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American Holiday Traditions

December 20, 2018
American Holiday Traditions

The holidays are here! The U.S. has a lot of fun winter traditions. If you are staying in the U.S. for the holidays, have fun participating in these activities!

American Holiday Traditions


Caroling is when a group of people sing Christmas songs. Usually this group travels around a neighborhood and sings traditional holiday songs for residents. (Read our article about traditional holiday songs for an idea of the types of songs they sing!) Carolers often dress in holiday-themed clothes, such as Santa hats and red and white sweaters.

Decorating a Christmas tree

Selecting a Christmas tree and decorating is a holiday tradition for many American families. This process often includes using handmade ornaments, many of which have sentimental meaning for the family members. The tree is also decorated with lights and topped with an angel or star.

Ice skating

Ice skating is a common winter tradition for people are the world, and it’s no different in the USA. In big cities (even in warmer places, such as Southern California!) large plazas often become ice skating rinks. It’s fun to watch the people skate; it’s even more fun to participate!

Making gingerbread houses

Gingerbread houses are another popular tradition. Families cook sheets of gingerbread and then use them as “walls” and the “roof” of the house. They then use icing (made of sugar) to build the gingerbread house and decorate the house with candies.

Seeing Santa Claus

Parents look forward to this holiday tradition, and so do children! Each year, “Santa” comes to local malls and shopping centers. Kids dress in holiday clothes and visit Santa: while they meet, they take a photo and tell him what they want him to take for Christmas. Often, the photos are hilarious: some kids are really afraid of Santa!

Watching holiday movies

Many holiday related movies are beloved by Americans. (Check out our Holiday Related Movies article for a list of some of these movies!) Often, Americans have a “movie night” where they dress in pajamas, eat desserts, and then watch their favorite movies. It’s a fun way to spend an evening!

Season’s Greetings to you and yours!

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