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TOP 10 AMERICAN CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

Every family has different traditions during the holiday season. For some families, one holiday tradition may include an uncle getting dressed up as Santa Claus. In another family, Christmas Eve dinner may top the tradition list. Some traditions are passed on from generation to generation, while others are created as families grow and change. While there is no way to create a comprehensive list of traditions, the following list highlights ten traditions that are representative of American families celebrating Christmas.

Number 10: Caroling. This tradition may not be as popular today as it once was. Perhaps it?s because too many people live in the suburbs, where houses are far away and neighborhoods are not as close knit as they used to be. But singing among family members and classmates still tops the hearts of many folks. Many of us can remember caroling around the nursing home with our friends or bundling up to hit the streets on a cold winter?s evening.

Number 9: Greeting Cards. What American holiday would be complete without greetings cards? The first Christmas card appeared in London in 1843 and became popular in America around 1875. Today many families send Christmas cards to their friends and family across the United States and even around the world. Some busy families include personalized letters reviewing the past year for their loved ones, while other families prefer to send cards featuring a recent family photo.

Number 8: Shopping. Christmas shopping season officially begins the day after Thanksgiving and continues until Christmas day. To some folks, it?s the most enjoyable part of the season. To others, shopping is one big necessary headache. Internet shopping has recently changed the face of holiday shopping forever, and men across world have been cheering! But no matter how popular internet shopping has become, nothing can compare to an old fashioned holiday shopping trip to see the lights, hear the bells, and smell the holiday excitement.

Number 7: Movies. For many families, the month of December becomes one long trip through Christmas movie nostalgia. Not only do the TV channels rebroadcast all of the old favorite Christmas movies, but the true movie-fan family also has DVDs and tapes of all their own favorites. Whether you fancy Rudolph or George Bailey, movies help families gear up their Christmas spirit in the days leading up to the festive day.

Number 6: Party. Christmas parties have become an essential part of the American holiday season, and the office Christmas party is a notoriously good time. The Christmas party can be one of two things. One, the party can be the chance to see old friends and colleagues, and make new ones under the mistletoe. Or the Christmas party can be a chance to create stories for the rest of the office to share over the New Year.

Number 5: Eggnog. This holiday treat is often linked to Number 6, and perhaps is a lot of the problem with Number 6.

Number 4: Cookies. For children and grownups alike, this may be the best Christmas tradition of all. Every holiday season, children of all ages bake up an assortment of their Christmas cookie specialties, while the rest of the family anxiously waits to taste their wonderful creations.

Number 3: Stockings. Each Christmas season, stockings can be found throughout American homes. Stockings may include gag gifts, like coal, or little gifts, like candy, CD?s, and socks. Either way, hanging a stocking from the fireplace mantle is as much of a part of Christmas as Santa Claus and Rudolph.

Number 2: Christmas lights. Speaking of Santa and Rudolph, how else can they find your house on Christmas Eve without a little help from decorations all over your abode? The brilliant colors and cheer of Christmas decorations on a home is enough to warm the heart of even the biggest Grinch. Just be careful not to pull a ?Clark Griswold?!

Number 1: Christmas Tree. Besides the manger scene, there is not a better known symbol of Christmas than the Christmas tree. Trees around the United States are fully decked out in lights, ornaments, and a star on top, waiting for Santa to come and fill the underneath with presents for the entire family.

Whether your favorite Christmas tradition made our list or not, the most important thing to remember this holiday season is to make cherished memories with your loved ones. Celebrate deep-rooted traditions and continue to create new holiday traditions to share with your family and friends.

- Thomas Easterday is the Director of Marketing for Letter By Santa. Create a new tradition with your children by ordering a memorable letter from Santa Claus. For more information about Letter by Santa please visit www.letterbysanta.com.



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