"In Chile there aren’t many pine trees, so everyone buys plastic ones with fake snow on the leaves."
Camila, Millenial Youth
The holidays are celebrated in different ways around the world, varying by country and region. In partnership with NewsHour Extra, Millenial Youth magazine writers reflect on how they celebrate the holiday season.
Why this Student Spoke Out
Millenial Youth writers from around the world wanted to share their cultural holiday experiences.
In Chile, Christmas is the most cheerful and important holiday of all. However, there are several conditions that made it different to us Chileans, to Christmas may be like in other countries.
Firs thing, on December 25th we are in the middle of the summer. So the idea of Santa Claus in his cozy red outfit and deer pulling sleighs above snow-covered pine trees doesn’t fit in witha country that enjoys December temperatures of at least 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
But summer is not an impediment to people who want to have the Christmas they see in American or English movies. House decorations are used to build an artificial winter. In Chile there aren’t many pine trees, so everyone buys plastic ones with fake snow on the leaves. We decorate them with colorful lights. Some people even buy fake chimneys and put plastic deer on their roofs.
Along with traditional Christmas foods such as roast turkey, ginger cookies and hot chocolate, we have our own unique recipes. For example, we drink “monkey tail,” traditional beverage made with aquardiente and coffee. There’s also a cake filled with almonds and dry fruit called “Easter bread.” Most people doesn’t really like dry fruit, but for some strange reason they keep putting it inside the cake.
We have our own version of Santa Claus, who takes pictures with toddlers at shopping malls. He is just as kind and loving, but he is a Chilean man: short, with dark skin and black thick hair. Here Santa is sweaty most of the time in his cozy disguise.
Millenial Youth writer Camila, 18, is from Santiago de Chile. She is a
first-year journalism student at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.