Christmas Around the World in the Classroom

Join KidsSoup and Santa Claus as he visits 10 different countries and brings back souvenirs (see emergent reader booklet "Santa, Santa, What Can You See?). Invite children to join you on a trip around the world to visit other continents and countries and experience their culture and how their winter holidays are celebrated. 

Christmas Holidays Song

Christmas Around the World Emergent Reader: Santa, Santa, What Can You See? (Available inside the KidsSoup Resource Libray)

Christmas Around the World 10 Days Daily Plans (Available inside the KidsSoup Resource Libray)

United States of America - Focus on Santa and Reindeer

The United States: Christmas in the United States is a blend of traditions from many countries, including carols from England, trees from Germany, and Santa Claus from Europe. Houses and streets are decorated with Christmas trees and colored lights and the sounds of carols can be heard in shops, on the radio, and in front of houses. Children write letters to Santa telling him what presents they want and people send Christmas cards to friends and family. At the North Pole Santa's elves work hard all year long making presents. Then, on Christmas Eve Santa loads the presents on to his sleigh, which is pulled by his reindeer, and delivers them under the Christmas tree to children.

Canada - Focus on Christmas Trees

Canada: Christmas in Canada is a blend of European and Native traditions. For example, in Quebec people display creches, or nativity scenes, in their homes just as the French do. The Inuit hold a Christmas festival known as "sinck tuck" during which time people exchange gifts, dance, and feast. And of course, most people display Christmas trees in their homes, a tradition brought over from Germany. Many Christmas trees sold in the United States come from Canada.

Mexico - Focus on Poinsettias and Las Posadas

Mexico: In Mexico, the coming of the Christmas season is announced by the blooming of the Flor de Nochebuena (poinsettia). According to legend, a poor peasant girl was going to church on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve). She was very sad because she didn't have a gift to present to baby Jesus, so she gathered a few weeds on her way. When she laid them in the manger, they turned a bright red. The main focus of Christmas in Mexico is Las Posadas. The Las Posadas are nine fiestas that represent Mary and Joseph's pilgrimage to Bethlehem. On the final night, Mary and Joseph reach their final destination. A big party begins. Delicious food, such as tamales, bunuelos (tortillas sprinkled with cinnamon sugar), churros, and hot chocolate, are served and a big pinata filled with candy and small gifts is broken by the children. 

Australia - Focus on Weather and Kangaroos

Australia: Christmas in Australia is unusual because it occurs in summer rather than winter. It is hot! Kids are on vacation from school, so families often spend time at the beach or go camping during this time. Santa Claus delivers the presents in Australia. However, when Santa gets to Australia, he gives his reindeer a rest and he uses six white "boomers" (kangaroos) to go house to house. Santa even changes into cooler clothes.

Germany - Focus on Advent and Gingerbread

Germany: An important part of Christmas in Germany is Advent, which is the 24 days leading up to Christmas. One type of Advent calendar used in German homes is wreath made from fir tree branches. Twenty-four little boxes or bags with trinkets or small presents wrapped inside are hung from the wreath and one is opened each day until Christmas. Gingerbread houses originated in Germany. The elaborately decorated cookie-walled houses have become associated with Christmas.

The Netherlands - Focus on Sinterklaas

The Netherlands: The most important day during Christmastime for children in the Netherlands is December 5--the day Sinterklaas brings gifts. On December 5 children leave out shoes or clogs by the fireplace or a windowsill for Sinterclaas to fill with presents. They also leave hay and carrots for Sinterklaas's horse, hopefully in exchange for some sweets. Sinterklaas parties are often held on November 5 where treasure hunt games are played with clues as to where to find presents left by Sinterklaas. Special biscuits and treats are also eaten at the party.

Sweden - Focus on Santa Lucia and Tomte

Sweden: One of the biggest celebrations in Sweden at Christmastime is St. Lucia's Day on December 13. St. Lucia was a Christian girl who was martyred for her faith in the year 304. St. Lucia's Day is celebrated by a girl wearing a white dress with a red sash around her waist and a crown of candles on her head. Jultomten (Santa) or Tomten (gnome) deliver the presents to children.

United Kingdom - Focus on Carolers and Bells

United Kingdom: In many town churches in the United Kingdom the custom on Christmas Eve is to ring the largest bell four times in the hour before midnight. Then at midnight, all the bells in the church are rung in celebration of the arrival of Christmas. People during Christmastime also enjoy going house to house caroling, sometimes ringing bells as they sing.

America - Focus on the African-American Holiday of Kwanzaa

Preschool Activities: 

Israel - Focus on the Celebration of Hanukkah

More Christmas Around the World Resources available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library member site.

Christmas Around the World Sorting Activity 


Christmas Around the World Bingo Game (KidsSoup members)

Christmas Around the World Word Wall (KidsSoup members)


48x78 World Classic Premier Wall Map Mega Poster


View more preschool and kindergarten Christmas activities and crafts


KidsSoup Resource Library 

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