It’s still fall, but my mind is already on the holiday season. I just can’t wait for Christmas! As I get ready for my favorite holiday, I want to make sure my kids are learning about the holidays other kids and families around the world celebrate at this same time. There is so much to learn and discover about different cultures and the ways and reasons they celebrate various holidays. Here are ways to teach your kids about holidays around the world.
Educate Yourself First
In your journey to learn about diverse holiday celebrations, begin with yourself! What are things that are interesting to you? Are there certain regions that call to you specifically? Have you always wanted to learn more about a holiday you’ve seen on a calendar but don’t know anything about? Your kids will pick up on your interests and that will ignite conversation easily.
Have you ever heard of Saturnalia? St. Lucia’s Day? Chaomos? Learn the names of a number of cultural holidays through reading this list of 20 holiday traditions around the world, or this feature on 20 Celebrations this Holiday Season Besides Christmas.
If you’re ready for a deeper read, check out this scholarly article showing you to bring cultural context into what you’re teaching your kids in a way that is respectful to all. This is written for teachers, but is applicable to parenting, too!
Get Your Kids Involved
Now that you have spent some time enriching your own knowledge of cultural holidays, you can better educate those around you. An easy option is to get to your local library! Children’s books are a fun, accessible way to build your kid’s knowledge of the wide world around them. A great place to start is with this list of 28 Multicultural Holiday Books to Celebrate Diversity.
If you’re looking for activities at home, there are a ton of options available online. You don’t have to be a teacher to put educational resources to work in your home! Purchase these ready-made “Holidays Around the World” packages to go through with your kids. One is even an escape room!
Across the Lansing area we have a diverse community — let’s learn from each other! Here are some great upcoming events to learn more about cultural holidays:
- Celebrate Kwanzaa at St. Stephen’s Community Church in Lansing.
- Follow the Greater Lansing Chinese Association online to hear about upcoming Chinese New Year and Spring Festival events.
- Check the Greater Lansing Jewish Federation community calendar for upcoming programs and holidays like Hanukkah.
- Stop by the MSU Global Festival on November 11. This international student event features cultural exhibits and performances from around the world. This is a great event for kids!
I hope these ideas give you a good place to start on the process of opening up the world to your kids, and yourself, this holiday season. I know I still have a lot to learn!