It’s that time of the year again. It’s getting colder outside, the nights are getting longer, and children are eagerly writing their wish lists for Santa Claus.
Those living in America might think that Christmas is the same all over the world, however, there are some pretty big discrepancies between the ways some countries celebrate it.
This list will go over the differences between Christmas in America and England. We compare everything from Father Christmas to Santa Claus, Chrimbo to Christmas, and other holiday traditions that are slightly different depending on which side of the Atlantic you call home.
1. Father Christmas or Santa Claus: Young children in England refer to Santa Claus as Father Christmas. While Father Christmas and Santa Claus weren’t always synonymous during the last century, they have essentially become the same thing. Before Victorian times, Father Christmas was more concerned with adult feasting and merry-making and had nothing to do with children or giving gifts. He also wore a green suit, not a red one.
2. Letters for Santa: In England, instead of sending your wish lists to Santa via the mail service, you instead place your wish list in the fireplace and set it on fire. How does Santa Claus see their wish lists if it’s nothing but ash? Magic.
3. Gifts under the tree?: There is nothing that gives me that Christmas-time feeling like placing gifts under the Christmas tree. In England, however, gifts are not placed under the tree, they are placed at the foot of your bed in a big stocking.
4. Boxing Day: The day after Christmas in England is a holiday called Boxing Day. The day after Christmas in America (although they do celebrate Boxing day in Canada) is called December 26th. There is no agreed upon theory as to where Boxing Day gets its name, although the Oxford English Dictionary does give this definition: “the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box.”
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