How do you celebrate Christmas online? A fireplace crackles on the Digi board in the classroom, and the Christmas tree sparkles in the reading corner. Christmas is also a wonderful theme in education. But what is it like during online lessons?
The teachers at Dutch for Children don’t turn their hand to that. Some teachers have in the sight of the camera a small Christmas tree, an angel, and even the wise man with a star; other teachers wear a Santa hat during the lesson and play soft Dutch Christmas music in the background. Yet another teacher has dressed up her hand puppet as Santa Claus, and another has tailored the Christmas story for his students.
Christmas online: games and other language activities
A Christmas game and Christmas cookie baking are not missing either. Two completely different activities, but both so beautifully “tap into” language goals. The game: reading and learning roles, empathizing by talking about the story, and expanding vocabulary.
Baking Christmas cookies: writing a shopping list, reading ingredients, following instructions (of the recipe).
And more: Talking records, rhyming exercises, vocabulary around Christmas, stories about Christmas and critical listening and reading exercises, read-aloud books, and songs. Search plates and rebus games with the titles of Christmas songs.
“Great time of year to work, St. Nicholas and Christmas live with the children too!” said one of our teachers.
Online Christmas is ideal for Dutch language and culture lessons
Christmas time lessons consist of language and culture lessons at Dutch for Children. Many Christmas stories lend themselves well to this. Current stories from the news are also used to teach themes such as tolerance, helping each other and ‘wanting to make the world a better place’. Schooltv offers a wide range of beautiful and appropriate videos.
Christmas traditions around the world
How do children around the world celebrate Christmas? We have highlighted a few Christmas traditions from the lives of our students in a number of countries. Fun to read and experience with your children.
Christmas tradition in the Netherlands
The most important tradition seems to be the decorated Christmas tree. This is put up only on or after the first Advent or Sinterklaas (December 5). Over the years the decoration has developed a lot. I always really liked my children’s choice when they were young, but now at 20 and 17 I choose my own theme.
Also, we always had an advent calendar with chocolates, but whether that’s typically Dutch….
In the Netherlands you call Christmas: christmas or Christmas.
Christmas tradition Spain
Christmas in Spain is only Nochebuena (24th): Christmas dinner with family. However, children receive gifts from the Reyes Magos on January 6 with Epiphany.
Christmas in Spain is called Navidad.
Christmas tradition England
Children write a letter to Santa Claus with their wishes. They put those letters by the fireplace, where they magically end up at the North Pole. A funny tradition is to wear the same pajamas as a family on Christmas morning.
In England, they celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve (24th), Christmas Day (25th), and Boxing Day (26th).
England calls Christmas: Christmas.
Christmas tradition USA
A well-known tradition for parents and children in the USA is “Elf on the shelf. This elf comes from a story in which children are told that the magic begins when they name the elf. Children are also taught that they should never touch the elf. This elf is found in a different place in the house daily and keeps an eye on the family until Christmas. The elf is also sometimes naughty and makes messes in the house. Read more about this elf tradition.
On Christmas Eve, many children hang socks in front of the fireplace. In them come the presents. Children set out cookies and a carrot for Christmas Eve for the reindeer.
In the USA, they say Christmas or the Holidays.
Christmas tradition Peru
Christmas Eve is essential. That’s when families have dinner together around 11 p.m. or so. Then they gather in the Plaza de Armas, where they place “the baby Jesus” in his manger. This happens at midnight sharp.
In most communities, Christmas continues until Bajada de Los Reyes (Three Kings) on Jan. 6. People give each other gifts on that day.
In Peru, Christmas is Navidad in Spanish.
Christmas is not an official Chinese holiday. Nonetheless, Christmas has made its presence felt mostly commercially, lights are hugely decked out, and even slim Chinese Santa Clauses can be seen on the streets.
In Chinese, Christmas is: Shèngdàn jié
Officially, Christmas is not celebrated in Dubai because of the Islamic faith. However, you do see Christmas decorations in malls and hotels. Dubai mall is full of Christmas trees, snow, and Santa Clauses. And the Burj al Aarab, Dubai’s most famous hotel, also packs it big in terms of decorations.
Christmas in Arabic is eid almilad.
Online language and culture not only at Christmas
Dutch for Children educate children around the world: Dutch Language and Culture Education online. Also called NTC online. A familiar term for expats and people who have emigrated. What does the Culture aspect (C) stand for? Read more about our culture classes here.