Our Christmas in the U.S.
Starting on December 1st, we use an Advent calendar to count the days remaining until Christmas. Our Advent calendars are Santa Claus figures with 24 pieces of yarn that are tied to 24 pieces of candy. You eat one piece of candy each day and the number of candies left tells you the number of days until Christmas.
We have an Advent wreath, too. It has three purple candles, one pink candle, and a white candle in the middle. We burn one purple candle during dinner on the first Sunday in Advent, then two on the second, two purple and the pink on the third, and all four colored ones on the fourth. We burn the white one on Christmas Day.
During the days leading up to Christmas, we buy a fir tree and decorate it with ornaments, lights, and tinsel. We put our wrapped gifts under it to open on Christmas Day. We bake lots of cookies, fudge, and candy to give away to neighbors and friends. We make a gingerbread village and put lots of garland, wreaths, ribbons, and other decorations up in our house. We give money to an organization called The Santa Claus Girls, who buy presents for needy children and we buy toys to give to Toys for Tots, which also gives toys away to needy kids.
On Christmas Eve we go to church, have a big dinner, put our stockings out for Santa to fill, and leave Santa some milk and cookies. We go to bed and have trouble sleeping. On Christmas morning we wake up to find that Santa has left us a stocking full of goodies and gifts and one larger gift. After everyone wakes up we eat a big breakfast and open our gifts. Then we have a big dinner around 1:00 p.m.