Christians around the world celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, each year. For many, it's a day of merriment and giving of thanks, marked by gatherings with friends and family, shared meals and the exchange of gifts.
The Huffington Post editors asked readers around the world what Christmas means to them. Scroll below to read the best responses.
"Every year, my family goes with two or three other families (usually families we have known for many years) to sing Christmas carols at the local nursing home. Many of the residents have very few family members who visit them. Some have no Christmas visitors and are very lonely. We have one friend who lives in the nursing home who joins us every year, making his way through the halls as we push him in his wheelchair.
It is a way that my parents taught me to think of others before myself, especially during the very materialistic Christmas season. Jesus teaches us to welcome strangers and comfort those who mourn. What better time to live out His teachings than during Christmas?" -- Lauren Purser, email
-- Christian Peter Kiss, HuffPost Religion Facebook
"Singing and having a reason to wish people a Happy Christmas! & Christmas trees & baby Jesus in the stable when he gets placed in a the Nativity scene when he is born!" -- Anne-marie Davies, HuffPost Religion Facebook
"I don't think of Christmas as being religious or non-religious, but rather as one of the few days where everyone can relax and snuggle up somewhere warm together (at least in the Northern hemisphere), and that is how I want it to be. Like, if just for that day, everyone could forget any hatred or sadness and just have kind sentiments." -- Koh Fujinaga, HuffPost Japan Facebook
-- Thomas Birrittieri, HuffPost Religion Facebook
"My favorite Yule tradition is decorating a tree and having a fire at night." -- Rebecca Nedrow, HuffPost Religion Facebook
"Watching children and grandchildren open presents on Christmas morning; [having] breakfast with the family then going to the 'other grandparents' house' to open presents, sing with the pianist, chat, drink and snack while sitting on the couch after." -- Patricia Walls, HuffPost Religion Facebook
"New Christmas Eve jammies watching Christmas movies and having snuggles eating munchies and drinking juice or cocktails." -- Hannah Louise Staddon, HuffPost Religion Facebook
"Our family is always together, that is our great tradition." -- Márcia Andréia Lopes, HuffPost Brasil Facebook
"Sleeping in; in this regard I’m very traditional." -- Robert Santos, HuffPost Brasil Facebook
"My love for Stollen [a traditional Christmas bread] and dried fruits and nuts is endless." -- Masae Nakamura, HuffPost Japan Facebook
"Being with family. Santa, the Christmas tree, presents. All traditions from pagan celebrations." -- Debra Burnsworth, HuffPost Religion Facebook
"I am from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. I went to an open house held by my Christian friend, and everyone who showed up sang Christmas songs together." -- Akiko Ijitsu, HuffPost Japan Facebook
"Caroling is when you walk through town while singing hymns and show everyone the true spirit of Christmas. It's nice when people hear the songs and turn to give you a smile." -- Chigusa Inoue, HuffPost Japan Facebook
Share your own reflections using the hashtag #HuffPostChristmas.
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