Joyeux Noel! Kala Christouyenna! Feliz Navidad! Nollaig Shona Dhuit!
As I undertook this week’s Read & Shine newsletter I was met with anxiety. You see, I love Christmas and love reading about Christmas customs all over the world. Many years ago, I found a small book at a discount store that had a page for each of the many types of Christmas celebrations around the world. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to share it with my elementary-aged daughter. Needless to say, she didn’t find it as fascinating as I did; she was more interested in if Santa would remember to bring her an American Girl doll. Santa did bring the doll, but I still hoped that I had left an impression of how important it is to learn about the many customs around the world.
I didn’t let my daughter’s disinterest stop me from sharing the Christmas customs with others. That same year, as a media specialist at an elementary school, my students would soon find a laminated bulletin board paper Christmas tree taped to the wall, with construction paper ball shaped ornaments, each displaying Merry Christmas in a different language. The children loved trying to guess what language each was. This activity was followed by what Santa’s name is in different countries. I was making progress.
As the years passed, I never gave up on trying to teach my daughter about the different December holidays and customs. A comment here, a trivia question there, always trying to spark an interest. The spark finally lit one year- the year I traced my heritage and came to a generation that I believed was of Jewish descent. This time my daughter was listening. Why the change? Chocolate gelt coins.
So back to all this anxiety. What’s all the anxiety about you ask? It’s how in the world can I share all the great holiday books with you all! All the December holidays celebrate either peace or unity and I’m not in any peaceful state trying to unite a thorough list of all the great holiday books available. But, alas, I will try. There are so many outstanding books that can introduce our children to the special celebrations that are held throughout the world this time of year. There aren’t enough days in December to thoroughly study each, but if we start introducing our children to the many customs and their significance, we will be showing our children that there is still peace and unity.