Christmas from around the world is a great for holiday lesson plans! We’ll cover Christmas around the world decorations, holiday culture from different countries, Christmas food from around the world, and cool family traditions around Christmas season from different parts of the world for the holidays for students and kids in the classroom and festive season at home learning.
Learn About Christmas From Around The World For Kids
Christmas celebrations around the world are a great addition to your holiday activities and winter lesson plans! Add these holiday crafts, Christmas traditions, and celebration activities to your Christmas lessons, diversity studies, social studies lessons, and more perfect for your Christmas around the world theme!
How do you teach Christmas around the world?
Lessons For Christmas Around The World Traditions And Celebrations:
- Use Christmas around the world mini lessons
- Make a passport and check off your “visits” in a holiday passport after you learn about each country’s Christmas biggest celebrations
- Host a Christmas dinner around the world with holiday foods from different countries
- Read children’s books about holidays around the world
- Watch videos sharing about the Christmas traditions in other countries
- Listen to Christmas traditions music from different cultures / Christmas songs from around the world
- Add printables of holidays around the world and local culture
- Understand the importance of church services at Christmastime in different countries
- Make Christmas traditions decorations crafts or ornaments
- Learn Christmas carols in a different languages
- Make and bake Christmas recipes from around the world
- Understand the meaning of candy canes in Christian denominations
- Start a Christmas cards exchange from around the world
- Learn about Christmas traditions gifts in other countries
- Watch videos about Christmas traditions origins
- Learn about Christmas lights in different countries
- Make Christmas around the world crafts of different ornaments representing the countries you study
Don’t miss our full list of Christmas Around the Worlds lesson ideas below. KEEP SCROLLING for Christmas in around the world fun and a Christmases around the world worksheets activity pack!
Christmas is celebrated in many different ways around the world. While some customs are similar to those practiced in the United States, other Christmas rituals are quite different! We’ll cover some religious traditions, to secular Christmas traditions, to weird Christmas traditions and Santa traditions around the world, to other holiday traditions!
How is Christmas celebrated around the world?
Each culture has its own unique way of celebrating this joyous holiday!
What are different ways Christmas is celebrated around the world?
Interesting Christmas traditions and Christmas customs from around the world include:
- Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and Christmas stockings in United States and Canada
- Kentucky Fried Chicken dinner in Japan (Yes! Really!)
- Saint Nicholas’ Day shoes in Germany
- Christmas crackers in United Kingdom
- Holiday store window shopping in New York, USA
- Elves decorating the house in Iceland
- Babbo Natale and nativity scenes in Italy
- Rice pudding (or risalamande) is a traditional Christmas dessert served in Denmark
- The evil Yule Cat in Icelandic Christmas folklore
- Krampus in Austria and Germany
- Posadas are celebrated for nine days leading up to Christmas in Mexico
- Parol, a star-shaped Christmas lantern, is a popular decoration in Philippines
- Roller skating to Christmas Eve mass in Venezuela (roller skates for a Christmas Eve tradition sounds FUN!)
- St. Lucia’s Day in Sweden, Norway, and parts of Finland (generally Finnish families who speak Swedish)
Keep reading for more information on different Christmas traditions and holiday big celebration ideas!
Christmas Holidays Around The World Printable Lesson
Need Christmas traditions around the world lesson plans or want to learn about Christmas culture around the world / global Christmas traditions?
Get our Christmas is around the world homeschool unit or classroom student lesson printable pack! We cover Christmas traditions different countries, including traditional Christmas food recipes for each country!
Holiday Traditions & Facts From 8 Different Countries with Recipes From The Countries PLUS Coloring and Activity Pages and FREE Matching Game, PLUS Christmas Around The World Food Recipes To Make!
Perfect for a Christmas around the world unit lesson or holiday fun at home and learning about different ways of celebrating Christmas around the world!
Now that we’ve covered some Christmas traditions for families, let’s take at a look at how others celebrate the holiday season in different countries with family traditions at Christmas around the world! It’s a great time of the year to add cultural studies to your lesson ideas!
Christmas By Country and Christmas Traditions from Around the World
How Christmas Is Celebrated Around The World
Christmas Traditions in America
Christmas Traditions USA can be religious based or secular and may vary a little between states.
For American family Christmas traditions, Christians celebrate the season as a time of the birth of Jesus and may attend church and participate in additional religious activities throughout the season.
Many families, both religious and secular, put up Christmas trees and decorate them with ornaments.
The time is usually centered around family and friends enjoying a big meal of Christmas traditions recipes (which can vary by family) and exchanging gifts, which often happens on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Many American children believe that a jolly man called Santa Claus brings them gifts and fills their stockings (hanging from a fireplace mantel) with treats, which they open on Christmas morning, December 25.
Americans say, “Merry Christmas!”
WANT TO START NEW FAMILY HOLIDAY TRADITIONS?
You may already be familiar with Christmas traditions in America, so let’s check out some other countries…
Christmas Traditions of Canada
Canadian Christmas traditions are similar to Christmas traditions in America.
Canadian families also decorate a Christmas tree and exchange gifts.
Christians also celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day, December 25.
Some Canadian children also believe in Santa Claus, who brings gifts on Christmas morning.
Christmas traditions Canada include saying Merry Christmas or even “Joyeux Noel,” since it’s also a French speaking country.
Christmas Traditions in Germany
Christmas traditions from Germany include Christmas Markets where you can buy food, decorations, and traditional glass ornaments.
German Christmas traditions for Santa Claus or Father Christmas is der Weihnachtsmann, who brings presents for children on December 24, which is the main day for Christmas traditions Germany.
Christmas in Germany also includes decorating a Christmas tree, folding complex paper stars, and advent is also a big part of the holiday.
During the holiday season, Germans also celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6. On the eve of St. Nicholas Day (December 5), children leave their shoes in the doorway to be filled with treats by St. Nicholas.
Some areas of German also believe in “Knecht Ruprecht” or “Krampus,” while other parts believe in “Schwarzer Peter,” or Black Peter. Both are characters that threaten to punish children if they are bad.
Germany traditions for Christmas include saying, “Happy or Merry Christmas” as “Frohe Weihnachten.”
Christmas Traditions in Mexico
Christmas in Mexico is celebrated from around December 12 to January 6.
From December 16 until Christmas Eve (December 24), or Buena Noche, Christmas traditions of Mexico include children performing Posada processions.
These nine days make up Las Posadas celebration, or “the inns” or “shelter.”
During this Christmas traditions Mexico, children dress up as Bible characters, with a procession led by children dressed as an angel, Mary, and Joseph and honors the journey to Bethlehem from the Bible.
People decorate their homes with paper lanterns, moss, and trees.
On the ninth day, everyone attends midnight mass before returning home for a feast.
December 25 is a quiet day spent with family.
Gift giving in Mexico is on January 6, which is called “Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos,” or Three Kings’ Day. The presents are delivered by the Three Wise Men who brought gifts to baby Jesus in the Bible.
However, some areas also have also started Santa Claus, or Papa Noel.
Merry Christmas in Mexico is “Feliz Navidad.”
Christmas Traditions in Italy
For many Italians, Christmas is a Catholic religious holiday, where the people fast all of Christmas Eve (especially no meat). If they eat before mass, it is often a small meal of some kind of fish.
Christmas traditions of Italy include people attending midnight mass on Christmas Eve celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
After mass is the feast and celebration.
Father Christmas, or “Babbo Natale,” brings presents on Christmas Eve.
The Nativity scene (Jesus manger scenes) is very popular in Italy.
On the evening before Epiphany (January 5 or Epiphany Eve), a folktale says that Befana flies across the sky and leaves cookies and cakes for kids while they’re sleeping.
Italians say Merry Christmas as “buon Natale.”
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Christmas Traditions in England
In England, Christmas decorations consist of a kissing bough (mistletoe), ivy, holly, and evergreen Christmas trees.
Like in America, with Christmas traditions England, children also write letters to Santa Claus and Santa delivers presents on Christmas day. However, instead of mailing the letters, some children through them into the fireplace for the smoke to carry them up to Santa.
British children also hang stockings, but instead of by the fireplace, they hang then on the end of their bed to be filled with treats to be filled with Santa Claus or Father Christmas.
Christmas crackers are traditional decoration for the Christmas meal, served in the afternoon on Christmas Day.
Christmas Traditions of France
Christmas traditions in France center a lot around a Nativity scenes, with the Baby Jesus figurine and other figures.
French homes often burn cherry wood Yule logs, especially on Christmas eve, where candles and logs are left burning for Jesus and Mary.
Instead of Santa Claus, the French have Père Noël, or Father Christmas.
The main Christmas meal is eaten after returning from church late Christmas Eve night (or morning). The meal can include traditional French holiday food like cheese (of course!), roast goose or turkey, and a traditional French called called bûche de Noël — a chocolate sponge cake.
The French say Joyeux Noël instead of Merry Christmas.
Christmas Traditions in Spain
Christmas traditions Spain include going to midnight mass at church on Christmas Eve, called La Misa Del Gallo, or The Mass of the Rooster, based on a rooster crowing the night Jesus was born.
Traditional Spanish Christmas meals are eaten on Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) before church. It includes Pavo Trufado de Navidad, or truffle-stuffed turkey and sweet desserts of mazapán.
In Spain, Santa Claus is called Papa Noel.
Christmas traditions of Spain do include children opening presents, but most children’s Christmas presents are opened on Epiphany on January 5th. Before Epiphany, Spanish children leave shoes on balconies or under Christmas trees to be filled with gifts or sugar coal for naughty kids!
In Spain, they say Feliz Navidad instead of Merry Christmas.
Japan Christmas Family Traditions
In Japan, Christmas is not primarily a religious holiday. Instead, it is seen as a time to spend with family and friends.
Christmas Eve is often spent at home, while Christmas Day is typically spent out with friends or relatives.
A popular Christmas food in Japan is fried chicken.
Clearly, there are so many more family traditions Christmas around the world, but this gives you a good idea of some different countries to add to your studies!
Now that we’ve covered family tradition for Christmas, let’s get to the Christmas around the world lesson plans and activities, Christmas traditions fun facts around the world for holidays around the world preschool theme and up!
These are fun for Christmas around the world lesson plans for elementary, preschool, Christmas around the world first grade lesson plans, 2nd grade lesson plans and up!
Don’t forget to grab the celebration around the world lesson plan after this!
21 Traditions of Christmas Around The World Lesson Plans and Activities
These Christmas around the world crafts, lesson plans, and projects are a fun way to learn Christmas traditions for kids!
To learn about Christmas beliefs and Christmas in countries around the globe:
- Do a Christmas Around the World Lesson Plan (Part 1 and Part 2)
- Complete a Christmas Around the World geography study unit
- Read books about Christmas traditions around the world (these are great if you’re looking for traditions around the world reading comprehension books!):
- This Christmas around the world book is one of our favorites!
- A World of Cookies For Santa
- Celebrate Christmas
- Christmas in Germany (Christmas around the World)
- Celebrate Las Posadas – Celebramos Las Posadas: A Bilingual Book in English and Spanish
- How Kids Celebrate Christmas Around the World (Kids Around the World)
- Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Kwanzaa
- Learn About Kwanzaa
- Make a Baby Jesus Christmas craft.
- Read Polar Express and Learn About Holiday Traditions
- Make a German advent wreath
- Give small gifts to kids in need in other countries
- Go on a winter nature and pine trees scavenger hunt
- Research Christmas decorations from around the world (great holiday research project for older kids!)
- Make a Mexican Los Posada luminary
- Learn about winter solstice
- Create a Christmas cracker craft like they use in England
- Make a folded paper star like they make in Germany
- Learn about Christmas food from around the world
- Host a Bethlehem Dinner with family members and friends (perfect Christian Christmas time activity / Christian holiday studies!)
- Start your own Christmas traditions — whether it be an old tradition you revive or a brand new one! (Get Christmas tradition ideas here!)
PRINTABLE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS AROUND THE WORLD
Great for Christmas holiday around the world teaching resources or how Christmas is celebrated around the world lesson plans!
This is great for Christmas around the world lessons for kindergarten, preschool, elementary school, or Sunday School lessons.
Great addition for your Christmas around the world traditions studies and learning all about cultures around the world!