Christmas here and there: In the US people put up their trees as early as Thanksgiving; in Austria they wait until the day of Christmas Eve. Children are ushered out of the house (go play! go skiing!) while their parents - or one of their parents - decorate the tree and get out the gifts. In the US Santa brings the gifts; in Austria it is the Christ Child. In the US presents are opened on December 25th; in Austria on Christmas Eve. In the US people eat roast turkey, prime rib, or ham; in Austria the traditional meal is goose or carp. The differences are many and yet - here as there Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus by attending masses and services; here as there people gather to share a meal, to be with family or friends; and here as there the joy of Christmas is felt the same. Merry Christmas!