By Robin Ashworth
By now, your shopping is done. Hopefully, your presents are also wrapped and placed under your decorated tree. Your Christmas meal is planned, and the table set. Family and guests have arrived, or will shortly. You’ve cued up “It’s a Wonderful Life” on demand, and set Spotify to a suitable Christmas playlist. Even your Christmas jammies are ready.
All that remains is to let the holiday and its festivities unfold apace.
But before that wonderful chaos of activity and merriment and feasting begins, take a moment to consider Christmas from a global perspective. All over the world, in myriad places where Christmas is celebrated, people, very much like you, are also making their preparations for family, gifting, holiday dinners and worship.
In many parts of Africa, the singing of Christmas carols is fundamental to celebrating, as well as the observance of a love offering to honor Christ, and the preparation of food outside homes, so that passing neighbors and friends can join.
In Australia, Christmas is a summertime celebration, and in addition to a dinner that greatly resembles a traditional British feast, Santa often comes to town on a surfboard. How’s that for a down under twist!
In Brazil, celebrations include creation of a nativity scene, referred to as a Presepio. Many Brazilians attend a midnight mass, and Christmas decorations consist of fresh flowers. Fireworks, folk dancing and singing continue through Epiphany.
In France, shoes replace stockings, and children place their empty shoes by the fireplace for Pere Noel to fill. Live nativity scenes are often enacted in public squares, and almost every home has a crèche or nativity scene on display. Christmas meals reflect regional cuisine styles, and many celebrate with a buche de Noel or Christmas Log.
Germany is likely the origin of the Christmas tree tradition observed in many other parts of the world, and particularly in the United States. Evergreens, though, were believed to ward away the devil and were part of winter observances in many parts of Scandinavia, Europe and various other countries. Germany also gives us the Advent wreath, with its candles symbolic of the approaching birth of Christ.
Mexico and Spain share similar traditions, particularly where nativity scenes are concerned, and public displays of the Holy Family. In Mexico, the poinsettia is the predominant Christmas decoration. But unlike other countries, Mexico keeps the Christmas celebrations going until February 2!
I could go on and on with details of Christmas celebrations from all over the globe…our various celebrations are as colorful and reflective of individual culture as any object, or skill of craftsmanship from its respective country of origin. And, surely, you notice the emphasis is on community, song, sharing and observance.
Wherever you celebrate Christmas (or even if you don’t!), and in whatever ways feel like home to you, we want to wish you the blessings of the holiday, and prosperity for the coming year.
Collectible, carefully constructed and authentic, keepsakes of German craft heritage have charmed generations all over the globe. Revel in our selection of nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, Christmas pyramids and musicboxes. Global Home Accents proudly presents charm long associated with regional German identity.