Christmas in America – that can be equated with kitsch alarm and plastic fir trees, or in short with "way too much" and "way too colorful". As a German who has been spending her Christmas holidays with a German-American family for seven years, I can only say one thing: Yes, the Yanks like it kitschy and exaggerated. However, with regard to Christmas, all this is completely unimportant.
The Advent season
In general, the entire Christmas season in America is very similar to the one here in Germany. Every Sunday in Advent, another of the four candles on the Advent wreath is lit and every day the children (or adults) look forward to opening a new door in the Advent calendar. Only the Christmas decorations (like the self-made Christmas ball on the photo) – including the plastic fir tree – might be taken out of the cellar a little earlier, but then you will have something of it for a longer time.
"Santa Claus is Coming to Town"
However, according to American tradition, the Christmas presents are not given on the 24. December, i.e. on Christmas Eve, but only on the morning of 25. The Christ Child? Americans don’t know that either – but Santa Claus, the American version of our Santa Claus, does. Santa is not only an advertising figure on the famous Coca-Cola trucks, but probably comes on Christmas night through the chimneys of the houses – in the chimney-less certainly also through the doors – and fills the previously hung up socks (engl. "stockings") up to the top with gifts. And if you really want to make sure there are gifts, provide a glass of milk and cookies for Santa. We have always been lucky so far and there was a rich Bescherung even without a bribe!
(C) Photos: Carina Speck
On the evening of 25., when the whole family sits together, the big f…est meal begins. The American Christmas dinner could also pass as a Thanksgiving dinner: Traditionally, it’s turkey with mashed potatoes, all kinds of vegetables and, for dessert, basically anything that consists of at least 50 percent sugar – such as.B. Different kinds of pie, cookies or peanut butter balls covered in chocolate frosting. And if our stomachs can’t take any more, we unpack the board games or watch "Kevin – Alone at Home," or the English original "Home Alone" – a movie that probably shares first place on the Christmas movie cult scale with the German classic "The Little Lord.
Just like the Christmas celebrations of other cultures, the "American Christmas" is nothing other than a celebration of love, security and family – completely independent of the kitsch level of the Christmas decorations.
Carina Speck (27) from Baden-Wurttemberg has been dating a German-American for over seven years and is familiar with American Christmas traditions. Her passion is traveling. As @cari_wanders, she travels the world both with her boyfriend and solo, capturing her journeys on Instagram. Your favorite country? This is what she shares with me: Our little beloved green island Ireland.