Christmas celebrations differ greatly between the regions of the United States due to the variety of nationalities who have settled there. Generally, cities, towns and villages are adorned with sparkling lights and colorful decorations. Store windows are full of enticing gifts and people decorate their homes and lawns with festive lights and decorated trees. Many churches and houses put up a creche or tableau of the Nativity scene. For weeks prior to the holiday, people begin to prepare for the festivities. Gifts are bought or made and wrapped with brightly colord paper and ribbons. Greeting cards and gift packages are sent to friends and family, and some practice in church choirs or rehearse Christmas plays. On Christmas Day, families traditionally gather to exchange presents, although some people exchange their gifts on Christmas Eve. The Christmas meal is usually served in the afternoon and usually features turkey, chicken, duck, goose or ham.