Anastasija V from Paul Zwiren’s NY cluster explains how Christmas celebrated in the US is different than in Germany:

I always wanted to experience an American Christmas. It seemed so unbelievable special to me because I used to know from all those American Christmas movies, that Americans celebrate Christmas very decadent and more than everyone else.

And this year my dream came true. Now that I am living with an American family who has 2 cute children, that more or less believe in “Christmas-magic”, I can experience the whole holiday with all its belongings.
Ana V Germany
I really got into the “Christmas mood” when the big Christmas tree was lit up with its lights, stars and ornaments. Additionally the Christmas music playlist that was playing everyday was a major factor too. You somehow get into the “Christmas feeling” when you hear all those Christmas songs about Santa, snow and love. However when everyone was up on December 25th we went to the gigantic tree with its uncountable presents underneath.

Santa ate his cookies, carrots and had some milk, that the kids prepared for him the night before. After sharing, giving and opening all presents the whole family, including dog Luna, took a walk. When we came back we started cooking all together. It took us about 6 hours after we could finally enjoy our dinner. ( the waiting was worth it)

When comparing American and German Christmas traditions many things pop to mind.
First of all in Germany we celebrate Christmas eve on December 24th and the presents will be opened after dinner. 24th is the actual Christmas. (25th & 26th are just the Christmas days which are mostly spend with the family at home or they are used as a travel date). Here in America the kids have to wait for the next morning to get their presents.

In comparison to Germans most Americans are extreme in decorating their houses and front yards for Christmas.

However in Germany we have advent calendar and everyone gets into Christmas mood by opening the first door on December 1st. The calendar has 24 gifts. In addition we have a so called ” Adventskranz”. Translated its called advent wreath. It’s a circle made of Christmas tree branches and it is decorated Christmassy. It also has four candles on it. These candles get lit each Sunday. It starts four Sundays before Christmas. I could write so much more but I want to come to an end now.

There are several things that are different but one thing both traditions have in common.
Christmas is about being together with your family and the ones you love. It’s about enjoying time together. That is what I have experienced. That no matter where you are celebrating Christmas it’s all about being together and not about presents or food or decorations,  these are just things to make the sour rounding prettier.