How is Christmas celebrated in the United States?

This post is also available in: Español

For people in the United States, Christmas is one of the most important times of the year because it is a time to celebrate with family and friends.

And although you’ve probably seen hundreds of American Christmas movies, you’ll want to know a little bit more about what Christmas is like in this country.

So you’re in luck! In this post, we tell you everything we know about celebrating Christmas in the United States.

When does Christmas start in the United States?

The Christmas season in the United States begins on the fourth Thursday of November with the celebration of Thanksgiving, one of the most popular and important holidays in the country (and which coincidentally coincided with the launch of Howlanders in America, hehe).

Christmas dinner in the usa

Although really the Christmas decoration and music begin just after the Halloween celebrations and finish with the first days of the year. So if your idea is to travel to the United States at Christmas, you can enjoy the Christmas atmosphere all through the month of December!

What is celebrated at Christmas in the United States

Christmas Day

The most important day in the United States is December 25th, which is Christmas Day. It is usually celebrated with a big family dinner in the style of Thanksgiving dinner and usually includes roast turkey, mashed potatoes, and salty meat pies.

Plus, it’s the day Santa Claus arrives! That’s why families usually have breakfast together while they open all the gifts he left the night before.

Christmas presents in the usa

New Years

The New Year’s celebration in the United States is usually among friends and with a lot of partying. That is why, in most cities of the country, there are fireworks displays as soon as the new year begins.

It is said that the first love encounter is a good indication that everything will go well during the year. Hence, one of the most famous customs is to kiss the first person you meet at the beginning of the year.

What are the most typical Christmas traditions in the United States

There are many typical Christmas traditions in the United States thanks to the country’s multiculturalism. Many of them will sound familiar to you because they are similar to the ones in other areas, here are some of them!

Christmas stocking

Stocking is one of the characteristic symbols of Christmas. Each family member hangs his or her sock in the fireplace and Santa leaves candy and small gifts that fit inside.

Natural Christmas Tree

Christmas tree in the usa

The Christmas tree is one of America’s great Christmas traditions. And as it is usually a natural tree, its decoration is an annual ritual in which the whole family gets together to decorate it. Underneath it is where Santa Claus must leave all the gifts for the children.

Decoration and lights

Christmas lights in american house

In the United States, it is very typical to decorate the exterior of the houses at Christmas with colorful lights that usually form figures like Christmas trees or Santa Claus. As you may have seen in many movies, a very Christmassy family tradition is to go out and walk around the streets and see the neighbors’ light sets.


We have all heard of the famous mistletoe. It is usually hung on the front doors of houses or in living rooms. And it’s said that when two people meet under it, they have to kiss each other… So you know that for next time!

Gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread cookies

As in any country, sweets cannot be missing in this season of celebrations. In the United States, gingerbread and cinnamon cookies in the shape of a doll are very typical, or the famous gingerbread houses to assemble and put next to the tree.

Best places to visit for Christmas in the United States

New York

New York is the city for excellence to spend Christmas. One of the main attractions is the famous Rockefeller Center ice rink in front of a giant Christmas tree.

Christmas trees at Rockefeller

In addition, with the arrival of the new year, more than a million people usually gather in the famous Times Square, where at 12 o’clock there are always fireworks.

Las Vegas

Spending Christmas in the southwest of the United States, in the city of Las Vegas can be an unforgettable experience. All its resorts and shopping malls compete for the best Christmas decorations.

On its main streets, you will find gardens that are decorated such as the Bellagio, dozens of Christmas shows and you can enjoy Christmas food and drinks in any of the tents that are set up for this time of year.


With an average of 4.5 meters of snowfall per year, the city of Aspen meets all the requirements to be the city with the most festive atmosphere.

During the 12 Days in Aspen, it offers carolling events, ice skating or parties to make decorations and Christmas cards for free. Plus, you can meet Santa’s reindeer in person!

San Francisco

christmas in San Francisco

Christmas in San Francisco are exceptional, all its hills are full of lights and you can visit its fairs, decorations and Christmas shows that start in November.

You can ice skate, go see the Christmas lights and visit a life-size gingerbread house made of 10,000 bricks of gingerbread – you’ll want to take a bite out of it!


The city of Chicago fills up with festivities during the Christmas season and its most exclusive commercial avenue, Magnificent Mile, is filled with more than a million white lights that decorate the trees.

A giant Christmas tree is also mounted in the center of the city and you can ice skate on the rink located in the famous Cloud Gate.


Boston celebrates Christmas in all its streets, where it places big Christmas trees like the Boston Common founded in 1634.

If you’re there, you should witness the 7-minute-blink, a show that uses more than 350000 LED lights to illuminate the horizon to the rhythm of most Christmas songs.

In short, Christmas in the United States is a time almost taken out of film full of magic and excitement. And like us, we are sure you wish to spend Christmas in this country. What about you? How do you celebrate Christmas?


Celia loves animals and traveling, and if she can combine both and escape anywhere with her dog, her happiness is assured.

She loves nature in general, and the mountains in particular, so it is normal to find her on her days off with her trekking poles on her back. In Howlanders blog he gives us tips and recommendations that he has learned in each of his trips.

Recommended Articles


  1. well, at least Christmas isn’t about presents.

  2. Hi Im from Germany LOL

  3. Is Christmas about the “arrival of Santa Claus???”
    Nothing is mention about the “arrival of Jesus Birth”,
    which is the True Meaning of Christmas! Sigh!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *