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Christmas Around the World: A Unit Study Guide Review by Jennifer Ladewig

Katie Hornor

Christmas Around the World shares the Christmas traditions and celebrations from twenty-nine countries around the world. Suggestions for use are given and are intended to be very flexible. You can choose to use the workbook as a unit study which can be completed as a 6-week curriculum, or you may choose to spend as little as 10 minutes to discuss or as much as a day to complete a country using the extra reading resources and activities suggested/included along with whatever you may find on your own to supplement each country. Each country has information about Christmas in that country followed by additional learning resources available to aid in learning more about that country’s specific traditions and celebrations. Four reproducible pages follow which include: a coloring page, a writing page, a geography page, and an activity page. Christmas Around the World by is 200 pages in length. This paperback book can be purchased for $24.97.

This workbook would be acceptable to use in both the homeschool or school setting. The intended age is for K-6th. Due to the type of curriculum it would be quite easy to adapt the study to use with children of various age ranges at the same time. Let me take you on a walk-through Germany so that you can get a feel for what you can expect from this curriculum.

The first two pages include facts about how people in Germany celebrate Christmas. Did you know that in Germany, Christmas is a month-long celebration? The festivities begin with Advent or Adventskalendar which helps to count down to Christmas Eve. Four candles are set in Adventskranz or Christmas wreaths. One candle is lit, each Sunday until Christmas Eve. There is also St. Nicholas Day which takes place on December 6th. Christmas Markets are extremely popular. The oldest being the Striezelmarkt. No Christmas would be the same without Christmas Foods! German traditional foods include wine, ginger bread, and cookies. The Tannenbaum or the Christmas tree is decorated by the elders of the family and hidden from the children. The Christmas celebration doesn’t end until Three King’s Day on January 6th. The next page includes additional resources such as books and articles that may be of interest to further your study on Christmas in Germany. You are also directed to for a math/language short video, a geography map printable, and an art project for making your own gingerbread house, dough ornaments, Advent activities, and coloring pages. The next four pages in the Christmas in Germany include a coloring page, a journal page entitled, “Pretend you are in Germany. How will you celebrate Christmas?” a fill in the blank geography fact page on the country of Germany, and a count to ten in German match game.

The countries included in the book are:

  1. Australia
  2. Bahamas
  3. Belgium
  4. Belize
  5. Brazil
  6. Canada
  7. China
  8. Denmark
  9. Dominican Republic
  10. Ecuador
  11. England
  12. Germany
  13. Greece
  14. Iceland
  15. India
  16. Ireland
  17. Italy
  18. Japan
  19. Mexico
  20. Middle East
  21. Norway
  22. Peru
  23. Philippines
  24. Poland
  25. Russia
  26. Spain
  27. Switzerland
  28. Thailand
  29. S.A.

Overall, I really thought that Christmas Around the World was a delightful book. I used it before Christmas to explore some of the countries with my younger children. I had them read the information/fact page(s) and then they explored the internet for more fun and interesting information about that country. We also went to our local library and read books on the various countries for further information on Christmas celebrations. One of my kiddos enjoyed baking some of the countries Christmas treats while the other was more interested in the crafts. I like how the curriculum encompasses multiple academic subject matter. I also really like how you can use the curriculum with multiple age ranges at one time. For the younger child you simply talk about the country, read a storybook found at the library and have them color the coloring page. For the older student you can have them complete all the pages in the workbook along with reading and completing several of the extra resource suggestions given. In addition, you can have them complete a detailed craft or bake something specific to that country. At the end of the workbook there is a section entitled, Christmas Carols. This is another neat way to explore the countries. Like the countries it explores the history of Christmas Carols from around the world.

I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a simple starting guide of how Christmas is celebrated around the world.

-Product review by Jennifer Ladewig, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2019