Christmas is one of the few global celebrations that touches every home. Today we take a look at some of the different ways this occasion is acknowledged in multicultural homes around the world. A sneak peak into the lives of those who have let the spirit of Christmas into their homes in-spite of it not necessarily being from their own culture even. Be prepared to smile with joy.
At home we celebrate Christmas Eve by eating a huge dinner of diverse dishes from Venezuela, the US and Germany. On Christmas Day, we adopt the American style and have again a nice family meal and open presents from Santa Claus.
We are a Venezuelan/American family living in Germany.
We love creating space every night of December to reflect as a family and to sing villancicos ( traditional Christmas Spanish songs)!! I remember doing it as a child and for me is so important that my children learn those songs also!!!
I grew up with the Catholic tradition of Las Novenas!!!
At home, we start our celebration with Advent and counting down the days to Christmas. On Christmas day we celebrate with a multicultural (Southern and Puerto Rican) meal and opening gifts. We keep our Christmas tree up through January 6th because we celebrate Epiphany “Día de Reyes” (Three Kings Day/Day of the Magi) my son cuts some grass and places it in a box (and the magi leave a gift behind). What is fun about celebrating Epiphany is that he’s already back in school and we continue to celebrate the holidays!
We read books and sing in both Spanish and English throughout the month of December. We usually have a church service Christmas Eve, wherever we are. When in the US, Christmas Eve is a quiet night in front of a fireplace. When in Peru, the weather is hot and we have fireworks at midnight, when most families eat dinner together here.
At home in North Carolina, we attend festivals with Santa and Latino festivals with the traditional food, songs and dance. We celebrate Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) with the Ecuadorian traditions and celebrate Christmas Day with the American traditions.
As a Muslim convert living in the UK, I do not celebrate Christmas in my own home. However, my family are Catholic so we go to see them on Christmas day. We exchange gifts and have a big roast turkey dinner. We eat Christmas pudding and mince pies. Then we sit down to watch the Queen’s speech. The rest of the day is spent playing board games and watching Christmas TV specials. On boxing day we go to see the Mummers performing out in the street. This is an old English tradition. The actors wear costumes made out of shredded newspaper and act out a play and sing songs!
In Australia is common to serve seafood. As it’s summer at Christmas its quite refreshing to have seafood with salads instead. Plus you’re not adding to the heat of the day by using the oven!
Siena decorates its streets with Christmas lights and Christmas trees so there will be plenty of opportunities to take lots of holiday photos with your family. The church bells ringing, the chestnuts roasting and the holiday lights sparkling will surely bring joy to kids and parents alike. You will also find a traditional nativity scene as well as a giant and real Christmas tree in Piazza del Campo. And if you’re lucky enough, you might be able to see the March of the Santas!
Many Filipinos attend the “misa de gallo”, a Roman Catholic mass celebrated around midnight of Christmas Eve. After the mass, church goers would eat special Christmas desserts such as “puto bumbong” ( a purple rice cake sprinkled with coconut and brown sugar) and “bibingka” (a glutinous rice cake with margarine and sugar). The traditional Christmas drink is called “mainit na tsokolate”, a hot chocolate drink made with tablea cacao and peanut butter.
Every Christmas eve, my Indian friends and I get together and treat the kids to some presents from each other. We enjoy a mutli -cuisine meal as the food is provided by different households and take pictures with the Christmas tree. On Christmas Day, my kids bid farewell to the mischievous elf “Rudy” who comes to our home December 1 and open the lovely presents with all their excitement. The day passes in fun and evening we go around looking at Christmas lights around the city.