Last Friday I spent time in my daughter, Ashley’s class. She teaches at-risk 4th graders near Austin. I decided to share some Christmas traditions from Germany.
I’ll also be telling the same stories & the same activity with some younger kids next Monday. Gentry & Hunter will be home, so we have 6 kids coming over to give their moms a few hours for free time before Christmas. Kids’ Day Out has been a tradition at our home for years.
We invite kids from 1 or 2 families over, so young moms can have a little free time to shop on their own or grab a cup of coffee. It’s one way I kept my kids focus on others during the holidays.
On to learning about 3 Germany Christmas traditions, another Christmas Around the World activity for your homeschool.
#1 – St. Nicholas & Stockings
I told the story of St. Nicholas, how he helped a family who had lost all their wealth. That family had 3 young girls and they couldn’t afford a dowry.
According to legend, St. Nicholas threw a bag of gold in the window for the first girls’ dowry, so the father didn’t have to sell them into prostitution.
We tied the story to St. Nicholas Day (December 6th) and stockings.
You can read more about St. Nicholas here and in Christmas Around the World Unit Study, where you’ll find a variety of homeschool activities.
#2 – St. Boniface & Christmas Trees
Next I told the story of Boniface saving the vestal virgin and sharing the Gospel with a stunned audience. At that time, Boniface, whacked down boughs of fir so the group could take them home as a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. Over time, Germans began decorating trees to remind them of Christ’s sacrifice.
If you’d like the full story of Boniface, you can find it in Christmas Celebrations.
The story of Christ dying at Calvary is familiar to most of us, but it wasn’t so familiar with Ashley’s 4th graders. Some of them did not know the true Christmas story.
After telling the story of Boniface, we made Christmas trees from ice cream cones.
Don’t these look fun & yummy?
All you need are sugar cones, green frosting (I made buttercream), mini M&M’s and other decorations of your choice. You’ll get a wide variety of trees.
#3 – Legend of Candy Cane
Finally, I read The Legend of the Candy Cane. In the back of this book is a one-page history of the candy cane. I discovered the original white candy canes came from Germany, so it was a great way to conclude our study of German Christmas traditions. It would also be a fantastic book to add to your Christmas Around the World book collection.
Before I close, one of the best pieces of advice I received the first year I homeschooled was to take a break during December. A friend of mine who had kids the same ages, but had homeschooled since Kindergarten, told me she “quits” formal homeschooling.
What you might say? Quit homeschooling for a month.
Well, not really!
From this piece of advice, our family began a Christmas tradition of integrating Christmas and Advent into our homeschooling.
There are so many ideas to integrate Christmas into your reading, writing, math, history, science and other homeschooling. Use Christmas as your central focus all month-long. I have many ideas for you in our Christmas Unit Study.
If you would like our complete list of Christmas & Advent activities, enter your name & email below. I’d be happy to send our Christmas Unit Study to you at no cost for the next few days. This offer expires in December. After that, it will be $9.97.
Question: Do you have any other Christmas around the world suggestions? You can leave a comment by clicking here.