In North America we share many traditions, some religious, some not.

The exchange of gives on December 25, the attendence at religious services for the devout, the commercial lead up to the day itself, and the decoration of homes and trees.

In Holland there is a big celebration on Saint Nicholas Day, which is December 6.

their Sinterklass dresses in red robes and wears a tall, pointed hat on his head. He comes not by eight tiny reindeer but instead travels by ship from Spain to Amsterdam’s harbor every winter.

His is not a deer but a white white horse but the sack full of gifts for children is the same.

In Spain signal to begin Christmas celebratons starts on December 8, with the observance of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. During this time the children will go around the neighbourhood singing carols for treats and toys.

In Sweden, the Christmas begins on December 13 with St. Lucia’s Day. He was the patron saint of light.

The oldest of the female children will awake at dawn and dresse as the “Queen of Light” in a long white dress. She is the St. Lucia Queen and serves breakfast treats to each member of the family.

Four sundays before Christmas, which is the first Sunday of Advent, is when Christmas celebratiosn start in Italy.

Fireworks and bonfires and holiday music are their signs of celebration. They go as families to shop for gifts and new nativity decorations. Each morning and evening they light  candles and pray.

The English bake cookies and relate holiday stories like the Christmas carol.

But regardless of the land, where there is Christianity there is the celebration of the birth of Jesus and a general feeling of kindness to our fellow man.

It is a special time of the year. Now we have to figure out how to make it last 365 days.