Our Eight Days of Christmas Around the World: FRANCE

So far in our Christmas Around the World unit study, we've learned about traditions in Scandinavia and Germany. Next, we head to France - and our one-day overview of French Christmas customs will serve as a helpful introduction to our more in-depth study of the country through our core curriculum right after the holidays.


  • Christmas in France by Kristin Thoennes
  • Madeline's Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • "Old Pierre's Christmas Visitors - A French Legend" by Fiona Waters from The Kingfisher Book of Classic Christmas Stories (Ian Whybrow, Editor)


Celebrate Christmas Around the World (CCAW) suggests making a creche diorama and santons de provence (i.e., characters in the Christmas story). For the figures, the book contains recipes for both salt and cornstarch dough, but - as with previous activities - we've chosen to simplify things a bit. Thus, we'll use Crayola® Model Magic - a lightweight, easy-to-use clay that comes in various colors - instead. Each child will make figures for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in the manger; time and materials permitting, they may choose to make more characters if they'd like.

Other Activities:

We'll sing "The First Noël" and "O Come, O Come, Immanuel," two French carols included in CCAW. As a review, we'll also play the Geography Game for Europe that comes with our core curriculum.


Christmas in France (Thoennes) tells us that "the French do not have traditional foods for their Christmas meals," but instead "eat many kinds of foods during [the season]" (19). However, CCAW mentions both ham and French bread so we'll enjoy both at lunch, along with some leftover Norwegian fruit soup...and French-cut green beans just for fun.

Language Arts:

The children will do narrations about France for their Christmas Around the World booklets, as they did for Scandinavia on Day 1 and Germany on Day 2. In addition, they'll make booklet covers since we haven't yet had time to do that.

Photo Credits: cindy251978 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cindyandmike/5235595925/) and Sebastien Michel (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebastien_michel/3300630413/)

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