November 3, 2009
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October 15, 2009
Many of the celebrations in the United States that are associated with Christmas were traditions brought by German and English immigrants. Along with the well-known and practiced tradition of a brightly decorated Christmas tree, other traditions brought by these immigrants include Advent calendars, Christmas greeting cards, gingerbread houses and gingerbread cookies.
Christmas in the United States today can be seen as focused around family, travel, shopping for good Christmas gifts and decorations. Family and travel go together during Christmas in the United States because family members often have to travel fairly long distances to be with each other at one location. The growth of cities that have primarily economic activity, suburbs for residences, as well as the fact of different industries being found in certain geographic locations, are among the reasons that family members often live great distances from each other in separate states.
Christmas and its festivities therefore present a wonderful opportunity for many members of the family to gather in celebration and see each other in an intimate setting and exchange good Christmas gifts as well . The traveling involved makes the Christmas season a busy time of the year for rail and air travel. The occasion of seeing many family members at Christmas is also linked to the activity of shopping that is an important feature of Christmas in the United States. The Christmas season officially begins on the Friday after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday and which now ranks second in shopping for a single day to the Saturday before Christmas.