Christmas celebrations across America

Kellie Gleeson

It is a cold morning and little Jenny awakes from her bed. She runs to her parents’ room and shakes them awake violently. The entire family walks downstairs. Jenny’s eyes light up when she sees the brightly lit tree and the mountain of presents under it. She runs to the presents searching for the one she wants to open first.
This is a common situation in most American households. Christmas revolves around the Christian tradition of Christ’s birth, but also the anticipation of Santa Clause and presents.
Since America is a melting pot consisting of many different areas and cultures, Christmas is celebrated in many ways, such as a beach party in Florida or dressing up in furs in Alaska.
In New York City, people flood from all over to shop in the variety of stores on Fifth Avenue. People go to Rockefeller Center to witness the lighting of the Christmas tree and to skate at the outdoor ice rink. People also go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to look at the Neapolitan Baroque figures located on the Angel tree.
In Texas, people partake in the Posada, a reenactment of the journey of the blessed family. This takes place in San Antonio.
Texans can also travel to Fredericksburg, 70 miles north of San Antonio, to shop at a German style open air market.
In New Orleans, La., carolers and onlookers gather in Jackson Square for a huge carol concert. Bonfires are also set in this area and down the Mississippi river.
In Chicago, millions flock to the Museum of Science and Industry. At this museum, an enchanted international forest is set up. Over 43 trees are decorated by cultural groups representing the vast amount of cultures located in the city. This can be seen up until Jan. 7.
Washington, D.C., adds to the celebrations by lighting a huge tree on the ellipse. This tree is surrounded buy other trees representing all the states.
The Kennedy Center also provides a variety of Christmas programs. The most popular one is called “Messiah sing in.” At this event, people gather to sing carols in the concert hall.
Boston is famous for its “Messiah” presentation. This show is presented by the Handel-Hayden Society. Carolers also gather at Beacon Hill to put on a show.
At Kings Canyon National Park, Calif., a 267-foot sequoia is dubbed “The Nation’s Christmas Tree.” There is also a huge carol concert held at this location.
In Bethlehem, Pa., the season is started off with a huge open air market and every building in the city contains a single candle. The most known attraction is the giant star located on South Mountain. This star can be seen for 20 miles.
White lights fill the streets in St. Augustine, Fla. There is a law in this area that only white lights can be used outside during the holiday season.
The only exception to this rule is The Ancient Live Oak Tree, which is brightly decorated and located in the Town Square.
Two main events happen in California. One is the parade of the Stars which takes place in Hollywood. The other is a concert done by the world’s largest pipe Organ. This takes place in Balboa Park, San Diego.
In Salt Lake City, Utah, thousands gather to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing classical Christmas carols in St. Joseph’s church.
New Jersey has a tradition of gathering a carol group to sing Christmas Carols in Washington.
This group sings in front of a huge stained glass window, which reflects a Nativity scene on to the choir.