“Bulletin Board,” Friend, Dec. 2014, 16–17
You can meet Minna from Sweden on page 14. Here are some fun facts about this Scandinavian country.
Sweden has lots of forests and lakes and 29 national parks.
For every 10 books published there, one is a children’s book.
In some parts of northern Sweden, the sun never sets during the summer or rises during the winter!
Jag är ett Guds barn
Pronunciation: yag er ett goods bahn
This no-bake chocolate ball is popular with children in Sweden. Remember to get an adult’s help. (Makes about 25 cookies.)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup coconut flakes
In a medium bowl, mix the butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla together.
Stir in the oats and cocoa. The dough should be easy to roll and not too sticky. If it’s too dry, add a little more milk. If it’s too sticky, add a little more oatmeal.
Scoop a small amount into your hands with a spoon. Roll it into a ball. Then roll the ball in the coconut flakes. Refrigerate the cookie balls for about 2 hours.
Swedish crafts often use straw stems to create woven decorations. Here’s a Christmas ornament that you can make! Be sure to get an adult’s help.
You will need:
dried straw, cut into 8-inch (20-cm) pieces
colorful embroidery thread
Gather the straw into six bundles about as thick as pencils.
Wrap the end of each bundle with thread. Use a tight knot so the bundles don’t come loose.
Arrange the bundles into two triangles. Wrap the corners with thread and tie a knot to keep the triangles together.
Place one triangle upside down on top of the other to form a six-pointed star.
Tie the two triangles together where they cross (see finished star above).
Tie a loop of thread to hang your star, or just display it as is.
What if you could have anyone in the world over for a Christmas party? Who would you invite, and why?
Christmas is a great time for family traditions. How did your traditions start? If you don’t have any, you can begin new ones this year. For example, you could start acting out the nativity scene each Christmas Eve, or make ornaments using photos of family members. It’s never too late to start a fun tradition!