Christmas around the World

    “Christmas around the World,” Friend, Dec. 2009, 24–25, 34

    Christmas around the World

    Children around the world celebrate Christmas in different ways. This calendar describes some of them. Cut out the pictures on page 34. Place this calendar on a wall in your home. Beginning on December 1, find the picture that is described by the words for the day. Then paste the picture on the square for that day.

    Christmas Calendar activity, left page
    Christmas Calendar activity, right page
    Christmas Calendar activity, pictures

    Illustrations by Scott Greer

    1. In Japan, children love to eat Christmas cake with strawberries and whipped cream.

    2. In Finland, families visit cemeteries on Christmas Eve and place candles on the graves of loved ones.

    3. In India, people put small clay lamps on the roofs of their homes to show that Jesus is the Light of the World.

    4. In Ireland, families place candles in the windows of their homes to show that they would have welcomed Mary and Joseph.

    5. German children leave their shoes or boots by the fireplace or outside their front doors. The next morning, the shoes are filled with candy.

    6. In Australia, many people go to the beach and sing Christmas carols.

    7. Families in Argentina light diamond-shaped paper balloons called globos on Christmas Eve and release them into the night sky.

    8. In Venezuela, children roller-skate in the streets early on Christmas morning.

    9. In the United States, people decorate evergreen trees with small lights, tinsel, and ornaments.

    10. Families in the Philippines decorate with parols, which are star shapes made out of bamboo and tissue paper and lit with tiny lights.

    11. In Liberia, families eat dinner outside, sitting in a circle. A traditional Liberian Christmas dinner includes biscuits, rice, and beef.

    12. In Bulgaria, everybody at the table stands at the same time when dinner is over.

    13. On this day in Sweden, the eldest daughter wears a white dress with a red sash and serves her parents breakfast in bed.

    14. In Holland, families celebrate on Christmas Eve by drinking hot chocolate and eating banketletter, a cake that looks like the first letter of the family’s last name.

    15. In Norway, children eat rice pudding. The child who finds the hidden nut wins a candy pig or a piece of chocolate.

    16. Mexican families cut designs in paper bags to make lanterns, or farolitos. Candles are placed inside the farolitos, which line the sidewalks, windows, and rooftops.

    17. Children in Spain are given toys, sweets, or small instruments as they go from house to house reciting verses or singing carols.

    18. One week before Christmas, Italian children dress as shepherds and go from door to door singing songs and reciting poems.

    19. Children in England receive a paper-covered tube, called a Christmas cracker, at Christmas dinner. The tube cracks loudly when pulled apart. A paper hat, poem, or small toy is inside.

    20. In New Zealand, many cities have celebrations in parks. People listen to well-known singers sing Christmas carols.

    21. Tongan families get up early to make and deliver breakfast to their neighbors. Children are excited to deliver these breakfasts and see what the neighbors bring.

    22. In Paraguay, people decorate their homes with coco flowers.

    23. In Lebanon, chickpeas, wheat, beans, and lentils are planted two weeks before Christmas. The sprouts are used to surround the nativity scene in the home.

    24. In Ghana, families stay up all evening playing games. Just before midnight, the family counts down the seconds until Christmas day.

    25. Even though we celebrate in different ways, Christmas gives us the opportunity to remember the birth of Jesus Christ.