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Thread: Looking for help from my international friends

  1. #1
    Senior Member mollymunchkin's Avatar
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    Looking for help from my international friends

    I teach special education and want to do a unit on Christmas around the world. Do you have any traditions, stories, crafts, food items, or other things you think might be interesting to 10, 11, 12 y/o boys? Any help, ideas appreciated.
    Thanks,

    Jeannette

  2. #2
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    OH, my! I used to do that with my second graders. I had books and books about it. Loved teaching that...but all are gone as we moved 3200 miles after retiring. Ask some of the other teachers, do an internet search, and someone else on here may still have names of some resources. Have fun with it.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  3. #3
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    Check out these sites:
    http://www.polishcenter.org/Christmas/TRADITIONS.htm
    http://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/poland.shtml

    Here is something that I did for some of my Polish and Italian friends involved cream / light beige felt, poly fiberfill, ribbon and if you want ... needle and thread. Using pinking scissors I cut out an approx. 4 " circle and folded it in half. Put in a little fiberfill and sewed it shut about 1/2 inch in. I added a piece of ribbon to one end and created a pierogi Christmas ornament. I did the same with 2 approx. 2 1/2 inch squares. Cut them out using pinking shears, added some fiber fill and sewed them shut...then added the ribbon. Friends got a kick out of their ethnic ornaments and had me show their grandchildren how to make them.

  4. #4
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    Americans and Canadians will not be much help as most Christmas traditions come from our country of origin. I always make meat pies (Grandmother from Scotland) during the Christmas holiday. I also bake a good supply of Shortbread cookies.

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    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    Christmas is in the middle of summer here in Australia, and a lot of families have a cold Christmas lunch with seafood, ham cold chicken or turkey and salads. My parents are from Europe so we still have the traditional roast with hot vegies, but sometimes a cold lunch sounds great especially if the temperature is over 100 F
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

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    When I was a little girl fruit was limited to what was in season - so it was a big treat to get an orange in our stocking. Now living in Southern California my daughters thought it was a very odd custom, but it was normal for my friends and I living in the Pacific Northwest. It is my understanding it was something my parents received too.

    We also kept a bowl of mixed nuts to crack from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

    My parents are gone now and so I cannot ask them why - it was just something we did and everyone i knew did it too.

  7. #7
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    We always got an orange in our Christmas stocking too. Big treat because we rarely had oranges otherwise.
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

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    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    In old Germany where the original Christmas trees are found, it is traditionally only boys and men who went to cut the Christmas tree, and bring it home. The reason is not that girls and women couldn't, they were just busy making the Christmas feast since both were done on Christmas Eve. Germany also has a tradition of a Christmas pickle on the tree, and whoever found it first, got good luck in the new year, or got a special little gift for their cleverness.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  9. #9
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    When my daughter taught public school music, she did a musical called "Christmas Around the World" with her students. It covered many more traditions than Christmas but also provided lots of information about Christmas practices in other places.

    Look for German Christmas pickles/ Dutch wooden shoes/ etc. If you Google the subject, you will find so much you can't get it all in. froggyintexas

    Quote Originally Posted by mollymunchkin View Post
    I teach special education and want to do a unit on Christmas around the world. Do you have any traditions, stories, crafts, food items, or other things you think might be interesting to 10, 11, 12 y/o boys? Any help, ideas appreciated.
    Thanks,

    Jeannette

  10. #10
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    Hi Jeannette,

    Found this tea towel yesterday for my new English DIL (2 weeks), sorry cant show pictures, but words are

    THE AUSTRALIAN TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

    On the first day of Christmas
    My true love gave to me

    A cockie in a bottlebrush tree. (Cockatoo)

    2 flying doctors

    3 drovers watching

    4 working dogs

    5 golden ducks (cricket)

    6 boomers hopping (Kangaroos)

    7 silos filling

    8 ladies baking

    9 nippers racing (jnr lifeguards)

    10 sheep a-leaping

    11 birds a-calling (galahs)

    12 yachts a-sailing

    I hope she likes it.

  11. #11
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Here is one from Ireland- it relates to St Stephen's Day (26 December) but is clearly pre-Christian in origin. The wren is the smallest bird in Ireland. Fortunately they don't actually kill one, although even pretending too is fairly bizarre! The main point is dressing up and going from house to house performing music and dance in return for donations for a wake for the bird! "A penny to bury the wren"
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wren_Day. It's not common anymore, but the tradition continues in some parts of the country.
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  12. #12
    Super Member katesnanna's Avatar
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    Seafood, ham, pork, chicken & turkey. All sorts of salads. Plenty of cold,cold beer, chilled wines, soft drinks. Lots of people still have traditional plum pudding with ice cream, custard or brandy custard. As this is when we have all our stone fruit, our family and I'm sure others as well have a large fruit platter. We have Bon Bons , sweets, dips with crackers and watermelon.
    Growing up in the 50s & 60's when my grandparents were alive we had the traditional roast dinner followed by plum pudding. It's usually way too hot to eat such a heavy meal during the day. As my eldest daughter & her DH now host Christmas (they have the largest house) we have cut back a lot on the extras. We have a couple of bags of mixed lollies, maybe a bag of chips or 2 but just put out small dishes of these in the morning. We drink plenty of water and eat quite a bit of fruit. We don't feel over stuffed when lunch is finished.
    As they live on the Sunshine Coast we usually go to the beach in the late afternoon and play beach cricket. This was one tradition they wanted to set for their children. There are at least 7 adults & 2 children but some years 9 adults & 3 children. Friends will call in for a drink and a few nibbles but more to catch up.
    The evening meal will be from lunchtime leftovers and everyone just helps themselves. Luckily DD & DSIL have a 9 foot island bench in their kitchen so food is set out smorgasbord style. DSIL has music playing most of the day. First up are all the Christmas Carols. Later just relaxing background music. We all enjoy the day.
    Peonyblue I enjoyed that Aussie rendition of 12 days of Christmas.

  13. #13
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Christmas pudding making was popular with my class.we always did it after stirrup Sunday and we ate the pudding at the Christmas party
    I also did a talk about the nun with 4 legs same as the advent wreath only the children enjoyed chopping the legs off each week.cant remember history must have been boring the chopping was best.
    Ginger bread stars for a Christmas tree,

    Yule log ..collecting and decorating.
    Hunting for a Christmas tree.

    Sorry forgot rest will come back if remember.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  14. #14
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    I have another Irish Christmas tradition. I used to think all Christians did this, but I have travelled a bit now and I have not seen it done anywhere else.

    On the evening of Christmas Eve, a candle would be lit in a front window of every house to signify that poor travelers/Mary and Joseph would be made welcome. Lots of my friends have memories of seeing all the candles lighting across their neighborhood. But electric light, fear of fire, and secularism mean you would find it hard to see ia whole village lit like that now.

    I always used to wonder what would happen if a poor traveller actually turned up in the midst of all our Christmas fuss these days. Could be an interesting question to ask the children!
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  15. #15
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    Some traditions from this Canadian family.

    Yule Log a chocolate rolled cake filled with whipped cream. Trifle a dessert made with custard, cake, fruit whipped cream etc.
    Tourtiere a French Canadian Pork based meat pie, often served on Christmas Eve
    Mincemeat pies, an English tradition, we have mincemeat tarts, no meat in the tarts but traditional recipes have suet.
    Oranges in Christmas Stockings is a tradition for our family too.
    Caroling, not done as often going to strangers houses, but often cities hire paid performers to sing Carols.

    Ukrainian Canadians usually celebrate Christmas on January 6th.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

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