American Christmas Traditions | New Windows for America

Classic Christmas Traditions in America

Christmas is a special time of the year filled with joy, warmth, and festivities. Whether you celebrate it for religious reasons or simply enjoy the holiday spirit, there are many ways to make the most of the season.

Last year we wrote about Christmas Traditions Around the World, so it is fitting that this year, we look at how we spend Christmas here in the United States! America is a melting pot of cultures and traditions from around the world. As such, Christmas traditions vary widely.

We would love to know what your traditions are, and how you spend Christmas with your family. Here are some common American Christmas traditions:

Decorating the Christmas Tree:

Families often put up a Christmas tree in their homes and decorate it with lights, ornaments, and tinsel. Many families have a tradition of decorating the tree together.

Hanging Stockings:

Children hang stockings by the fireplace or elsewhere, hoping that Santa Claus will fill them with gifts and treats on Christmas Eve.

Santa Claus:

The figure of Santa Claus is a central part of American Christmas celebrations. Children believe that Santa Claus, a jolly man in a red suit, travels on a sleigh pulled by reindeer and delivers presents to good children on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Carols:

Singing Christmas carols is a popular tradition, with many communities organizing caroling events. Common carols include “Jingle Bells,” “Silent Night,” and “Deck the Halls.”

Holiday Lights:

Many neighborhoods and cities are adorned with festive lights and decorations. Some families have a tradition of driving around to look at the elaborate light displays.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Meals:

Families often gather for a special meal on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. The menu may include traditional dishes such as roast turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and various desserts.

Christmas Movies and TV Specials:

Watching classic Christmas movies and TV specials is a common tradition. Favorites include “A Christmas Carol,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and animated specials like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Advent Calendars:

Many families use Advent calendars to count down the days until Christmas. Each day, a door or window is opened to reveal a small treat or surprise.

Church Services:

Attending Christmas Eve or Christmas Day church services is a tradition for many Americans. The services often include special hymns, candlelight, and nativity scenes.

Holiday Parades and Events:

Some communities host parades, festivals, or holiday events featuring Santa Claus, holiday floats, and seasonal entertainment.

Keep in mind that traditions can vary between regions and individual families, and some may incorporate elements from different cultural backgrounds.

From the team at New Windows for America, we send you our heartfelt thanks and gratitude for your continued support over the past year. We wish you a wonderful and safe holiday season and a new year full of peace and happiness. 

Christmas Traditions Around the World

Christmas Traditions Around the World | New Windows for America

As Christmas will be celebrated around the world this week, we decided to switch up our topic and bring you some fun facts we have found about how Christmas traditions are celebrated around the world! There are so many interesting and beloved holiday traditions that are kept by families worldwide, maybe some of these are even some that your family celebrates.

We would love for you to comment on your favorite Christmas traditions too!


Saint Nicholas, separate from Santa Claus, leaves small presents like coins and fruit in children’s shoes. Germans also have a hidden pickle ornament on their Christmas tree. The one who discovers the pickle during the Christmas season receives a bonus gift or lots of good luck and fortune in the coming year. Another interesting tradition is Krampus Night where people dress up as the devil Krampus, and walking the streets. Krampus scares any children who have been misbehaving during the Christmas season


Christmas is a very popular holiday in Mexico. With many traditions such as candle-lit processions, dancing, and nativity scenes, the month of December is a month-long celebration with family feasts and pinatas. The typical Christmas feast is centered around tamales and vibrant red poinsettia flowers are used in holiday arrangements throughout the country.


Children leave out mince pies for Santa instead of cookies. These miniature pies or filled with dried fruit, and are very popular during the English Christmas season. Did you know that English people actually say, “Happy Christmas” instead of “Merry Christmas”?  This is because King George V said it during his first royal Christmas message in 1932, and it apparently stuck!

New Zealand

In the Southern hemisphere, Christmas is celebrated during summer! So many families get together for barbecuing with fresh seafood, meats, and other seasonal vegetables. The Pohutukawa is the New Zealand Christmas tree. This tree is a special coastal species that blooms with a bright red flower in December.


There are many Christmas traditions in this small country including superstitious characters called “nisser”. They play tricks on the household all throughout the Christmas season, but are also believed to provide protection, and will be appeased by a serving of “risengrød” on December 23. Many Danish families also light real candles on their Christmas trees and dance around the tree, holding hands while singing carols. After enjoying a Christmas dinner of roast goose, duck, and pork roast, the dinner ends with a bowl of “ris a la mande” served with a cherry sauce. The person who finds a whole almond in their bowl wins a special gift.


A lit tall red candle in the front window symbolizes warmth and shelter for the holiday season. Every Irish household has at least one box of “good” biscuits filled with pink wafers and bourbon creams. Many families participate in a cold Christmas morning swim typically as part of a charity fundraiser. Roast goose, vegetables, cranberries, and potatoes are typical Christmas feasts in Irish homes.

We thank you for your business this past year and are so grateful for your support this past year. As we celebrate the holiday with our families this Christmas, the Team at New Windows for America would like to also wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.