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  • Writer's pictureSusan Oehlertz

Christmas Around the World

At this festive time of year, we often take for granted our simple Christmas traditions that make the holiday season so special for each of us. We love decorating our homes, inside and outside. We love finding that perfect Christmas ornament to decorate our Christmas trees. We also love singing Christmas carols and giving and receiving that perfect Christmas present. We love going to church and spending time with family and friends, and eating a wonderful meal.

In First Grade at PAC Elementary, we’ve been learning about how other cultures celebrate this holiday season. We started in Israel, celebrating the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah such as the menorah and special foods such as potato pancakes called latkes.

Then we learned about an African American holiday called Kwanzaa. Our students loved making their own Kwanzaa mats in the traditional Kwanzaa colors red, green and black. Next we traveled to Mexico where the students learned about La Navidad. We read the legend of the poinsettia and created our own beautiful paper poinsettia plants.

China was very interesting to learn about as the Chinese do not technically celebrate Christmas as a holiday. They do like to partake in the festivities of shopping, taking photos with Santa Claus, and decorating their homes. Unlike our Christmas, which is celebrated with family and a big meal, the people of China go out to eat at fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, or KFC. Our PAC students created red paper lanterns with lots of gold glitter.

Recently we’ve visited Germany and learned about the tradition of setting out shoes to be filled with sweet treats by Father Christmas. In Sweden, an interesting tradition that we learned about was the Christmas gnome who lives under the floorboards of a home and rides a yule goat. Our final stop will be right here in Pocahontas, Iowa. We will look at all the wonderful traditions that we have and share.

Merry Christmas from PAC First Grade. Please enjoy your holiday season and appreciate all the traditions you are sharing with your children.

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