I know here are very many users....and we all come from different places. I know the majority is from the States and Canada....but there are still plenty of people from different countrys.
So my questions are....how is Christmas celebrated in Your countries?
Before Christmas....the Christmas time finally kicks off on the last November Sunday...because "die Adventszeit" starts....from that time we put up something like that
. Every Sunday now we burn on more candle....1. Advent 1 candle, 2. Advent 2 candles....and on...sometimes Christmas comes on the same day as 4th Advent....but usually der 4th Advent is two three days before Christmas...of course for the kids it´s great to see more candles lit...because the more candles are lit...the less time Christmas is away.
We also have Adventskalender
They rae numbered from 1-24...so of course You start opening on December 1st and finish on the 24th...they come with chocolate, nice christmassy pictures or You fill them Yourself.....toy firms like Lego and Playmobile have started to sell Calendars too now...but I find it too expensive...and I just don´t like them.
We shorten the time to Christmas by visiting our Weihnachtsmärkte.....They are in almost every city....some small villages have some too. There they sell Ornaments, nativity scenes, socks, scarfs, warm hats and caps for the winter time, candles and everything people connect to Christmas...surrounded by nice Christmas Music, the smell of roasted chestnuts, hot wine, food and cookies...
Over here in Germany, as many of You might know, the 24th is our biiiiiiiiiiiiig day. The stores are open until about 2 or 3 o clock I think. Then You can see life slowing down rapidly. People go home and prepare for the evening.
Most people "bescheren" (that´s how we call the unwrapping of the Christmas Presents) in the evening. I don´t know wether or not they do it before or after dinner....We do it before. We used to sing Christmas songs before opening the presents until my grandparents would start giving out the presents.....after that we would have dinner and sit together for a long time.
A lot of people visit the "Christmesse"...something like a Midnight Mass...I´m not sure about the time, It´s either 10 or 12 at night.
Christmas Day 1 + 2
Usually families get back together on those two days, exchanging presents, cooking together, going for walks, relaxing and so on. We also invite friends over to celebrate along....That´s how we do it...
Of course it depends from family from family...but I think that´s how it goes in most German families.
Looking forward to Your countrys traditions