It’s christmas soon! How did this year go by so fast?
Crazy, how time flies. Since everything around me is getting very festive and christmassy I thought it would be nice to look at some of the American christmas traditions that I wasn’t familiar with and that will definitely get you in a christmassy mood if you want to experience them yourself.
Have a mega celebration/competition of christmas lights in your house
Let me tell you, people go crazy with the christmas lights and decorations thing here. I didn’t expect it to be SUCH a thing. It is definitely more of a thing than in Europe I would say. People take great great pride in decorating their houses. To the point that you can take tours of different neighborhoods and look at all the decorated houses. Somerville which is next to where we live will be hosting its 20th “Illuminations Tour” (yes that its official name) tomorrow. I am so excited to go and will update you with lots of photos. Of course.
Sing (a lot of) Christmas Songs
It’s christmas songs galore here. People are OBSESSED with them. Literally everywhere you go, grocery stores, any other stores, subway stations or on the streets. You’ll hear christmas songs EVERYWHERE. And this may sound negative from how I’m writing about it, but I LOVE it, too.
You’ll find a great playlist down below to get you in the holiday spirit if you aren’t already. Give it a listen, you’ll love it! I have been listening to it on REPEAT and I am in MEGA christmas mood. BTW, expect a post about one of the most iconic christmas songs soon, it’s an interesting one.
Get kissed under the mistletoe
I’ve noticed that you can buy mistletoes everywhere and I started to wonder where that tradition came from. As applies for many traditions, Europeans brought them over to the US. However, it’s an interesting one because (as far as I now, it’s not a tradition in Europe anymore. At least in Switzerland. Or do you know about a European country that still follows the mistletoe tradition?) The little clip below will tell you all about its origins:
oh and I had put that one in:
Drink that Eggnog…
Have you ever tried eggnog? It’s an alcoholic drink that is quite popular to drink at christmas time in Britain, the US and Canada. Its history is really interesting as well: It apparently evolved from British aristocracy. While the lower class couldn’t afford fresh ingredients such as milk and eggs, the wealthy would have their milk and egg drink seasoned with expensive spices, such as ground nutmeg and cinnamon, and add pricey liquors (e.g. brandy and sherry).
The drink eventually made its way to colonial America in the 18th century with a slight change to it: Colonists added rum for a cheaper alternative to the heavily taxed brandy or wine. During the American Revolution, rum wasn’t easily available because of reduced trade between America and the Caribbean. Over all, this may explain why we now only drink it on special occasions.
If you are curious about it and want to do it yourself, our friend Jamie Oliver has got you. Check out his recipe here.
…or that apple cider
Americans seem to be really proud about their apples. And one thing I have really been LOVING this christmas/winter time being here is hot apple cider. I love it. I’ll post a super easy recipe (it doesn’t even deserve to be called a recipe it’s that easy) soon. Watch out for it and try to make it for yourself, you’ll love it. It’s the perfect drink to warm you up on a chilly day.
Eat that Gingerbread
It was in the 19th century that German immigrants brought the gingerbread house tradition to the US. Check out the clip to get an insight on one of the most popular christmas treats: