christmas around the world // guest post

my dear friend sarah is gracing this space with a christmas eve guest post on christmas around the world! she's an avid traveler and has been to SO many countries. enjoy!

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Hello everybody! I’m Sarah and I blog over at Sparklingcrane. Julie and I met when I was spending my exchange year in the U.S. attending to Cheltenham High. My first days at lunch time I was awkwardly sitting alone (you know, this foreign little girl behind big glasses still not really speaking the language, yeah, that was me) knowing nobody and nobody knowing me (of course I was no Sandra Dee!) and there it was where Julie just came over inviting me to join her and her friends. That was like one of my favorite moments! So, when I visited Pennsylvania last October, we decided to write little guest posts for our blogs.


 Getting down to business, I love (is there a more intense and passionate word?) to travel. I’m originally from Germany (with a Mexican nationalized heart, involving Chinese dumplings, Mexican beaches and German Bewerbungen!!!... but that’s another story) and I study Psychology in lovely-cold Magdeburg. I’ve been blessed to be able to travel around quite a lot (I’m writing you in front of the Danube in my Vienna trip) and I enjoy sharing my adventures on my blog, come around some time! 
 
Today I’m gonna give you a comparison on Christmas celebrations around the world.
 
{ 1 } W e a t h e r

In Germany we have all the four seasons, with winter starting in December. So we will have snow and ice on Christmas (usually). It is pretty similar to the weather in Pennsylvania, U.S. In Shenzhen, China however, as well as in Toluca, Mexico you can find sunshine and a temperature around 20 degrees (celcius!) when Santa Claus is knocking the doors.
 

{ 2 } F a m i l y

I think it’s pretty universal that families celebrate together important festivities. The difference within the countries concerns the size of families. Here in Germany is more and more common to only have 1 or a maximum of 2 children, Therefore the family-gatherings at Christmas are much smaller than you might find it in Mexico. While I have 1 sibling, 2 aunts and uncles and 4 cousins, you can find 2 siblings, 7 aunts and uncles and more than a dozen of cousins in my Mexican part of the family. That’s a huge difference around Christmas – a bigger meal, more presents, more people singing carols and stuff like this. In China it is a different story. Families can be bigger but due to certain regulations it is more likely to be as in Germany.
 
{ 3 } P r e s e n t s

In Germany we are obsessed with presents. It wasn’t until I went to Mexico that I noticed that everybody gives everyone a present. Sometimes even two or three. That of course means a lot of finding ideas and going shopping to pick the best for every family member. My Mexican family however just exchanges a small gift with their family. But every member gets to only buy one gift for one other member. At the end everybody has a present in their hand and made one other family member happy.

In Germany also we love to plan. We write lists, come up with schedules and have everything in order. That also means we get our Christmas shopping done as soon as possible. On the 23rd of December all we have to do might only be to get this last chocolate or one more roll of wrapping paper. In Mexico on the other hand, you start shopping on Christmas morning to give your gift in the afternoon. (My sister-in-law to be is visiting us in Germany and saw some people buying presents in the beginning of December and she was so surprised, asking me what were these presents for, and did we have another holiday before? :)
 
 
  1. Holidays
In Germany, it is a real party on Christmas. We start with Christmas Eve, where we get together, maybe go to church, have coffee and Christmas cookies, talk, laugh and exchange our presents. The party continues on the 25th. Usually we meet with one side of the family, have more delicious food and exchange more presents. On the 26th Christmas is still not over. We meet the other side of the family and (as you might have guessed) give and receive more presents and eat more food.

In Mexico you get together on the 24th and 25th as well. But it is not until the 6th of January that you get your present, given by the 3 Mighty Kings.

In China it is even different. Christmas is not actually celebrated over there. You might have a family meal but the big holiday includes the Chinese New Year in February.
 
And now there is nothing left but to say Merry Christmas to you all!! Fröhliche Weihnachten and Feliz Navidad!
 
 
 
Sarah

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