Americans spend a lot of time and money buying Christmas presents.  The average American family spends about eight-hundred dollars.  Stores and shopping centers are crowded at this time of year.  More than twenty percent of all goods sold during the year are sold during the weeks before Christmas.  This is good for stores and for the American economy.
              Some people object to all this spending.  They say it is not the real meaning of Christmas.  So, they celebrate in other ways.  For example, they make Christmas presents, instead of buying them.  Or they volunteer to help serve meals to people who have no homes.  Or they give money to organizations that help poor people in the United States and around the world.
              Home and family are the center of the Christmas holiday.  For many people,  the most enjoyable tradition is buying a Christmas tree and decorating it with lights and beautiful objects.  On Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, people gather around the tree to open their presents.
              Another important Christmas tradition involves food.  Families prepare many kinds of holiday foods, especially sweets.  They eat these foods on the night before Christmas and on Christmas day.
              For many people, Christmas means traveling long distances to be with their families. 

Дата: 22 декабря 2008

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