Christmas in Mexico v. Christmas in America

Andrea Castaneda

Current Affairs Editor

Christmas to most Americans is a time for giving, to share with those around them. Mexico also shares that belief but in a different way.  One of the only major similarities is that they both celebrate the birth of Christ. In Mexico the celebrations usually take place Dec. 24, Christmas Eve and in the U.S,  Dec. 25 Christmas Day is the big celebration day.

Christmas in America has replaced its Christ symbols with Santa Claus, stockings and decorated Christmas Trees making the holiday open to all religious beliefs. While according to ehow.com “Christians remain true to their observance of religious faith and regard the Nativity scene (the depiction of the manger where Christ was born) as the main icon for the holiday.”

On Christmas Eve in Mexico people from neighborhoods participate in “Posadas” which is translated in English as “ Inns”. Posadas are celebrations from Dec. 16 to Christmas Eve but in some neighborhoods it only takes place Christmas Eve night.  Each of the nine days, two members represent the Virgin Mary and her husband Joseph and they go to their neighbor’s houses and sing a song asking for a place to stay and the neighbors represent the Inn keepers and they sing back. In the U.S. reenactors visit three homes and at the third home they sing and pray and then they stay to party. At these parties according to student, Andrea Borunda, they have piñatas that are filled with candy for the kids’ entertainment. Americans also go from door to door singing Christmas carols which may or may not include religious songs.

“What my family does traditionally is we gather together in our neighborhood and we decorate our street with paper dollies from one side of a house to the next.” said student Gregoria Partida, “During the Posada festivities we eat tamales and pozole and we drink hot drinks such as champurrado and atole.” In America many houses can be seen decorated with Christmas lights and traditionally many Americans have Christmas parties and/or Christmas dinners and they usually eat turkey, ham, apple cider, and hot chocolate.

Both cultures give presents for the holiday, the difference is according to some of the Hispanic students in the College of the Desert’s newspaper production class is that Mexican families tend to open their presents on Christmas Eve instead of waiting until Christmas morning. In America the tradition is to tell children to leave out cookies and milk at night for Santa and that he will sneak into the house and leave presents that the kids can open in the morning.

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