Christmas in the USA Ideas for the Classroom

Because of its multicultural makeup, the United States has many different traditions and ways to celebrate Christmas. Many of its customs are similar to those found in Europe and in Mexico.

Prior to Christmas, most people in the United States put up a tree (evergreen or fake) in their homes and decorate it with colored lights, tinsel, stars, angels, brightly colored ornaments, and maybe even strings of popcorn or cranberries. Many people also like to decorate the exterior of their homes with electric lights as well as life-sized Santas, reindeer, and snowmen, and other figures. As in Mexico, many American churches and homes display Nativity scenes commerating the birth of Jesus.

Christmas dinner in the United States usually consists of turkey and/or ham, potatoes, cornbread dressing, cranberries, and pies and cakes.

"An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore

In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore wrote a Christmas poem for his children titled "An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas" (also known as "The Night before Christmas"). We get many of our modern-day images of Santa Claus from this story--a "right jolly old elf" with a roundish body and the supernatural ability to ascend a chimney with just the nod of his head. His poem also popularized the image of Santa Claus flying from house to house "a tiny miniature sleigh" led by eight reindeer leaving presents for children. In 1881, cartoonist Thomas Nast depicted Santa as a rotund, cheerful man with a full white beard, holding a sack full of toys. He is also gave Santa his red suit trimmed in white fur, North Pole workshop, elves, and his wife, Mrs. Santa Claus.

Christmas in the USA poster (Available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library)

The Night Before Christmas

Book Suggestion: Twas the Night Before Christmas: Edited by Santa Claus for the Benefit of Children of the 21st Century

The Night before Christmas Emergent Reader Booklet (Available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library)

The Night before Christmas Booklet b/w (Available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library)

The Night before Christmas Sequencing Cards (Available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library)

Santa Claus Preschool and Kindergarten Activities and Games (Available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library)

Santa's Beard Letter Recognition Activity 

What begins with S like Santa Game 

Santa Hat Letter Matching

Santa Claus Felt Rhyme 

Santa Claus
Author Unknown

He wears a red, red coat, and
a red, red hat,
his boots are black,
and he carries a sack,
he's got a twinkle in his eyes,
and a friendly smile,
and his name is . . .
SANTA CLAUS (everyone calls out)!
And his name is . . .
SANTA CLAUS (everyone calls out)!

Santa Wears a ... Interactive Booklet 

Santa Advent Calendar 

Paper Cup Surprise Santa (KidsSoup members)

Rudolf and Santa's Reindeer Activities


Rudolph--"the most famous reindeer of all"--was born 100 years after the first eight reindeer came into existence. The red-nosed reindeer was the creation of Robert L. May. May told the story of a young reindeer who was teased by the other reindeer for his large, glowing, red nose. Then, one foggy Christmas Eve Santa was worried that he wouldn't be able to see to deliver the presents. Rudolph saved Christmas by guiding Santa's sleigh by the light of his red nose.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Song

Five Little Reindeer

Five little reindeer standing in a row,
(Hold up five fingers.) 
The first one said, "Take me, I’m ready to go!”
(Hold up one finger.)
The second one said, "I can run very fast."
(Hold up two fingers.)
The third one said, "I’m happy to go last."
(Hold up three fingers.)
The fourth one said, "My bell rings like a chime."
(Hold up four fingers.)
The fifth one said, "Santa, let's go. It's Christmas time!"
(Hold up five fingers.)

Reindeer Gift Bag and other Reindeer Crafts

Reindeer Nose Colors Activity (Available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library)

Night Before Christmas Reindeer Noses Word Study Game 

Eight Merry Reindeer Playing in the Snow Felt Rhyme

Reindeer Handprint Artwork

Reindeer Triangle Craft


View more preschool and kindergarten Christmas activities and crafts


KidsSoup Resource Library 


Preschool and kindergarten activities and crafts from KidsSoup
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