Make the Holidays More Meaningful ~ Explore Cultures

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Colossal Christmas Countdown Holiday EventExplore Different Cultures!

Help your kids get a sense of life in other countries by introducing them to a variety of holiday rituals celebrated around the globe during this time of year.  A few examples to check out:

  1. The Netherlands: Children set out pairs of shoes on the eve of St. Nicholas Day, December 6.  In the middle of the night, St. Nick pays a visit, filling the shoes with small treats such as chocolates, candies and toys.

  2. Mexico: December 28, Day of the Holy Innocents, is celebrated much in the same way as April Fool's Day.  Children - and adults - play innocent pranks.  If successful, the trickster gives his victim a candy treat.
  3. Korea: Families celebrate January 1 by making Duk Gook - also spelled Ddeokguk - or rice-cake soup.  According to tradition, enjoying a bowlful on New Year's Day allows everyone to advance a year in age.
  4. Italy: Kids write letters to their parents promising good behavior (and apologizing for recent misdeeds), as well as telling them how much they love them.  The letters are then placed under Dad's plate on Christmas Eve; he reads them all aloud once the meal is through.
  5. Sweden: St. Lucia Day, December 13, is the beginning of the holiday season; one girl in each home dresses as Lucia, patron saint of light, in a white gown and a crown of leaves - and then wakes everyone by bringing a tray of breakfast treats.
  6. Ethiopia: Here, many families celebrate Christmas on January 7 - though most people actually refer to the holiday as either Genna or Ganna, after a hockeylike game that is traditionally played on that afternoon.


{This post is an excerpt from "Make the Holidays More Meaningful" as published in Parents magazine}
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley!
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