The Mountain Times

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Christmas across the globe

Christmas is pretty popular, and not just among right-wing evangelicals. It's celebrated around the world, on all seven continents (especially Antarctica, which is where all the really cool Christmas parties are happening this year). The ways in which it's celebrated, however, vary tremendously. Here's a look at some of the fun Christmas traditions, as I imagine them, from nations near and far:

Spain - Christmas cards are sent out not to friends but to enemies, as a way to gloat about one's familial good fortune.

Scotland - Stockings are stuffed with haggis. Whichever family member eats all the haggis in his stocking first wins Christmas.

Uruguay - Santa's "nice list" is thought to consist of those children whom he plans to kidnap.

Japan - Instead of using Douglas-firs, families decorate Bonsai trees with lights and ornaments. Accordingly, the gifts placed beneath them are very, very small.

France - Santa Claus is rarely, if ever, depicted without a cigarette.

Australia - Christmas is celebrated in July, so that its traditional wintertime imagery won't seem totally nonsensical.

South Korea - According to national folklore, presents are distributed on Christmas Eve by an anthropomorphic reindeer whose sleigh is pulled by nine fat men.

Argentina - Frosty the Snowman wears a ponytail.

The Netherlands - Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus are thought to be divorced.

Germany - Would-be carolers are required to audition in front of a jury in order to earn a license to go door-to-door. Those who pass the test are granted a jury-approved selection of three (3) songs that they may perform. After Christmas, the carolers are executed.

Thailand - The baby Jesus is depicted as being an excellent dancer.

Luxembourg - Christmas is celebrated only every other year, as it shares Dec. 25 with National Mayonnaise Appreciation Day.

Namibia - "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham! is regarded as a traditional Christmas song.

Austria - When a man and a woman meet underneath the mistletoe, they're obliged to arm-wrestle.

Chile - Blitzen is regarded as a sex symbol.

Canada - Wreaths are commonly worn as necklaces.

Tanzania - Tickle Me Elmo has been officially banned from Christmas since 1997.

Russia - Chestnuts roast you! Or something like that.

Lebanon - The Christmas turkey is a live bird that typically sits at the head of the table during Christmas dinner. All gifts are addressed to the turkey.

South Africa - "Little Drummer Boy" is altered to "Little Vuvuzela Boy."

Switzerland - Advent calendars contain actual good chocolate.

California - Clocks are set ahead three hours on December 24, because they can't stand that we get Christmas before they do.

Here's to global-consciousness-raising! Happy Christmasing, everyone.

Tagged: Gen Y, generation y, Christmas traditions