What Do Kids Do for Christmas? A Contrast of Past and Present Practices

Christmas is a time of joy and celebration, but it is also a time of change and evolution. The way we celebrate Christmas today is not exactly the same as how our parents and grandparents celebrated it when they were young. Modern technology, globalization, and cultural diversity have all influenced how we observe this festive season. Here are some examples of how modern children’s Christmas activities differ from those of adults when they were young, and how we can appreciate both the old and the new traditions.

Choosing and Decorating the Tree

One of the most iconic symbols of Christmas is the tree. In the past, many families would go to a farm or a forest and chop down their own tree, or buy a fresh-cut one from a local seller. They would then decorate it with homemade ornaments, such as popcorn garlands, paper chains, and dried fruits. They would also use candles or electric lights to illuminate the tree, and place a star or an angel on top.

Modern children have more options when it comes to choosing and decorating the tree. They can still opt for a real tree, but they can also choose an artificial one that comes in different colors, shapes, and sizes. They can also buy or make ornaments that reflect their personal interests, such as sports, movies, or video games. They can also use LED lights, fiber optics, or smart devices to create different lighting effects. They can also choose from a variety of tree toppers, such as snowflakes, ribbons, or characters.

Sending and Receiving Greetings

Another important aspect of Christmas is the exchange of greetings and wishes. In the past, many families would send handwritten cards or letters to their relatives and friends, often with photos or drawings. They would also receive cards or letters from others, and display them on the mantel, the wall, or the door. They would also make phone calls or visit each other to share the holiday spirit.

Modern children have more ways to send and receive greetings and wishes. They can still use cards or letters, but they can also use email, social media, or instant messaging. They can also send digital photos, videos, or animations to their loved ones. They can also receive greetings and wishes from people around the world, and interact with them online. They can also use video calls or virtual reality to see and talk to each other, even if they are far apart.

Playing and Learning

A third aspect of Christmas is the opportunity to play and learn. In the past, many children would receive toys, books, or games as gifts, and they would spend hours playing with them. They would also learn about the meaning and history of Christmas, and the traditions and customs of different countries and cultures. They would also participate in activities such as singing carols, reading stories, or making crafts.

Modern children have more sources of entertainment and education. They can still enjoy toys, books, or games, but they can also access online games, apps, or websites that offer fun and interactive content. They can also learn about the latest trends and innovations in science, technology, or art, and the challenges and opportunities of the global society. They can also engage in activities such as playing online games, watching holiday movies, or making DIY gifts.


These are just some of the examples of how modern children’s Christmas activities differ from those of adults when they were young. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate Christmas, as long as we respect and appreciate each other’s preferences and perspectives. We can also try to combine the old and the new traditions, and create our own unique and memorable Christmas experiences. Merry Christmas!

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