Christmas Controversy & Opinion Presented by Defend Christmas, this forum covers the difficult topics of the season -- from the famed and fabled War on Christmas to church and state debates to using the star or the angel on the Christmas tree. Modern Christmas celebration has it's complications -- schools are divided, some Christmas light displays are too much, some even argue that it is better to call it a "holiday" tree. Some merchants won't even say "Merry Christmas"! Where there is controversy, there is insanity. Even in Christmas.
The largest migration of people from the four corners of the globe to one spot occurred between the 1820s and the early-1900s, as the US grew exponentially in no small part because of immigration. So, the "Old World" ways were definitely brought to the US, and as such there are more similarities than differences when it comes to how different countries celebrate Christmas as compared to the US.
For instance, no one here put up a Christmas tree until German immigrants brought the tradition with them in the 1840s. Throw in all the other traditions, and Christmas in the US is really just a reflection of Old World traditions, for the most part.
And the US has done its part in adding to some common traditions today, not the least of which is the Santa Claus we all know today: Fat, jolly, red suit, long beard, etc. Thomas Nast can be thanked for that.
I do wonder, however: is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer more of a North American phenomenon, or does he enjoy celebrity status elsewhere, too?
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