On Christmas Eve, a blanket of wispy fog hovered our skies- which gave the day an extra boost of holiday spirit. Here in Orange County, we do not get snow. Your best bet will be the Disneyland Winter show. Yes, soap bubbles! To some, this might come off as absurd.  However, in retrospect, there are people in America who have never seen real snow; there are people from all corners of the globe who have never seen snow; there are a handful of ESL students here at Poly Languages who have never stepped in snow, even some of our staff that are native Californians! To these people, and then some, the substance that is known to them as a cleaning agent (soap) transforms into a holiday spectacle that will remain in their memories for time to come.  


Once Christmas celebrations are over, the holiday spirit isn’t over. In America, at least, the festive spirit remains because of the soon-to-come New Year. Like the soap-bubbles snow, people see New Year’s Day in different ways. In many countries, the New Year’s date is determined by astronomical and astrological factors.  Though some other countries’ New Year’s Day are practiced in the United States, there is one day that the nation recognizes as a national holiday. The U.S. New Year is observed on January 1st on the modern Gregorian and Julian calendar.


Traditionally, the New Year is an occasion where people spend time with their loved ones. The night is accompanied by fireworks and parties. Probably the most famous New Year’s Day celebration is held in New York City. The famous Times Square Ball is lowered with a countdown a minute before midnight. A gigantic series of celebrations is followed by the New Year announcement. A great display of fireworks, music, live performances, and shows are put on. People can also enjoy these grand spectacles in the comfort of their own home–on television.  


There is more to the New Year’s Day tradition in America. A common practice done by many Americans is to make New Year’s resolutions. We’ve all made promises or goals during our lives, and these resolutions are no different. What makes New Year’s resolutions so significant? To some, it signifies a new cycle of life–shed last year’s mistakes and woes and start off on a clean slate. It’s definitely a positive mindset. To others, it serves as a motivational tool. Some find similarities in their resolutions and work together to achieve them. Regardless of the rationality, New Year’s resolutions reflect the holiday spirit of bringing people together.


Whether it’s soapy snow, fireworks, music, a giant ball being dropped in Times Square, or making resolutions, the holidays are a time of celebration and community.

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