Christmas Around the World

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The gift of Christ is for everyone-everywhere. And on Christmas
Day in almost every country around the world, the human race
stops-if only for an instant-to give homage to the humble Savior
who was born in a stable.

Since that blessed day in Bethlehem, people around the world have
developed their own rituals and traditions to celebrate Christmas
Day. Your children can learn about and sense God’s heart for people
everywhere as they make these crafts from around the world.
(Instructions and materials listed are for one child only.)

NATIVITY ORNAMENT
Christmas in France means the Nativity scene or creche. At
Christmastime, churches and homes display the manger scene to
remember the birth of Christ. In the community and in homes,
children gather to sing and pray around the creche. In Marseille,
they even have the famous Santon Fair before Christmas. (A santon
is a little clay figure used in a creche.) Children can make this
aromatic creche ornament, created by Judith Moy of San Gabriel,
California.

MATERIALS
a small wooden or cardboard star for each child
yellow paint
a paintbrush
glitter
5 cinnamon sticks
Christmas cards with nativity scenes, colored pencils and paper, or
a nativity scene rubber stamp
scissors
potpourri
6-inch length of ribbon
glue

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Paint a small wooden star with yellow paint and sprinkle glitter
over the wet paint. Allow the paint to dry. Glue five cinnamon
sticks into the shape of a house.

As the glue on the house dries, create a nativity scene by cutting
out the nativity figures on a Christmas card, drawing the figures
on paper, or cutting out a rubber stamped nativity scene on a sheet
of paper. Glue the nativity scene to the dried cinnamon-stick
stable.

Glue potpourri onto the sides of the stable for a rustic look-and
nice smell. Then glue the star to the top of the stable. Insert a
6-inch piece of ribbon through the top of the stable. Tie the
ribbon in a knot for hanging the nativity ornament.

GIFT IN REVERSE
The Scandinavians have an unusual practice of making gifts for
animals at Christmastime. They place sheaves of wheat or barley on
tops of tall poles, and they tack suet to tree trunks. Their gift
enables birds to feast at Christmas too. Your kids will enjoy
making an edible birdhouse to feed little creatures at
Christmastime.

MATERIALS
a pint-sized milk carton
a 3/16-inch wooden dowel 6 inches long
peanut butter
birdseed
a plastic knife
twine
a hot glue gun

On two opposite sides of the milk carton, cut a hole 2 inches up
from the bottom of the carton. On the same sides as these holes,
cut a hole in the top edge of the milk carton. Insert a dowel
through the lower holes for the bird’s perches. Glue the dowel into
place with a dab of hot glue at each hole. String a piece of twine
through the top holes in the milk carton and tie a knot to create a
hanger. Using a plastic knife, completely cover the milk carton
with peanut butter and then roll it in birdseed.

FABRIC GIFTS
Kids love to make gifts for Mom or Dad at Christmas. And because
kids usually lack financial resources, you can help ensure that Mom
and Dad have something under the tree! Use these interesting craft
ideas from all around the world.

ADINKRA CLOTH
In Ghana, adinkra cloth is made by the Ashanti people. The fabric
is divided into squares. Then the Ashanti people stamp symbols in
the squares that express such qualities as patience, security,
strength, and forgiveness.

MATERIALS
a 1-foot muslin square
a fine-line black marker
a ruler
fabric markers or crayons

Use a fine-line black marker to mark off small squares over the
entire piece of muslin. Use simple symbols such as a heart, flower,
smiley face, triangle, or circle. Using fabric markers or crayons,
create a symbol in each square. Allow the markers to dry.

TIE-DYE
Tie-dyeing has been used in India since 700 B.C. People in India
used natural dyes from organic sources such as fruit, bark, roots,
and flowers. Tie-dyeing is a popular look right now, so children
will enjoy tie-dyeing a gift.

ALERT: Requires close adult supervision.

MATERIALS
A 3-foot square of white prewashed fabric
cold water dye
rubber bands
scissors
spatulas
2 large bowls
a place to hang wet fabric squares to dry
Prepare the dye in large bowls following the package
directions.

Pinch up areas of the fabric and tightly twist rubber bands around
the gathered cloth. Do this all over the fabric.

After all the areas are gathered, place the fabric in the bowl of
dye. Stir and leave the fabric in the dye longer than suggested.
Then lift out the fabric and rinse it in a bowl of clear water. Cut
the rubber bands, squeeze out any excess water, and hang the fabric
to dry.

     

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