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as we all know, Christmas is an important festival for western people. so, i want know what do you do at Christmas.
Christmas is important to my mom and dad. It's also important for my sister and her family. That makes it important to me, because I like to see them happy though the holiday holds no inherent joy for me. We go over to Mama & Daddy's house where my dad will have cooked a veritable feast! A rack of ribs, turkey, ham (I am a vegetarian so I don't eat these) but six or seven vegetables: fordhook lima beans, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, cabbage, stuffed portobello mushrooms, collard greens, and more! He makes rolls and cornbread, too. He'll sometimes do a bruschetta with an olive tapenade and that's the best. We all eat and the youngest child says the blessing beforehand. Then we hand out all the gifts. All the adults wait to open theirs because we take joy in watching the kids open theirs. The last part is the best - the stockings! My mom puts together the best stockings and it's always been me and my sister's absolute favorite. It's because Mama puts the best things in there - not only money and jewelry and valuable things - but silly things - things you would never by for yourself. Things like "as seen on tv" items, cartoon boxers, movies, candy, and so much more. It really is a lovely night and the stockings are the best part. It's really wonderful too how she knows I like peanut m&ms and my sister likes plain m&ms but she puts them in the wrong stockings to make us trade. She acts like we have changed our likes and acts like her feathers are in a ruffle but she's just carrying on... it's strange but it's ours and I love it.
For us, Christmas is really a month-long event that we get to gather and see family that we really only see twice a year; our weekends are usually full with all of the gatherings with different parts of our family we have.
The general timeline of the month starts with our traditional setting up of the Christmas tree, as most families, and my sister and I decorate the tree; I've more passed the duty on to her now as I've gotten older, but I still enjoy watching her enjoy herself.
One weekend we'll have a mini-Christmas on one side of my family, which is basically just a day to spend time with family, the little kids get a couple of gifts each, and we have a big dinner.
Another weekend will be what we call an Ornament Exchange; a whole group of us stay at my aunt's house for a weekend and it's again, a big socializing thing. Saturday night brings another big dinner (this is the portion of my family that loves cooking and baking, so lots of good food and pies and cookies) and the main event of the weekend. Everyone brings an ornament to trade with another person, and it gets more complicated but that's essentially it.
When it's actually Christmas Eve, my mom, sister and I bake cookies, and my sister, being 10 years old, still sets out cookies and milk for Santa :) Ever since I was little, and this has now carried over to my sister, we also put out carrots for Santa's reindeer. After my sister and I are shooed off to bed, Mom finishes wrapping gifts and stuffing stockings with goodies
Christmas day is opening presents, a bagilion thank you's, and the twice a year (with Easter) opportunity to eat as much candy as we want (within reason) before we leave for our grandparents for the day. This is a more concentrated family socialization, just my mom, sister, grandparents, a couple of pairs of aunts and uncles and cousins and I. Another big dinner, socialize for the rest of the day, and thus ends our Christmas season~
For me Christmas is not that important. My favourite thing to do during the holiday season is to travel or to volunteer.