Ace’s class was doing a Christmas around the world project and his teacher asked me to come in and do a project with the class. We had done a fun Thanksgiving craft with beads last month and so she wanted something similar.
So I looked up Christmas traditions in several different countries and we made necklaces with the correlating beads.
I printed this out and gave one to each student:
Learn how to say Merry Christmas in 8 different languages and get a peek into how children from all over the world celebrate Christmas!
Germany: Fröhliche Weihnachten; tan bead for origin of gingerbread and green bead for the origin of the Christmas tree.
Greece:Kala Christouyena; Gold bead for the coin hidden in bread by St. Basil to help the poor without offending them with charity.
Romanian: Sarbatori vesele; bell for the church bells that ring on Christmas morning.
Venezuela:Feliz Navidad; purple bead for tradition of the 12 grapes that they put into their glass symbolizing the 12 days of Christmas. (Dec.26-Jan 6)
Slovakia: Vesele Vianoce; brown bead for potatoes left by St. Nicholas for bad children.
Ukraine: Srozhdestvom Kristovym; white bead for kutya, the traditional pudding made from wheatberries, honey and poppy seeds.Ingredients symbolize hope, happiness, and good sleep.
Slovenia: Vesele Bozicne Praznike Srecno Novo Novo leto; black bead for boots left outside for St. Nicholas to fill with treats.
Ireland: Nollaig Shona Dhuit; yellow bead for the candle they lit in their windows every Christmas Eve to remind us a symbol of welcome to Mary and Joseph as they traveled looking for shelter.
The whole world: glow in the dark star bead for the Star of Bethlehem—the birth of Christ—a light for those in darkness.
I figured they learned plenty about what everyone else believed and should have the opportunity to be reminded of what Christmas was really about. I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous that the teacher would inconspicuously hush me in the middle of this (or never ask me to come back after I finished!) but she really loved it.
I also told them the story of St. Basil hiding the gold coins in the bread and brought a Vasilopita for them to share.
The kids waiting to get their piece of Vasilopita!
Look! Someone got it!
The proud winner!
The students and the teachers all loved it! The teachers loved it so much that I made another one and sent it, along with the history behind it, for the teacher’s to cut during their lunch hour. When I went that afternoon to pick him up almost every teacher I passed told me what a beautiful tradition and delicious cake it was. Glory to God! May St. Basil intercede for us!