What Other People Are Doing While You Are Opening Gifts

What Other People Are Doing While You Are Opening Gifts

By Glenn Hull
HUB correspondent

Shane Pesis is opening a door on his way into a Chinese restaurant on Christmas day. (Photo Illustration by Glenn Hull)

While families are waiting to open presents on Christmas morning, your neighbors may be doing something else.

People who do not celebrate Christmas often do not participate in such Christmas festivities like putting up Christmas trees, Christmas lights, and putting out treats for Santa and his reindeer. But what do they do instead?

Many people go to Chinese restaurants because the owners often do not celebrate Christmas either. Others tend to spend time with their families.

“[If it’s not Hanukkah] we call relatives who celebrate Christmas, and we usually travel” Hanna Jolkovsky said.

People also go to movies because the theatres are not busy. “One year my brother and my sister and I went skiing because it’s not very crowded in Tahoe during Christmas time” Lucy Hass said.

Santa Claus

Many families who do not celebrate Christmas do not tell their children about Santa Claus, so around Christmas time in elementary school some children have never even heard of Santa. “[My parents] did not tell me Santa was real,” Sean Maroney said.

Some families even come up with Santa equivalents. “I wasn’t told about Santa, I was told about the Hanukkah bunny though!” Hass said while laughing.

Christmas around the world

Growing up in India, Manraj Gill first experienced Christmas differently than most kids in the United States.

Walking down the street during Christmas time, Gill would only see about one out of every three or four houses with Christmas lights and decorations up. But as he would get closer to the churches, he would soon see more and more lights and other decorations.

Gill grew up in a part of India which has a high population of Christians (for India); approximately 24 Million people celebrate Christmas in India.

Christmas is a government holiday, and many people took advantage of the Christmas day sales in the marketplaces.

Gill said that the young kids in kindergarten made Christmas decorations, so he was still exposed to Christmas even though he didn’t celebrate it.

When he came to the United States, his family celebrated Christmas with some of their relatives because they had young children who believed in Santa Claus.

Stereotypical but not Religious

Many Jewish and non-religious people often still celebrate Christmas and get a tree and decorate their house.

Sean Maroney is one who celebrates Christmas but is not religious.  “Yea, I drink egg nog all the time and we listen to Christmas music, and we watch Christmas specials like Charlie Brown,” he said.

But for the most part people who are Jewish usually don’t celebrate it at all “I don’t drink egg nog or have a Christmas tree. Probably the only stereotypical thing I do is eat candy canes,” Said Jolkovsky.

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