Tuesday, December 14, 2010

image Dec1_Tree I was considering some sort of Christmas Around the World unit for December, but I realized pretty quickly that it’s just not going to happen. So instead we visited Israel for Hanukkah (and as a birthplace of Jesus), we are talking about Christmas in Germany this week and will do “Christmas in Russia” the next week. Ticia at Adventures in Mommydom did a great post about Germany and generously shared some free printables. The problem with focusing on Christmas in Germany for me is that a lot of traditions are simply transplanted here – decorating the tree, making gingerbread cookies and even some of the most famous Christmas carols. We can say “check” to all of Dec10_Tree those – Anna decorated gingerbread cookies (paper drawn, real, playdoh), we listen to Christmas music (in German and English) all day long and we also colored, painted and decorated Christmas trees of various kinds. This one in the picture was an ambitious project of making a Christmas collage with green cutouts from magazines. I believe I’ve seen a similar idea once on No Time for Flashcards. Anna was less than enthusiastic at first, but warmed up to the  activity after I started it.

Cobweb ChristmasThe most “German” book that we read was “Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel”. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy the book at all, because it involves hundreds of spiders entering the house and exploring a Christmas tree. Ewww…. I had a plan for a tinsel-like drawing with glitter glue, but our weekend included two birthdays and a cookie decorating party. It was way too busy for a messy craft project. Hopefully we will fit it in later in a week. A good extension for Christmas in Germany would be watching Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, but Anna was completely terrified watching it last year and very vigorously protested when I mentioned the possibility of revisiting it. Oh well, maybe when she is older…

I am linking this post to History/Geography exchange at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn.

16 comments:

littlewondersdays said...

I love that you are sharing different countries' holiday traditions with Anna and us! I will have to say, I've never seen a Christmas book with spiders...very unexpected I'm sure.

MaryAnne said...

Oh no! I'll never look at tinsel the same way again!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I take it the spider story had a happy ending? With a tree right out of the woods, believe me, spiders were on my mind when we brought it in - I'm not sure that would be my favorite story either :)

Ticia said...

The story is a cool concept, but yeah it'd not be my favorite story.

Brimful Curiosities said...

It's funny how I'm OK with mice in Christmas stories (though not in my house) but when you mention spiders I cringe. Are the spiders cute?

Christy said...

Spiders in the tree? Yikes. I'm going to be itchy all day!

Mom and Kiddo said...

I hear you on the spider thing. I actually had to secretly dispose of a book about spiders. Kiddo loved it, but I just could not look at it one more time.

The girl who painted trees said...

I don't like the sound of the spider book! We have a book about a cockroach (Crickwing by Janell Cannon) and I don't like it either.

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

Christmas in Germany must be amazing! I love how you are virtually traveling around the world celebrating the holiday!! :-)

Kim said...

I wanted to try Christmas Around the World too, but like you, just don't have time this year. We've been reading lots of different Christmas stories and I discuss cultural differences when they come up. And we did watch Santa Claus is coming to Town - I can't believe Anna remembers from last year. Major trauma I guess! It was all brand new to Crumpet, all over again.

Debbie said...

I think I could pass on the book, spiders ewww. I love the picture of Anna decorating the tree.

Jenny said...

I hope I am "with it" next Christmas and can do a Christmas Around the World study. I really like the collage idea. Funny about the spiders. I like spiders! I always gently pick them up (with paper!) and take them back outside. :)

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

Wow , Anna has such a wonderfully exciting time playing & learning.
I'd like to do Christmas in other countries with my boys next year.

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

lol - spiders and Christmas definitely shouldn't have anything to do with each other!

Elise said...

Spiders and Christmas just don't seem right.

In fact, any creepy crawly in a Christmas story would not be appealing to me. At the moment it is starting to heat up here and the hot weather brings with it cockroaches. The odd "roach" usually makes an appearance somewhere around Christmas time - certainly something I do not like at all (especially the big flying cockroaches - eeewwwww makes me cringe just typing about them).

Our Homeschool Fun said...

I always enjoy yours and Anna's takes on books and things because they are so different than ours here. Hanna is such a critter lover and Joe is all boy, so we have really liked the story of tinsel in this book and found it fascinating. I am smiling really big while I read this post:-).