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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 December, 2004, 12:31 GMT
How will you be spending Christmas?
People around the world are getting ready to celebrate Christmas.

For some, religion is the most important aspect of the holiday, whilst for others it's an opportunity for families to get together.

Christmas can be a time of presents and parties but also a period of sadness and isolation.

How will you be spending Christmas? Are there any special traditions that you keep? Does the festival still have any meaning?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your e-mails. The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received:

My husband is flying to the UK on Xmas day in order to be with our son & his wife, my daughter and I will go to Mass, in a beautiful church overlooking the Indian Ocean, we will be on the beach over the Christmas weekend idyllic though it may sound, it is difficult having family spread across the globe at this time of year.
Margarita, Durban, S. Africa

I shall be spending the morning of Christmas Day driving down to the West Country to join the rest of my family. A long drive (four hours), but I have lots of food and drink to welcome me when I get there!
Ross, UK

I shall be spending Christmas day with my new husband in Jordan...where we met. It will be his first proper Christmas as his family don't celebrate Christmas, like most people here.
Rowena Lee-Ekermawi, Amman, Jordan

I shall be away from my family and our British Christmas traditions this year as I am currently living in Jerusalem. However the experience of celebrating Christmas in the place where it all began (the neighbouring town of Bethlehem) will be memorable but more I fear for the Israeli checkpoint, soldiers and concrete separation wall that I will have to pass to get there, than for the carol services themselves.
Louise, Beit Safafa, East Jerusalem

It doesn't feel like Christmas because I'm in such a different place
Franck Sauzee, Japan
This Christmas I'm in Japan for my gap year. It doesn't feel like Christmas because I'm in such a different place. Although I'm on the other side of the world from my family I wont miss them too badly, I'm having too much fun!
Franck Sauzee, Japan

Christmas day; my favourite day of the year for one, truly delicious reason: my mum's Christmas dinner. Last year, each plate-full weighed in at 2&1/2 pounds! Some of the women in my office celebrate losing that much in 2 weeks! Thanks mum, you're the best.
Colin, Farnborough, UK

Christmas Day with a B-B-Q with the family may a dip in the pool after expected temperature 28.c & sunny.
Colin Lane, Adelaide South Australia

On Christmas morning we will eventually get up, me, my wife and children/grandchild, I will cook Christmas dinner, and we will open all the presents we were able to wait till Christmas to open, eat dinner, read the account of Jesus' birth from the Bible. A time for fun, family joy and inviting Jesus to His birthday party.
Steve McDaniel, Sand Springs, OK, USA

We began our Yule season on December 20th (Mother's Night), and won't be done till New Years Day! By celebrating all 12 Days of Christmas, with a simple dinner followed by meaningful oaths, boasts and toasts, we avoid the Christmas Day crunch. Blessings to all - may we together create a better world!
Dean Rose, Urbana, Illinois USA

I am single and in a new home where I know few people. I bought a goat for Africa and some Guatemalan water credits as my presents and plan to spend the day working on drawings for friends. I have a bit of Stilton and some wine and will share it with the neighbours.
Nancy, USA

Christmas is about spending time with the people you love. The religion may be gone from many peoples Christmas but as long as people are spending it with their loved ones and sharing good times then surely this is a good thing.
Lorraine, Southampton, Hants

(a) Inebriated; (b) with indigestion; (c) comatose.
Steve Payne, Leicester, UK

I will stay at home and play games with my poodle.
Bart Bakboord, Tienen, Belgium

I will be relaxing doing what I like to do. Eating, drinking, smoking and laughing with my friends and family. And whilst remembering those not as fortunate as myself, I will try not to think about the continual depressing stories in the news everyday.
Adam, UK

Good tidings to all BBC webbies
Sylvia, Belmont, France
This Christmas will be special. With my husband we are camping out in the kitchen of our farmhouse in the Champagne countryside, while we renovate the rest of the property. No central heating, no indoor plumbing ... good food and champagne...it balances out. We'll cherish modern conveniences even more when we are done. More love and less shopping. Good tidings to all BBC webbies.
Sylvia, Belmont, France

Church Christmas Eve. Quiet day with family exchange our gifts. We draw names so gifts are not the point. Soup, salad, sandwiches. Main point family togetherness.
Jane, Topeka, KS, USA

I'll be spending Christmas Day recalling that this period is in fact an ancient celebration of the Winter Solstice, long before Christianity came along and usurped it for their own. And I'll be drinking sloe gin by the gallon. Cheers everyone!
Yvette Rooke, Plymouth, UK

We will be spending Christmas looking back on the good times and forward to the better times. We welcome the holiday, the good cheer, the gifts and the delicious over indulgence.
Mark, Vancouver Canada

The season will be spent with calmness and little to celebrate just because of state of the Nation no money to spend and if there is why not save for the children school fees. Also staying indoors is also not a solution because of lack of power in some part of Lagos.
Ashogbon Lookman, Lagos, Nigeria

Once we had ice on the swimming pool early in the morning - that's the local equivalent of a White Xmas. This year I expect to be woken around 4am by my 5 year old daughter who really, really believes in Santa and is almost beside herself with excitement. Then we can relax with a local "poulet fermier" stuffed with haggis - a dish that combines my Scottish roots with my French wife's cooking skills. Joyeux Noel everyone!
Gavin, Cannes, France

For the first time this year we will be having a mixture of French and English Christmas
Simon Lee, Bordeaux, France
For the first time this year we will be having a mixture of French and English Christmas since moving into our house in the Médoc region north of Bordeaux. For breakfast smoked salmon and pains au chocolat, the latter fresh from the boulangerie open till midday on the 25th. Foie gras followed by turkey and sprouts and Christmas pudding plus bûche de Noël for afters. All washed down with some local wine and a few cans of creamy bitter. As you can see, one thing common to the two cultures - we will be drinking and eating too much.
Simon Lee, Bordeaux, France

I lost my job and am behind in my mortgage repayment. Still, I am grateful to God for blessing me with a wonderful wife and children that do not ask for presents. As usual, this year we will spend our Christmas going to church followed by a simple meal at home. No presents, no decorations, no turkey and no wine. But every year we are happy because we are thankful. I suppose this is the true meaning of Christmas.
Tan TK, Malaysia

We will be doing the traditional Aussie Xmas: Prawns on the Barbie, beer in the esky and having fun in the pool.
Wayne Downer, Queensland, Australia

I shall be spending Christmas at home in Reykjavik with my wife and some of my family. However, I shall be thinking about the wonderful resilient people I have been able to spend the previous six months with in West Darfur and wondering what they would make of the excesses I will see over the next few days.
Robin, Reykjavik, Iceland

Our Christmas celebration starts at 4pm on Christmas Eve when I will lead the annual Crib Service in Chipping Sodbury, where the children help to build the nativity scene and sing carols, allowing the Mums and Dads to take a 45 minute break. Christmas Day morning starts with our traditional breakfast of softly boiled eggs and freshly squeezed after which we toddle off to Church. Presents are exchanged on return followed by a little turkey dinner with just the 4 of us, starts around 5pm and finishes at.....well when the port has been consumed. A perfect day.
Paul J-W, England, UK

The spirit of giving isn't dead yet!
Debby Cooper, Ash Vale, Surrey UK
I will be spending what should have been our sons first Christmas preparing for a sponsored run on Boxing Day in aid of Antenatal Results and Choices, a charity who help parents given bad news during pregnancy. I've asked for donations instead of presents and have already raised over £1000. The spirit of giving isn't dead yet!
Debby Cooper, Ash Vale, Surrey UK

My husband and I will be driving around Britain trying to see as many people as we can, eating their food and bickering with the family who hate being forced together in a confined space, I suspect.
Mrs S., The Midlands

I will be spending Christmas with what is left of my family, mourning the loss of our husband and father who was killed in a car accident and buried on Christmas Eve. Christmases for us ended forever by having the Police sitting beside the Christmas tree, telling us he had been killed. Every year I pray that other families will be spared this, so I hope that everyone will drive carefully and take all care to be there with their families, now, and for future Christmases. I wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas.
Lynne, Palmerston North, New Zealand

With a forecast of 33 C for Christmas day in Brisbane, Aus., we will be having a lunch of cold meats and salad, with a glass of wine. I'll have a nice refreshing swim in the pool before the forecasted evening thunderstorm rolls in. My parents on the other hand may be in for a white Xmas in the NE England.
PG, Bris/Australia - Ex-UK

Hoping for that miracle at Christmas.... a publication on "Have Your Say"!!!
Phil, Milton Keynes, UK

With my girlfriend abroad to her family for Christmas and all friends gone to their families, I will be spending Christmas alone. Not the best situation, but then again, four days of sleeping, gaming and reading doesn't sound that bad after all! And when she is back for new year's eve, there will be presents opening, dinning with friends and more lazying about.
Kostas, Colchester

I will be with my family in the mountains by Salzburg
Caroline, London/Austria
I will be with my family in the mountains by Salzburg - celebrating Christmas Eve and thinking how lucky we are to be able to spend it in such a magical place. The birthplace of 'Silent Night'.
Caroline, London/Austria

Regardless of not being Christian myself, Christmas has always been my favourite festive time. The best way I can think of to make the most out of this wonderful festive season is by sitting relaxed on my sofa next to TV watching movies all day long & listening to the mellow music of Christmas songs along with Christmas carols. All these will be accompanied by some fatty food on the table with a bottle of bubbly (will be in my local gym longer burning the calories & fat AFTER Christmas, though). I'll also be giving pressies to my little nephew & nieces, to cheer them up. Merry Christmas to everybody along with a wonderful year ahead !!!
Darsh, Leicester, UK

I would like to be spending it at home alone. Unfortunately this time of year dictates enforced socialising and pleasantries to relatives, most of whom you have no clue existed.
Scott, Rochester, UK

I shall be spending it with my husband and my family and thoroughly enjoying watching my nephew who is nearly 3 playing with his cars and providing free entertainment for us all. Who needs the tele?!
Jo Hodgson, Swindon, Uk

Healthy? No. Sociable and fun? Absolutely
Pete, London
I'm take my family to my parents' house for our usual family Christmas. We get up mid-morning, have a fry-up, open our presents, then go to the village pub at noon to catch up with old friends who we only see once a year. Once the pub closes (3pm) we all return home for turkey and all the trimmings, champagne, wine and port. The afternoon involves a little light sleep. In the evening we all try to find a pub that's open and spend the rest of the night there. Healthy? No. Sociable and fun? Absolutely.
Pete, London

It began as a habit when we were kids, and it becomes a family tradition now we are adults, and some of us married. On X-mas Eve, we gather at my parent's home with one or two close family friends, we have a nice festive dinner, and we all sleep over, whether we live close by or not. Then on X-mas morning we open gifts together and have a long breakfast while still in pyjamas. We don't have lunch, as both dinner and breakfast are copious. By noon, most of us are into a good book and chocolates, and those who have other obligations go their way. So X-mas is a very familial and relaxed day.
Maria, Athens, Greece

Well... this will be a very lonely Christmas this year. I'll be at home alone. The Christmas day I'll be doing a radio show and then... home alone again perhaps watching some DVD or trying to chat over the net
Francisco Schnell, Estremoz - Portugal

I think that anyone who has an elderly relative or neighbour should make sure they have a visit over the Christmas period and that they have enough food in the house. It is not always poverty that affects the elderly but lack of motivation due to depression, etc.
Ruth Alexander, Barnet, Hertfordshire, UK

We shall be flying out on Christmas Day to see friends in San Francisco.
Jan Algar-Whitehill, Carterton, Oxfordshire

Having turkey in Turkey will be an adventure
Christine, London/Turkey
I will be spending Christmas away from home, family and friends this year for the first time ever in my life. Not even through university did I miss a Christmas at home! Last minute work has meant delaying my returning flight back to London on Christmas Eve for a flight after the New Year instead. I will surely miss Christmas at home but I guess having turkey in Turkey will be an adventure. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everybody.
Christine, London/Turkey

I'll be starting the day at my folk's house with a Christmas breakfast, and then going to a local Christmas cafe for the homeless and serving them Christmas dinner. It's a great place for people who are alone on Christmas Day or are living in homeless shelters; we shouldn't be forgetting the true meaning of what Christmas is all about, and I know that I'm going to get as much out of Saturday as they are.
El, Renfrewshire, Scotland

Cooking for 12! Aaarrgghhhh!
Julia, Wales, UK

I hope it snows as it's been ages since there was a picture postcard Christmas Day
Adam, Edinburgh

I will be spending Christmas with my boyfriend and will be going out as little as possible. I hope it snows as it's been ages since there was a picture postcard Christmas Day, it's much more romantic.
Adam, Edinburgh, Scotland

Although we're not devoutly religious my wife and I will attend midnight mass at Liverpool cathedral on xmas eve. Christmas Day and Boxing Day we will have family from Yorkshire stay over.
John Fox, Warrington, Cheshire, UK

I'll be telling my parents and In Laws that they are going to be grandparents!
Anon, UK

We will be leaving these snowy shores and flying back to be with our families over Christmas and taking in some lower league football in our home towns. And catching up with friends at the same time.
Wendy, Oslo, Norway

Spare a thought for us poor souls having to work on Christmas Day! Ho ho ho not!

I will be spending Christmas Day on my own this year. Very sadly my husband died very suddenly earlier this year and I know I shall miss him very much. I shall go to Church as usual, have some dinner, watch the HM The Queen's Speech and have a few drinks whilst being entertained by the TV.
Sylvia, England

Turkey will be eaten, wine will be shared and presents will be opened
Colm, Saigon, Vietnam
I will be spending it with my family here in the warmth of Vietnam. Like expats everywhere, you try and keep your traditions with you - and apart from the heat outside - turkey will be eaten, wine will be shared and presents will be opened. A very normal Christmas. So Merry Christmas to all and I hope 2005 is filled with luck and good times for you.
Colm, Saigon, Vietnam

I hope to be opening presents lying under the tree with my children on Christmas morning. Attending service at our church, then visiting family close by. While giving thanks that we are all healthy and hopefully happy to be enjoying this day. Also wishing that it does not hit 40 deg C like it did last year.
Stephen, Raby, NSW, Australia

While everyone is home unwrapping their presents my family and I feel this is the best time to enjoy the ocean and surf all morning! Then come home for a nice hot Christmas dinner, totally stoked.
Vienna Macleod, Plymouth, Devon

I am working night shifts for a well known bank. Christmas does still have meaning.
Ben, Bletchley

I shall go with my husband to Midnight Mass at which I shall read a lesson, and to Holy Communion on Christmas morning. Afterwards our grandchildren will arrive with their parents and we shall eat, drink, put aside the shadows over some of us, and enjoy the day for all it is worth. Thus, both sides of Christmas will be fulfilled.
Julia Taylor, Bratton, Wiltshire, England

It's the first Christmas since my wedding, and my husband and I are looking forward to establishing new traditions of our own. This means, at last, no sprouts!
Lucy Jones, Manchester

Cape Town is so beautiful this time of year
Douglas Davies, Johannesburg, South Africa
On Christmas Eve, I will be spending the evening and night with my cousin and his wife where we have a myriad of activities planned. What we do is not so much important as sharing moments together at this very special time. Then, on Christmas day, I make my way to my aunt and uncle's place for a huge Christmas dinner, after which I visit some more people for Christmas tea. On Boxing Day (26th December), I make my way down to Cape Town where I will spend time with my parents and siblings. Cape Town is so beautiful this time of year and has the BEST New Year's parties ever! I cannot wait. A Merry Christmas to all (Felize Navidad), and a happy and peaceful New Year.
Douglas Davies, Johannesburg, South Africa

I will be spending Christmas offshore on an oil platform with fellow colleagues. Merry Xmas.
Shakeel Akram, Brae Alpha, Offshore

I will have a Christmas of contrasts. As a single Dad, I am lucky enough to be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my children. I will spare a thought for single parents less fortunate. I will then have an evening of peace and quiet with a lovely Asda takeaway curry for my Christmas dinner. Bliss!
Darren, Dudley, UK

We'll have a Scandinavian-style Christmas on the 24th, with rice pudding, dancing around the Christmas tree, and carols. On the 25th, we'll get up to find our stockings filled. After a leisurely breakfast we'll take the dog for a walk and say 'Merry Christmas' to everyone we meet'. Then we'll come back to make dinner. Afterwards presents, lounging and around and feeling happy. An early night, too stuffed with good food to move.
Ellen, Nottingham

I will be spending it sober, as I am pregnant with our first child! Husband and I will be making the most of our last grown-up Christmas for a while! Will eat sensibly this year, and take the dog for a couple of long walks, and really hope there is some snow. Merry Christmas to everyone, and have a drink for me!
Joe, Chester, UK

In Argentina we celebrate this special night with the heat and optimism of summer
Germán, Villa Mercedes, Argentina
Unlike the typical white Christmas of the Northern Hemisphere, in Argentina we celebrate this special night with the heat and optimism of summer. We eat lots of delicious food high in calories and we tend to gather together with close relatives and friends. Regardless of its religious or non-religious approach, Christmas is deemed as a time to reflect on the most important values of our lives and as a season to assess how well or badly we have lead our lives in the past year.
Germán, Villa Mercedes, Argentina

Skiing in the Swiss Alps with my family is where I'll be this year.
Jeremy, London, UK

11:00 candlelight communion on Christmas Eve. Christmas day with my family and we will eat the same meal that I cooked for many years and now my daughter does. Years from now, generations of my family will be eating the same thing. We also light a candle on in memory of all of those that we have lost this past year. Christmas has a very deep meaning for me and my family.
Patricia, San Antonio, USA

This year I will be spending Christmas day with my partner's family. I am looking forward to a traditional lunch followed by a dip in the pool! A bit different from what I am used to!!
Michelle, Sydney, Australia (formerly Scotland)

This year Xmas is very beautiful as our 5 year old has started enjoying Xmas and is in very high spirits. He is delivering all the energy to us. He is waiting for Xmas morning to open all the presents. Then we'll have lunch with friends and family. Watching telly and chatting with friends. We are sure it will be very nice. Though we are Hindu, we wait for Christmas and celebrate it with joy.
Kishore Agarwala, Hatfield, Herts

Spare a thought for all the RAF police dog handlers, who patrol all our airbases at night in all weathers and get no recognition. They will miss Christmas dinner as they are sleeping off a nightshift, just to go onto another one. Not much Xmas spirit there!

I will be praying for the welfare of all people in the world, wishing them a peaceful and fulfilled year ahead. And of course, to have just a simple meal with a group of friends who have always think about how fortunate we are when most people in other parts of the world are hungry without food this season.
Chua Yunjia, Singapore

We will eat, drink and be merry
Peter, Conway USA
We will spend Christmas with friends, We will eat, drink and be merry with people we love and respect. We also will be concerned for people less fortunate and have made contributions to help some of them
Peter, Conway USA

Our family will gather at our cabin on a frozen lake in snowy northern Minnesota - eating too much, laughing at old stories, taking chilly walks, sledding down hills, opening gifts, and staying up very late.
Neal, Burnsville, Minnesota, USA

I'll be celebrating it at my mum's and dad's with the traditional turkey dinner and sherry. I'll also be remembering Jesus' birthday and why we celebrate that!
Giles Heaton, Crawley, UK

Lager, turkey, chocolate and my faithful (unlike the ex wife) dog in front of the TV.
Garry, Northumberland

Every Christmas has been special for me growing up in a bicultural home where my Polish-American family celebrated Christmas following both traditions. This included delicious pierogies, beet soup, fried fish and poppy seed torte. I would like to pass this tradition to my children, showing the value in appreciating how different cultures celebrate Christmas.
Agnieszka, USA

The family here on the East Coast will be spending it in front of a fire in the country far from the shenanigans in D.C. and hoping for change with an end of our government's horrid policies in 2005.
Antonia, San Francisco

As backpackers, we will be heading for a church in Tokyo before opening our Christmas presents to each other. We'll probably go from there to a hideously expensive meal somewhere. Nothing shuts down for Christmas in Tokyo!
Dave and Hannah Wright, Tokyo, Japan

I will be spending Christmas laying in the sun with a cocktail on a beach in Thailand
Keith Hicks, Teddington, UK
I will be spending Christmas laying in the sun with a cocktail on a beach in Thailand. Maybe with a Green turkey curry for dinner!
Keith Hicks, Teddington, UK

We would normally be having an outdoor Christmas by our pool, but are having rather unseasonal weather at the moment! So it will be an indoor dinner for the three of us, then some friends coming for a BBQ (weather permitting!) on Boxing Day
Melanie, Auckland, NZ

I have just caught the flu so I will probably spend Christmas tucked up in bed.
Owen Else, Wokingham, UK

I've volunteered to work on Christmas Day, double-shift 6am-8pm, for the third year in a row. Anything is preferable to spending the day watching TV with my in-laws.
Paul A, Derby, UK

Hot and stormy is the forecast for our Christmas Day weather - this will no doubt differ to what my in-laws experience this time of the year(they are from the UK. My parents will joining us as well. The rest of our families are scattered around the world and Australia. We open our presents, play with the kids, eat our lunch and then sit by the pool and the girls get in a few games of Scrabble. It is a day for us to relax from our hectic lives and enjoy being together as a family.
Nadene, Lake Grace, Australia

Like many foreign teachers here, I will be spending my Christmas in South Korea, thousands of miles from my family
Geri, Namyangju City, South Korea
Like many foreign teachers here, I will be spending my Christmas in South Korea, thousands of miles from my family. I'm in a busy suburb of outer Seoul and only few miles from the DMZ and one of the world's biggest nuclear threats. I will be enjoying the confusing and eclectic Korean celebrations in one of my friends apartments and feasting on a buffet of international cuisine. Merry Christmas!
Geri, Namyangju City, South Korea

Unfortunately work commitments will prevent me being home for Christmas this year. I and fellow ex-pats out here will probably drown our sorrows in the hotel bar after work, thinking about friends and family back home having a good time !! Can't wait to get home for the New Year !!!
Angus Macaulay, Atyrau, Kazakhstan

I will be working in the town of Khomsk, Sakhalin Island, Eastern Russia on the salvage of a ship which grounded here in September. I wish I was at home with my family, but this is my chosen profession! Best wishes and Merry Christmas to everyone, everywhere and a peaceful 2005.
Nick Haslam, Kholmsk, Sakhalin Island

A quiet Christmas beginning with lessons and carols the night before, followed by drinks with friends and family at our house. Then a family dinner in celebration of our saviour's arrival into the Holy Family. And, finally, a nice nap!
Jim, Martinsburg, WV, USA

I'll be spending Christmas and New year on the Cormorant Alpha oil platform off Shetland, with my other "family". Then having a belated Christmas once I get home.
Fraser Cobain, Falkirk, Scotland

Eggnog, eggnog and more eggnog!
Ed, Ohio, USA

We enjoy the lighter aspects of the holiday but we try not to forget its true meaning
Scott, Atlanta, USA
Christmas is a very religious time for our family. We go to church on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We talk about the meaning of gift giving which was started by the 3 kings giving gifts to Christ. We teach our children about giving to others. We even have them donate toys to the poor and we shop for underprivileged children in our community. We also enjoy the lighter aspects of the holiday but we try not to forget its true meaning.
Scott, Atlanta, USA

I will be sitting in whatever sunshine El Nino affords New Zealand, celebrating the fact that I have not been duped into spending hundreds of pounds buying useless goods no-one wants or needs.
Georgina, New Zealand

I will spend Christmas with a glass of non-alcoholic beer on an oil rig near Abu Dhabi, since you ask. And yes, it will be just as much fun as it sounds!
Max Sommers, Athens, Greece

We will attend Christmas Eve services followed by a dinner with friends at their home. On Christmas morning, we read the account of the first Christmas in the Bible and we'll open our gifts while listening to Christmas carols. After the main meal of the day, we'll go ice skating and to a movie. I love this holiday!
Beth, Bristow, Virginia USA

This year I will be in Sydney, laying on the beach.
Matt Joyce, Maidstone, Kent

This year, it will be just the 3 of us. My husband, daughter and myself have decided to spend Christmas at home and not travel to family this year. It will be our very first Christmas in our house because since we live the farthest away, we are always expected to travel to other people's houses. Not this year. I'm looking forward to my daughter waking up in her own bed Christmas morning and finding presents under her own tree. I will make Monkey Bread, which is our family tradition and we'll sip hot chocolate by the fireplace while we open the gifts.
Sherry, Kansas City, USA

We will be having the traditional Christmas feast - albeit in slightly warmer climes than our family 'back home'
Ruth, Dubai, UAE
Christmas will be a 'little' different for us in the Middle East! Whilst we live in a Muslim country, Christmas is freely celebrated and we will be having the traditional Christmas feast - albeit in slightly warmer climes than our family 'back home' Wishing everyone a safe and happy Christmas, wherever you are.
Ruth, Dubai, UAE

Well, as I have moved to beautiful snowy Finland we will celebrate the Finnish way Christmas Eve (pretty low key and boring really). My wife is playing at Church Concert at 6pm, then delivering presents and visiting her relatives, then home and a Sauna and a quiet drink. Christmas Day will be British, with all the trimmings.
Stuart Til! ney, Imatra. Finland

I will be going "home" for Christmas to a small town in the Pacific Northwest are of the USA that looks like a post card illustrated by Norman Rockwell. Prime Rib roast for dinner, and lots of family fun. Cheers to everyone!
GG, Vancouver Wa. USA

We shall observe all the true Christmas traditions that my family have grown to love. Fighting into the shops before Christmas to get our supplies of over priced foods that no one really likes. Overcoming the boredom of Christmas Day after the last of the toys breaks and between the rubbish on the TV dressed up as Christmas Specials. Visiting and being visited by obscure relatives. And then back to the shopping for that true meaning of Christmas, the January sales. Have a wonderful New Year!
Michael, York, UK

At home with family, drinking and eating too much, giving out expensive gifts and hopefully receiving some too. With not a single religious thought amongst us. Bliss!
Bob, UK

We will be attending midnight mass to remember those who are no longer with us
Liz, Surrey, UK
We will be spending Christmas with my parents & giving them their greatest Christmas wish: News that their longed-for grandchild is finally on its way! Although not practising Christians we will be attending midnight mass to remember those who are no longer with us, we will not open our presents until after Christmas lunch as it is the ideal way to keep awake and we will be enjoying our greatest tradition : No TV for 3 days!
Liz, Surrey, UK

The acid test of whether you can handle homesickness when living in a nice neutral, Buddhist country is to work on Christmas Day like everyone else. But with the 25th falling on Saturday, guess I'll just goof off a little. Being relieved of the obligation to send cards, buy presents or buy and prepare special food is really great. With imported whisky and gin selling at my corner shop for half the price in Sainsbury's, you jokers can shove Christmas. Scrooge had it right.
Andrew Milner, Yokohama, Japan

Setting off today to be with my girlfriend and family. Got a 2 and half hour car journey but it's the best journey I will ever take and I can't wait. Merry Christmas everyone.
Ian Mc, NW, England

Travelling up to my parents' new house in Norfolk on Christmas Eve for a quiet Christmas and then further on to a cottage some friends and I have hired for New Year. It's going to be a good break.
Rick, UK

I will spend Christmas wondering how many people will actually get to a church on what is a day to celebrate the birth of Christ. I understand that with people working longer hours with lots of stress it can be hard but, if you don't believe in Christ maybe you should celebrate another day with excess food and drink in the year, maybe Mayday? Merry Christmas...
Ben, France

This Christmas I will be watching several friends and family smoke more, drink more and eat more unhealthy foods along with taking practically zero exercise. Christmas should come with a health warning! I will be making a great effort to eat sensibly (I don't smoke), drink sensibly and go for walks in the nearby Cheshire countryside which given decent weather is lovely at this time of year.
Darren, Manchester, UK

I'll have a cigar or two, drink too much and stuff myself with mince pies as I relax in an armchair thinking of Darren trudging around the Cheshire countryside.
David, Berkshire, UK

A celebration of family and steeped with traditions
Chris, Preston, UK
Our family will be opening presents in the morning, then calling round to pick up our relatives who will gather at our house for a big Christmas dinner, before curling up around the TV for a night of celebration of a festival that is still very much alive in our family, if not in a religious way, then as a celebration of family and steeped with traditions. Merry Christmas everybody!
Chris, Preston, UK

While many people around the world will warm their hearths and homes on Christmas Day, I will be on an offshore oil rig, searching for fuel to ensure that their hearths and homes remain warm.
Drew, eastern shore of Trinidad & Tobago

Christmas is very much alive and well at our house! Although we are not religious, we still keep the pagan traditions of our youth. We have a beautiful tree, we have sparkling lights and we listen to seasonal music. We gather our family together for a delicious dinner on the 25th and we thank our lucky stars to be living in peace in the beautiful country. Best wishes for a peaceful, happy December 25th to you all.
Penny, Victoria, Canada

I shall be spending Christmas with my family amidst the peace and splendour of the mountains of the East Kootenay region of British Columbia, far from the traffic and shopping malls. I hope to be spending time with my wife and kids skiing, skating and hot-tubbing. A Merry Christmas to all and let's hope for a more peaceful 2005.
Clive, Alberta, Canada


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