The Christmas holiday originates from the Christian belief of the immaculate conception and the birth of Jesus Christ, who was born to parents Mary and God himself. Christmas in America occurs on December 25. Historians have traced the birth of Jesus to December 25 sometime around the year 336.
Over 36 countries observe the Christmas as a holiday, each country having its own beliefs and traditions. In Belgium, Christmas is celebrated on December 6th. Small gifts are placed either in stocking over a fireplace or under a Christmas tree and given to family members and are opened on Christmas morning. They are said to be delivered by Sinkterklaas in the north or Saint-Nicholas in the south (both meaning Father Christmas).
In New Zealand, Christmas morning begins with the opening of presents of Christmas presents which have been placed under a Christmas tree. What distinguishes New Zealand from other countries is that they serve a barbecued lunch with wine and beer.
In the United States, on Christmas Eve, children leave cookies and milk for Santa Claus to snack on when he arrives at midnight. When he arrives he leaves gifts for the children who have been good. For those who have been naughty, they receive a lump of coal. Christmas Day is celebrated by the opening of gifts and the sharing of a Christmas feast. This feast usually includes turkey or ham. Christmas Day church service is attended by some.
All in all though celebrated by different methods, Christmas has come to have the same meaning, the spirit of giving. Happy Holidays!