Saturday, December 17, 2022

Fun Christmas Traditions Around the World

The smell of freshly baked holiday cookies! Whether you are celebrating religious festivals like Christmas or a more secular occasion, you often have your own selection of special traditions that makes your family’s holiday special.  Around the world, there are some beautiful Christmas traditions like carol singing and decorating the home. But there are also, some traditions that are fun and even spooky. Let’s travel around the world to discover some of these extraordinary traditions that are sure to put a smile on your kids, from decorating the trees with spider web ornaments to hiding your mops and brooms. 

Would you like some porridge on Christmas Eve morning? Food is important during the festive season and eating porridge may not be the first thing that is on your wish list. Finish families traditionally eat rice porridge,  topped with cinnamon, milk, or butter. An almond is hidden inside the porridge and the person who finds “wins” and will have good luck.

 Porridge might sound fine but what about going to KFC? In Japan, “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” is an important part of Christmas. People go to KFC, the fast food chain, to eat fried chicken. Every year, on Christmas Eve, KFC in Japan records the highest sales volume. 

Reindeers flying across the sky delivering gifts might sound magical but what about Christmas spiders? Spider web ornaments are used to decorate trees in Ukraine. The spider web decorations are said to bring good luck. According to the tale, a poor woman found her tree covered with sparking spider webs when she couldn't afford an ornament to decorate her tree with. She thought the tree looks stunning especially when the webs glittered in the winter sun. In Poland and German, it's good luck to find a spider or spider web in the Christmas tree. 

A cute cat for Christmas may be on many children’s wish lists. Yet, the Icelandic member of the Christmas Police is anything but cuddling. Jólakötturinn eats children who haven't done their chores. If you don't carry out your chores you not only don't get new clothes for Christmas but you also get eaten by the Christmas cat. 

Admittedly, not a fun tradition but this one from Norway might put a smile on your face. Hiding brooms and mops might simply mean that you don't have to clean your room. Yet, Norwegians are a bit superstitious and they believe that evil spirits may go joyriding in the Christmas sky. The evil spirits return to Earth during Christmas and they steal brooms to go racing. So hiding the mops and brooms is a way of stopping them.

A fun tradition from Slovakia and parts of Ukraine is to throw a spoonful of pudding at the ceiling. The more pudding that sticks, the more luck you’ll have. There is of course a  downside to this tradition. Only the oldest male member of member is allowed to predict the future.

Wishing all my readers a fun and safe Festive Season! And make sure that you also add a pickle to your Christmas tree. If you find the hidden ornament in the shape of a pickle you’ll get an extra present or a lot of good fortune. This tradition could be of German origin but most likely it is a mixture of tales from Germany and Spain. A great project is to further look into this fun tradition! 

I truly hope you enjoy these wonderful Christmas legends from around the world! Merry Christmas! 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

December 2022 Products

 It might be difficult to get your students to focus on certain things during December but it's a great chance to talk about how other people around the world celebrate Christmas. Christmas around the world brings in social studies lessons, diversity lessons and a chance for your kids to explore how people live around the world. 

If you are stressing about coming up with exciting lesson plans for December take a closer look at the Fact Booklets Christmas in France, Italy or Russia. Teach your kids about traditions and expose them to a variety of cultures like Christmas in Germany, the Netherlands or Spain. Carrying out research on how Christmas is celebrated in England may put smiles of recognition since we in the US have adopted many of their traditions. But there are also several surprises and new things to discover. 

Reading about Reindeer is also a perfect activity during December. There is a wide selection of fiction books that you can use. There are, however, several benefits of using non-fiction in the classroom. Providing your kids with engaging topics like Reindeer can be used for research and discussions. If you are looking for a great way to combine reading non-fiction and art, take a look at my The Nutcracker Fact booklet. It has apart from facts about this popular Christmas ballet also Nutcracker craftivities. Creating and decorating a Nutcracker is great fun! Are you looking for more activities to inspire your kids to use art this Festive Season - look at my How to Draw Christmas.

Create a December with Fun-Filled and Engaging Learning Opportunities!  All products are found in my store.