The song, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” has lilted over the airwaves for about 60 years. The sights and sounds of the season vary—from sleigh bells in the snow in the more northern states to a bright red Hawaiian shirt peeking out of Santa’s fur-trimmed coat in the balmy south. The look of Christmas in the US is very different than other countries across the world. Here are some traditions that may not be familiar, but reflect the reason for the season.
While American children hang their stockings on the mantel, in France, children leave their shoes in front of the fireplace, in anticipation of a visit and gifts from Pere Noel, or Father Christmas. A very popular decoration is the nativity scene, called a creche that, depending on the region, contains figures of the Holy Family, the Three Kings, shepherds, animals, and other more familiar village people, such as the mayor. In Spain on Christmas Eve, every house twinkles with light from tiny oil lamps. Midnight Mass is called La Misa Del Gallo (The Mass of the Rooster) because the rooster is supposed to have crowed the night that Jesus was born. After Midnight Mass and Christmas Dinner, the music for a lively song and dance called the “Jota” fills the streets. Three Wise Men bring the gifts instead of Santa. In Denmark, legend has it that an elf called Nisse, dressed in gray woolen clothes, a red bonnet, red stockings and white clogs will visit to play some pranks, especially on farms. So that he doesn’t get too mischievous, families leave him a bowl of rice pudding or porridge.
Traditions are fun to learn about and share. At Gendex, we are always interested to learn about the special office cultures and aspirations of our customers, and we are happy to provide the gift of innovative technology all year round. Even if you are too old to believe in Santa, our message is the same: May your Christmas be filled with joy, hope, and the warmth of family and friends—and don’t forget to leave out some cookies and milk…just in case.