People in the US and UK can’t even agree on where Santa lives. TUCHONG
Christmas is a time for nostalgia, where families come together from all around the world and traditions are observed. However, these traditions can be different even among similar cultures, like the UK and US.
Christmas dinner is perhaps where we see the biggest differences. British people traditionally consume turkey, mince pies, mulled wine for refreshment, and Christmas pudding for dessert – a type of boiled fruitcake.
圣诞晚餐或许是两国最大的不同之处。传统上，英国人会吃火鸡与肉馅饼，再喝杯热红酒提神，甜点是圣诞布丁 —— 一种煮熟的水果蛋糕。
Indeed, you’ll be hard-pressed to find this in the US where eggnog is the preferred drink alongside turkey or ham. As for dessert, you’ll be tucking into sweet potato pies.
Another slightly weird difference is the UK’s obsession with Christmas TV advertisements. Unlike the US, each year, major UK department stores spend millions on advertisements that tell heart-warming short stories. Among the most famous is the John Lewis Christmas advert. It features a little girl called Bridget, whose trampoline becomes popular with local wildlife. It cost ￡8.7 million (81.6 million yuan) in 2016. People that day may have nothing to do but watch TV at home. If one brand can come out on top, that will leave a deeper impression with shoppers and increase their sales during the holiday shopping frenzy.
The language of Christmas is also a subtle cultural difference. In the US, you would usually say “Merry Christmas”. While in the UK, “happy” took on a higher-class connotation than “merry”, which was associated with the drinking and rowdiness of the lower classes. The royal family adopted “Happy Christmas” as their preferred greeting and others took note. So this term remains popular in the UK.
圣诞节的语言也有着细微的文化差异。美国通常会说“Merry Christmas”（圣诞快乐）。而在英国，“merry”的用法往往和下层社会的饮酒与粗鄙联系在一起，而“happy”一词则体现出了更高的阶级地位。英国王室就更喜欢用“Happy Christmas”，令他人也纷纷效仿。因此，这种说法在英国相当流行。
There is also a similar distinction on how to address the fat man in red. Americans call him “Santa Claus” or “Santa,” while Britons would refer to him as “Father Christmas” – though “Santa” is sometimes used as well.
而在那位穿红衣服的胖大叔的称呼上，两国也有这样的差别。美国人称他为“Santa Claus”或者“Santa”（圣诞老人），而英国人称他为“Father Christmas”—— 有时也会用“Santa”一词。
Whatever his name is, most people in the US believe Santa, and his reindeer live at the North Pole during the year. However, they would probably raise an eyebrow if a Briton mentioned Lapland – the far north of Norway, where “Father Christmas” is said to reside.
不论他的名字是什么，美国大多数人都认为圣诞老人一年之中都住在北极。他们或许会对英国人口中的圣诞老人居住地 —— 拉普兰德惊讶不已，那里是挪威遥远的北方。
For all these subtle differences, even the most stubborn Briton or American would find it hard not to enjoy Christmas in another country. After all, the Christmas spirit is about spreading goodwill to all and spending quality time with family.