Our Eight Days of Christmas Around the World: CHINA

On this day, we'll take a quick glance at Christmas customs in China. This will serve as a very brief introduction to the country we'll study more deeply through our core curriculum at the beginning of March.



As with Brazil, I didn't find much in the way of books specifically discussing Christmas in China. In this case, that's not all that surprising, given China's political and religious climate. So I'll read the information about China from Celebrating Christmas Around the World (CCAW), as well as:
  • Christmas Around the World, Ch. 3 by Emily Kelley
  • Window on the World, pp. 38-39 by Daphne Spraggett and Jill Johnstone (This information is not specifically about Christmas, but will serve, I think, as a helpful introduction to China since we haven't yet learned about it in detail.)


The older girls may each make the Pagoda Manger Scene described in CCAW:
  • 2 pieces 8.5 x 11 tissue paper of the same color (perhaps red)
  • 2 pieces 9 x 12 construction paper of the same color (perhaps black)
  • scissors
  • glue or double-sided tape
  • yarn or ribbon (about 6")
  • pagoda and Holy Family patterns (from CCAW)
  1. Cut out the pagoda pattern. Trace it onto two pieces of construction paper. Cut out both pieces along all the solid lines. These will be the pagoda frame.
  2. Trace the silhouette figures of the Holy Family onto a small piece of construction paper. Cut out.
  3. Place one black pagoda frame on a flat surface. Run a bead of glue (or place pieces of double-sided tape) around the edge. Place one piece of tissue paper on top of the glue/tape. Press lightly to smooth out wrinkles.
  4. Trim off excess tissue paper to match the size and shape of the frame.
  5. Arrange figures as desired on top of the tissue and glue/tape in place.
  6. Place the second piece of tissue paper on top of the figures, gluing/taping it down around the outer edges only. Trim off the excess tissue paper.
  7. Run a bead of glue (or place double-sided tape) around the outer edges once more, and place the second pagoda frame on top, matching all edges.
  8. Add a loop of yarn or ribbon to the top to hang the pagoda in a window.
The resulting project is very pretty, but it didn't take me long to figure out the process would be too complicated for the little girls. Instead, they'll simply cut out the pagoda and Holy Family patterns (which I'll copy onto cardstock), glue them onto a piece of construction paper, and color and decorate (with glitter glue and sequins if they'd like).

In fact, the older girls may choose to do something similar to this, too, if they don't want to attempt the trickier project. In that case, I'll encourage them to also cut tissue paper to place behind the pagoda frame, and then attach the Holy Family silhouette to that.

Other Activities:

If you've ever watched A Christmas Story, you know there is a very funny scene at the end that takes place in a Chinese restaurant. So we'll watch the movie in the afternoon...and maybe try to sing along during the restaurant scene!


Rather than make a bunch of Chinese food at home, we'll take a field trip to a Chinese restaurant for lunch.

Language Arts:

As they've done each day, the girls will each create a page for China in their personal Christmas Around the World booklets.

Previous Posts:

Photo Credits: cindy251978 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cindyandmike/5235595925/) and ideas4christmas2010 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/54490954@N08/5071056576/)

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