Santa Claus has been known to ride in on a surf board. Many more customs and traditions are in fashion in different states of America.