Category Archives: Christmas Around the World

Christmas Around the World

Christmas in Sweden: A Celebration of the Smorgasbord

Christmas in Sweden

No matter where you live and no matter what your family history, you’d be hard-pressed to deny: the communal celebration of food and good cheer brings families together as much as any other Christmas tradition. As continues its global tour of Christmas traditions, it would be bad table manners, to say the least, to […]

Christmas in Spain: Spectacular Customs and Deep Meaning in the Details


As you might expect, Christmas in Spain is a spiritual celebration. After all, the country is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic and its patron saint is the Virgin Mary. What you might not expect is that Christmas in Spain is marked by other traditions that its people can claim as completely their own. Take, for example, the […]

Christmas in Poland: History, Family, Food and Generosity

Christmas in Poland: The Royal Castle in Warsaw

Give the French credit for bringing the word “gourmet” into the mainstream. And never forget that the Italians have made pasta and marinara sauce as common on American menus as Mexicans have made tacos and burritos. But don’t let the people in these countries lull you into thinking that they—and they alone—corner the market on […]

Christmas in Norway: An Intriguing Trifecta of Angels, Trolls and Gnomes


In the early days, Christmas in Norway was hardly more than a festival that marked the transition from winter to spring. But there was good reason to celebrate: the northern portion of the country, called “the land of the midnight sun,” had been shrouded  in complete darkness. So when the mugs of juleol (beer) clinked […]

Christmas in the Netherlands: Where the Beloved Figure of Sinterklaas Looms Large

Christmas in the Netherlands

Mention the Dutch and you probably think of windmills, tulips and the classic “clog” shoes that once were a fashion phenomena in the United States. But during Christmas in the Netherlands, a man named Sinterklaas takes center stage. Wearing the clothes of a bishop and riding a horse throughout a parade, this “king” among men […]