Traditions of Christmas Around the World That Actually Improve Student Learning

35 ideas for different traditions of Christmas Around the World

I love this time of the year when study different traditions of Christmas around the world.  In fact, I love this season so much that I included 5 different holiday traditions in our Daily Concept Builders™ resources.  These resources are a great way for your students to learn important, relevant, seasonally appropriate vocabulary for each month.  December is a perfect month to give this great program a try as it is solely focused on Christmas around the world traditions.

CLICK HERE to see the entire Christmas Around the World MEGA bundle for 50% off, PLUS an extra 25% when you use code: CYBER23


1. Try holidays around the world vocabulary to instantly engage your students

christmas around the world traditions calendar
Students cut and paste the different traditions of Christmas around the world on their calendars.

CLICK HERE to get this amazing resource inside our ultimate Christmas Around the World bundle.


Here’s why these calendars are the perfect start to your morning meeting:

  • Word of the day focuses your students on instruction immediately. Make a big deal out of the “word of the day.” Talk about what it means and what connections your students can make.

CLICK HERE for your FREE guide on how this type of literacy can transform student learning and behavior.


  • Interactive student calendars, and a math pattern make this a perfect addition to your daily math time. Use as morning work, independent centers, or group instruction.
  • Days 3-9 on the calendar are all about Hanukkah. The great thing about these calendars is they are editable so you can move the words around for when the dates of Hanukkah, as well as the other holidays, change.

Read comments made about our calendar HERE.

2. Christmas Around the World books will help you calm the chaos and stay productive

I read our Daily Concept Builders Christmas Around the World book about Hanukkah at the beginning of the month. You know how you feel like you never have time to teach enough phonics? These books are so different from anything else, because they are interactive for your students. Highlight key content vocabulary, and differentiate student phonics word study.

This is one of the books in our ELA Book Bundle that also includes St. Lucia, Christmas, Las Posadas, and Kwanzaa.  Enjoy all these great opportunities for your learners:

  • Color and black and white copies for students to highlight the holiday words. 
  • Real images of the calendar words in the books 
  • Comprehension questions in the back of the books.  

We’ve updated the books to make them more interactive for your students.  There is also a single sheet with the words from the book/song that can be used in a poetry folder.

3. Cutting material costs for the holidays? Go digital!

Prefer something digital for your students to use? We made an exact copy of these popular books with Boom cards. They are great for emergent readers or ESL students because they include audio and real images.  

But that isn’t the best part.

These cards are completely independent for your students. Want to track their progress? Make a small investment to access premium features that help you differentiate for each individual student and track their progress.

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4. Get hands on with this crowd-pleasing Hanukkah Craft

This simple and easy craft is always a hit with my students. Very few materials are required and they turn out so cute! BONUS, add a writing prompt and you have a nice bulletin board display.


 1) I draw a menorah on the board for the students to copy onto green construction paper.

2) Then they glue 1 popsicle stick in the middle and 4 sticks on both sides for the candles.

3) Next, I put glue on each stick and they sprinkle glitter on them for flames. They love this part!

a menorah craft
This is the first step making the menorah.



making the menorah Hanukkah craft
They glue 9 sticks for the menorah.
creating a menorah craft for Hanukkah
Students are sprinkling the glitter for the candles on the menorah.
Hanukkah craft to celebrate Christmas around the world traditions
This is the finished menorah.

See some other fun ideas for Hanukkah below: 

5. 8 Fascinating Facts About Hanukkah

6. Books About Hanukkah

7. Hanukkah Crafts

8. Hilarious Parody Video That Tells the Whole Story

9. Don’t forget St. Lucia Day for Christmas Around the World Traditions!

St. Lucia Day is one of 5 holidays we’ve included in this amazing mega bundle. We’ve created a fun and engaging way to learn about vocabulary for Christmas around the world traditions, like  St.Lucia Day, with our 3 level memory game.

Here is the vocabulary we use:

  • St. Lucia
  • symbol
  • wreath
  • cookies
  • stars
  • holiday
  • tradition

You can play with students matching word to word, word to picture, or picture to picture. Students love the real images of the words, and this visual vocabulary approach has been a gamechanger for my ELLs especially.

christmas around the world traditions
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10. This St.Lucia Craft is perfect for art and drama

When is St. Lucia Day?  St. Lucia’s Day is on December 13 and celebrates Saint Lucy, the patron saint of Sweden.  The girls all dress in white and wear wreaths with candles in them.  They serve cookies and other treats to their families.  One traditional treat for St. Lucia Day is saffron bread or st.lucia day buns.  Boys wear white hats with stars that are appropriately named “starboy hats.”  This holiday is meant to bring light in the darkest time of the year.
Below are a few pictures of the St. Lucia Day wreaths and starboy attire that I did in my classroom. Your students can wear them for a party or to act out a St. Lucia Day celebration:
making St. Lucia wreaths
The girls made St. Lucia wreaths.








boys making starboy hats for St.Lucia Day.
The boys made starboy hats for St. Lucia Day.








boys and girls on St. Lucia Day
Students were proud to wear their St. Lucia Day hats and crowns.

Here are some more ideas for St. Lucia’s Day:

11. St. Lucia Wreaths

12. American Girl St. Lucia’s Day

13. Authentic St. Lucia’s Day

14. Starboy Hats

St. Lucia emergent reader
My kids love the real photos of St. Lucia Day and singing the song.

CLICK HERE to get this amazing resource inside our ultimate Christmas Around the World bundle.


15. Uplevel comprehension skills with this amazing word game for different traditions of Christmas around the world

My students love playing this word game about different traditions of Christmas around the world. They actually ask to play it again and again. I also have taped the cards around the room and let the students write their answers on the recording sheet that is included. The cards can be used for discussion about the holidays. Some teachers like to use these cards for Scoot as well.

christmas around the world traditions word game
Check your students’ understanding of different traditions of Christmas around the world.

 Here’s how to play:

  • Explain the name Brain Bounce by telling students that we will be taking turns bouncing questions from one team to another.
  • Divide the class into two teams. Let them pick out team names.
  • Have each team form a line.
  • Begin the game by displaying the Boom card on a SMARTboard or other projecting device.
  • If you are using the Scoot task cards, place the first card in front of the first student on a desk.
  • The student in the front of line 1 tries to give the correct answer, and if they answer correctly their team receives a point.
  • It’s easiest to write the two teams down on a white board and use tally marks.
  • If the answer is incorrect, the other team can earn an extra point by trying to answer the question.
  • Game continues until all the cards are read.

16. Boost your Christmas around the world traditions with Las Posadas

Las Posadas is a holiday that started in Mexico.  It is now celebrated in Mexico, Guatemala, and a few other South American countries.  The celebration is a time to remember the birth of Jesus and the journey Joseph and Mary took to find a place to give birth.  In Spanish, “Las Posadas,” means “the inns,” which didn’t have room for Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus.  This holiday is celebrated from December 16-24 with parades, piñatas, and other festivities.  Each night a child dresses as an angel and leads the parade through town.  They stop at each house and are refused lodging until they reach the end of the procession.  The poinsettia is a flower used for decoration during Las Posadas.

 Here are some ideas for Las Posadas:

17. Book and activities from a Latina mom

18. Piñata craft

19. Handprint poinsettia

20. Mexican Carol

 christmas around the world in mexico
Students love the real photos showing how Christmas is celebrated around the world.

21. Best different traditions for Christmas around the world to engage students

Christmas is a holiday celebrated around the world in many different ways.  It began as a way to remember the birth of baby Jesus and grew into many different traditions.  

Many families have a Christmas tree that they decorate with ornaments.  Kids hang stockings for Santa to fill and he leaves presents under the tree.  Families also give presents this time of year.  Lots of people like to eat candy canes and bake cookies for Santa.

My students learn about the different holidays like Christmas by completing these cut and paste sheets. I use them for a guided reading center. I love these because they are so much more meaningful than a regular NO PREP worksheet.

Students are exposed to a sight word and a vocabulary word every day, as well as work on phonics, and they are challenged with a critical thinking question on each sheet. I love seeing how the students answer their bonus questions.

christmas around the world traditions worksheets
Encourage critical thinking with these worksheets about the different traditions of Christmas around the world.
christmas around the world first grade writing worksheets
Students practice word order and their writing.








christmas around the world fist grade writing worksheets
Students enjoy illustrating their sentences.
christmas around the world first grade writing worksheets
I like reading about the different traditions.

Christmas Crafts

Here are some pictures of activities I do in my classroom:


christmas gift bags
Students decorate their own white gift bags.


christmas around the world ornaments
Students used their fingerprints to make snow on these snow globe ornaments.

24. Get a craft and tasty treat with Sugar Cone Christmas Trees:

We had so much fun decorating sugar cones to look like Christmas trees.  You just color white can frosting with green food coloring or now you can just grab green frosting and frost a sugar cone.   The students also created a snow village on the plate.  They  used powdered sugar for snow.
I used this as a center during my holiday party and invited parents to help.
christmas tree snow villages
Parents sent in different kinds of candy for our snow villages.
snow villages
We used powdered sugar for snow in our snow villages.

These are just a couple examples of the finished products.  This is so much easier than the gingerbread houses! You can use teddy grahams or gummy bears as villagers.  You can also make candy sleds to go on the plate and marshmallow snowmen! Pam lays the tree down on the plate and slides the whole display in a freezer gallon size bag with the student’s name already written on the bag. This is a great way to take it home. Check out How We Use Treats for Student Success.

Here are some other Christmas ideas:

25. Christmas tree sorting activity

I like to use this as a sorting activity, and then they can put the pieces on the tree during center time. Students can also count the ornaments. This is a great way I can use the word ornaments since it is one of the vocabulary words for our Christmas theme. I actually got my granddaughter one for their walls because she kept wanting to take the ornaments off their real tree. She loves it!

felt christmas tree
The kids love putting the Christmas pieces on this felt tree.

26. See some cool math games for Christmas.

27. St. Nicholas Day

28. Christmas in Other Countries

29. Candy Cane Hunt

30. Christmas STEM

Your students will love this book about Christmas!

christmas around the world traditions reader
Students will practice word features as well as vocabulary.

31. Don’t take a holiday from sight word practice this year

Our last Daily Concept Builder product is this active learning sight word center pack. It includes poems about Christmas around the world traditions as well as our sight word center.  My students love to build the sight word of the day onto their cards and then I encourage them to use their letters to build their own words. I also use this as a center during my guided reading time.

christmas sight words
Students love putting the presents under the tree as they spell sight words.

32. End your Christmas Around the World unit with Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a holiday celebrated by African-Americans around the world.  Families celebrate from December 26-January 1 and they focus on seven principles: umoja(unity), kuji-chagulia(self-determination or working hard), ujima(working together and being responsible), nia(purpose), kuumba(creativity), imani(faith).

Families have a kinara with 3 green candles, 3 red candles, and 1 black candle.  All gifts are handmade to symbolize the labor of the parents. This is a very community-centered holiday, and you can use it to connect to your classroom culture.

Don’t have a classroom culture you like? Sign up for your community building workbook! CLICK HERE NOW!


Here are some Kwanzaa ideas:

Have your kids pair up and make gifts for one another.  This is a nice way to celebrate unity.

33. Umoja or unity chain

34. Video about Kwanzaa

35. Lots of great Kwanzaa crafts

Your students will enjoy reading and singing about Kwanzaa!

So, as you can see, by the time your students have completed all of these resources in the month, they have been very involved with the monthly vocabulary and sight words.  I have seen great progress with my student’s writing skills as well as their vocabulary development! Thanks to Daily Concept Builders, my students are having fun and are very engaged with vocabulary! 


CLICK HERE to see the entire Christmas Around the World MEGA bundle for 50% off, PLUS an extra 25% when you use code: CYBER23


Enjoy Your Christmas Holidays around the world!

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