Christmas day, 25 December, is celebrated by Christians as the day on which Jesus Christ was born.
Before Christmas, people send Christmas cards to their friends. These often show Santa Claus, angels, holly or snowmen, all traditional symbols of Christmas. People buy Christmas present for their family and friends. Shopping malls are decorated for Christmas from September, though most people do not do Christmas shopping until December. Most towns put up a Christmas tree; a fir tree decorated with coloured lights, baubles, tinsel and bows and put strings of lights across the street. For children the highlight of this period is a visit to Santa Claus, to tell him what presents they would like.
A few days before Christmas families decorate a Christmas tree in their home. Some hang a holly wreath on their front door. Families try to get together at Christmas and in preparation most people buy a lot of food and prepare special dishes. In Britain they make or buy mince pies and a Christmas cake. A Christmas dinner usually consists of turkey with many accompanying dishes, followed by Christmas pudding and brandy butter. Everyone pulls paper crackers, which make a loud cracking noise and contain paper crowns, jokes and small toys.
Christmas decorations are taken down on New year’s day or, in Britain any time between New Year and 6 January, the festival of Epiphany.