December 23, 2015 The Traveling Gals

Celebrating Christmas at Disney World Our family has spent Christmas at Disney World for many years. It is our favorite place to spend the holidays. We love all the decorations, music, and holiday events throughout the World. Although we are sad that our beloved Osborne Light show is gone, there are still some wonderful things to do. Because our family is small, we enjoy being able to go out of town to celebrate Christmas at the most magical place on Earth. When we lived in Chicago, we would exchange gifts and have our big Christmas dinner a few days early…

December 15, 2015 The Traveling Gals 2Comment

Holiday Traditions around the World: Christmas in Norway Land of the Midnight Sun is the perfect backdrop for the Christmas season!  Luciadagen or St. Lucia Day starts the Christmas season in Norway on December 13th.  Sicilian martyred Saint Lucia was visited by an angel and vowed to devote her life to Christianity.  Lucia is honored as a day of light at the darkest time of the year.  Children form a procession dressed in white with a crown of lighted evergreens on their heads while singing the traditional St. Lucia song.  Lussekatter are the traditional St. Lucia Day treats handed out…

December 10, 2015 The Traveling Gals 1Comment

The Nutcracker Nothing says Christmas like a performance of The Nutcracker ballet!  The Nutcracker ballet is adapted from The Nutcracker and The Queen of Mice by ETA Hoffman.  The basic story is of a young German girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a fierce battle of against a Mouse King.  The first ballet was commissioned in 1891 by the Moscow Imperial Theater.   The music is by Tchaikovsky and it was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa.  The composer selections known at the Nutcracker Suite Op 71a became instantly popular, but the ballet did not achieve its great prominence as…

December 8, 2015 The Traveling Gals

Holiday Traditions around the World: Christmas in JAPAN Japan is predominately Shinto.   Shinto is an ethnic religion based in ritual practices to connect modern Japan with its ancient past.  It is said to have started in the sixth century, but there is no known scripture or founder so Christmas does not play much of a part in Japan.  The small amount of Christians in Japan celebrate Christmas with an ethnic twist.  For example, the nativity participants are dressed in traditional Japanese costume.  The Christmas tree is decorated with origami ornaments.  The Santa figure is an old man, Hoteiosho who carries…

December 1, 2015 The Traveling Gals 1Comment

Holiday Traditions Around the World: Christmas in France Christmas in France is both a religious and secular holiday as it is in most modern countries.  In French, Christmas = Noël and is a reference to the Gospel.  It comes from the French phrase “les bonnes nouvelles” which means “the good news”.  L’Avent en France (Advent) commences the fourth Sunday before Christmas.    Although the Christmas tree is not so popular, homes all throughout France display the Nativity scene “la crèche”.  The creche is often coupled with figures called little saints or “santons” which represent the Holy Family, shepherds, Magi as well…