The year is almost over and the Holiday Season has officially started! If you are living abroad while working as a visiting scholar or a post-doc, you must have noticed that everyone is getting on a festive spirit and that Christmas decorations are everywhere!
Christmas is an annual festival that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ (YES, Christmas is Jesus’ Birthday). Although Christmas is a religious holiday celebrated by Catholics and Christians, it has become more and more popular all over the world, and now it is even celebrated by non-religious people because of the nice message of happiness and joy that it spreads.
è The night before Christmas is called “Christmas Eve” and it is celebrated on December 24th.
è Christmas Day (Jesus’ Birthday) is celebrated on December 25th.
è 圣诞节（耶稣的生日）是12月25 日。
è Christmas is celebrated in more than 160 countries all over the world.
Were you invited to a Christmas Dinner? 有人邀请您参加圣诞节晚宴吗？
v Many people will host Christmas dinners for family, friends & coworkers, so if you are invited to a Christmas Dinner, remember to ALWAYS ask the host: “What should I bring?”
v Perhaps they will ask you to prepare one small dish or a salad, if they don’t (or even if told you there is no need to bring anything) just take a bottle of wine or a cake for dessert anyway (as it is good manners and it is usually expected), plus a gift for the host.
v Companies always hold Christmas parties for their employees and they tend to be pretty fancy so get ready to dress-up and spend some time with your coworkers.
What do we eat and drink on Christmas? 圣诞节餐食有哪些呢？
v Turkey 火鸡
v Roasted Ham 烤火腿
v Mashed Potatoes 土豆泥
v Roasted Vegetables 烤蔬菜
v Salad 沙拉
v Cranberry Sauce红莓酱
v Ginger Bread Cookies/Houses圣诞姜饼屋
v S’mores 棉花糖巧克力夹心饼干（美国加拿大常见的一种节日小食）
v Eggnog (Alcoholic) 蛋奶酒（含酒精）
v Mulled Wine (Alcoholic) 热红酒（含酒精）
v Hot Cocoa/Chocolate 热可可/巧克力
Christmas Traditions 圣诞节传统
v Each house is beautifully decorated both in-doors and out-doors (some residential streets may even compete for a prize).
v Decorations can also be seen in work-places, shopping malls, stores and even hospitals (to lift up everyone’s spirits).
v Traditional Christmas songs can be heard everywhere.
v People with traditional clothes sing on the streets in exchange for tips.
v There are also professional musical performances (choirs and philharmonics).
Christmas Tree & Gift Opening圣诞树&拆礼物
v Families decorate together their Christmas tree.
v Gifts are put underneath the Christmas Tree and opened only on the morning of December 25th.
v The lightning ceremony of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree in NYC is attended by thousands of people. The tree is famous for its height and its impressive amount of lights. Be sure to get super early in order to get a spot.
The Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony洛克菲勒中心圣诞树点灯仪式
v The Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is a big winter event.
v This Christmas tree is famous for its height and its impressive amount of lights. Also, there is Swarovski star placed on top of the tree.
v It’s held in Manhattan, New York every year.
v This year the lightning ceremony was on the night of December 4th, 2019.
v On Christmas day (December 25th), the lights shine for a full 24 hours.
v There were thousands of people, and several streets and subway stations were closed, so did you get there early and get a good spot?
Christmas Markets 圣诞节市集
v Small artisanal markets selling art-crafts, Christmas decorations, food and beverages.
v They often include ice skating courts.
v Secret Santa is a popular holiday game in which gifts are exchanged.
v It is mostly played by coworkers in which every employee gets one random name of a coworker (no one can pick, it is 100% random), and then they need to buy a small gift for them while keeping this a secret.
v Usually everyone will agree on how much money should be spent on buying the gift. (Most of the time is very little, like tops US$25 –– for example.)
v The day the gifts are opened, everyone tries to find out who was their Secret Santa (person who picked their corresponding gifts). It is fun to try to discover the mystery, plus everybody will receive one gift!
In conclusion Christmas is a time to get together and be joyful. Remember to always wish a Merry Christmas to your coworkers and friends when you see them.