Compare and Contrast Christmas Stories and Traditions
Christmas is an opportunity to compare holiday celebrations around the world. The following books explore different stories and traditions around the world. Read the books and find a fun activity to do together while talking about the importance of culture and traditions and finding ways to connect these stories to the stories in your own family. Christmas is a religious holiday and many of these books reflect that. Those from other religious traditions can compare these stories to those in their own religion.
Reference the Common Core Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.9 Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and patterns of events (e.g., the quest) in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures.
- Christmas Around the World, Jeff Carnehl and Brenda Trunkill
- Christmas Around the World, Mary D. Lankford, Karen Dugan, and Irene Norman
- The Legend of the Poinsetta, Tomie de Paolo
- Lucia, Saint of Light, Katherine Bolger Hyde
- Babushka, Sandra Ann Horn
- The Clown of the God, Tomie de Paolo
- The Give-Away, Ray Buckley
- Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel, Shirley Climo and Jane Manning
- Christmas Cards. Read about poinsetta’s and paint your own on a blank card. Or, take a photo of your painting and print off multiple copies to make your holiday cards.
- Holiday Baking. Find the recipe for lussekatter, or Lucia Cat Buns, in the book about the Saint of Light. Bake the buns with a friend.
- Clean Out the Old. Clean out your house and throw away four items for each member of the family as you get ready for holiday loot. Read Horn’s book for inspiration.
- Learn to Juggle. Read about the clown and try to learn to juggle. Find Youtube tutorials to help you. Try to juggle three apples, bars of soap, or wadded up pieces of paper.
- Create a Tradition. Read about tinsel and the give-away and then try to start your own family tradition.