Why it's important to teach students about Christmas around the World

"Classical" Christmas is an exciting time for students as it is, but it can get even more exciting if you start exploring how Christmas is celebrated around the world! 

Christmas celebrations have found their way into all parts of the globe. Whether it is an official holiday, or just celebrated by a specific community in a given country, the holiday assimilated local customs, creating a very special Christmas experience in every region of the world. For example, imagine Christmas in the tropical regions!

Here are some reasons why you should go beyond your backyard and teach your students about Christmas around the world this season.

Studying cultural diversity

Teaching your students about how Christmas is celebrated around the world will enrich their cultural awareness, their perception of the human diversity, and of course - it can be fresh and fun.

By looking at interesting customs from other countries, children will naturally feel the sense of awe related to cultures different than theirs. This will make them appreciate other societies' traditions and the diversity that the world offers, making them less susceptible to become close-minded as they grow up.

The fun of the unusual

Your community's version of Christmas must be beautiful, but as children grow up, they might get a bit tired of repetitions. Older students are always interested in the offbeat and the unusual. Studying Christmas cultural practices worldwide might be just what you need to keep them interested in this part of your curriculum.

Imagine what Christmas would be like Down Under, where Christmas celebrations are the beach are very popular. 

Putting exchange students in the spotlight

If you have exchange students in your class or those that have permanently moved from another country which celebrates Christmas, ask them to do a show-and-tell presentation about their community's Christmas customs. If they don't have any items to bring with them, they can just prepare a slideshow which tells a story about their traditions and rituals, and perhaps include a Christmas-related family photo. That will help the new student's confidence by giving him or her a special role. Also, it is always amazing how children can engage and inspire one another.

Different, but the same

Studying various customs dedicated to the same holiday teaches kids a valuable lesson - that people might differ in their ways superficially, but that the essence is the same. People around the world can share the same values, even though the superficial variability might seem significant at first glance.

You can expand this story by explaining that all world religions and beliefs essentially share some basic ideas - that people should love one another, seek peace, help out to those in need, and refrain from doing things that hurt others.

There are many easily available online resources to help you find the most interesting examples for your students. No matter which ones you choose, remember to keep the lessons light and enjoy the Christmas trip around the world together with your class.

Looking for some low prep options this Christmas to explore Christmas Around The World? Why not check out my Christmas Around The World Celebration Booklet, Christmas Around The World Research Project, or Christmas Around The World Scavenger Hunt? Students love these around the world Christmas resources and learn so much about diversity from them.