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Christmas around the World

In addition to the items provided, you'll need green paint, blue paint, and paintbrushes.
Have your family name any Christmas traditions you practice. Then read the traditions below to learn what people in other areas of the world do. Talk about why you think each tradition helps focus on Jesus-or distracts from him.
Paint your ornament to look like a globe. After it dries, hang it on your tree and pray for the people in each country you learned about.

  • In Mumbai, India, people string paper lanterns between houses so it seems like stars float above you as you walk down the road.
  • In Bethlehem, many people have special services in Shepherd's Fields or the Church of the Nativity. Many people paint crosses on their door.
  • In Brazil, it's customary to build "electric trees"-trees made solely out of electric lights.
  • In Mexico, kids put present requests in their shoes, and they believe the three wise men deliver the gifts. They also have fireworks, ringing bells, and blowing whistles right at midnight on Christmas day to announce Jesus' birth.
  • In Ireland, people clean and even whitewash their homes to purify them for Christmas. They place candles in their windows as a sign of hospitality for Mary and Joseph.
  • In Britain, many theaters gather kids to pantomime stories such as Little Red Riding Hood and Aladdin.
  • In China, Christmas isn't a recognized holiday, but the country is still filled with Christmas decorations, and many Christians go to church.
  • In France, nearly every home displays a nativity. These often include "santons" (little saints).
  • In Egypt, Christians don't eat meat, dairy, or animal products for the month leading up to Christmas.
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