Christmas around the World

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“Christmas around the World,” Friend, December 2019

Food & Fun

Christmas around the World

Make these snacks and crafts from around the world to celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth. Be sure to get an adult’s help.

Friend Magazine, 2019/12 Dec


In Mexico, people decorate paper lanterns at Christmastime to light the way to their doorstep.

  • Draw a simple picture, like a Christmas tree or star. Then trace it on the front of a brown paper sack.

  • Use a pin to poke small holes along the lines you drew. (Tip: Put the sack flat on a rug and poke all the way through.)

  • Put a flashlight or glow stick inside your paper bag to see the pattern glow!

Finger-Puppet Nativity

The first Nativity scene was made in Italy. With some colored felt and a bit of hot glue or sewing, you can make a Nativity scene of your own. (Be sure to get an adult’s help.)

  1. Cut a rectangle out of brown felt for the manger and thin strips of yellow felt for hay. Sew or glue the yellow pieces to the brown rectangle.

  2. Cut a piece of white felt as the outline for the baby Jesus, like in the example below. Sew or glue along the edges to attach this piece to the manger. Leave an opening at the bottom for your finger to slip through.

  3. Cut and put other felt pieces on for the face and heart, or draw them on with marker.

  4. What other felt people can you make? Remember to sew or glue the edges and leave the bottom open for your finger!

Pineapple Nog

Try this tropical Christmas drink from Haiti!

  • 1 20-oz can crushed pineapple (about 560 g)

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1 cup milk

Blend the ingredients until smooth. Serve cold with a sprinkle of nutmeg on top.


In Denmark, this cold rice pudding is a popular Christmas treat.

  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups cooked rice, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 15–20 minutes.

  2. Add 1 beaten egg mixed with 1/2 cup milk. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.

  3. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a handful of chopped almonds.

  4. Serve pudding chilled with warm cherry-pie filling on top.

Optional: Put one whole almond in the pudding. The person who finds it in their dish wins a prize!