Welcome to Day 12 of 12 Days of Christmas series. Can you believe Christmas is in a few days? The time sure did fly! You can read all the posts from this series on the 12 Days of Christmas 2017 page. Happy Holidays!
Happy Holidays! I’m Alana from Books, Kids & Travel. Amanda was kind enough to let me take over her blog for the day! I’m so excited because this is my favorite time of year. I love all the holiday lights, the decorations, the cookies, and, of course, the holiday books!
Is there anything better than snuggling with your kids and reading a cozy holiday book? So many family traditions come from written stories. Every year my family has a long list of books we read to get into the Christmas spirit. Over the past few years, we have added books about holiday traditions in other countries. I love sneaking in educational books and there’s no better way to do that than teaching cultural awareness through Christmas books! We’ve even learned some new traditions from these books that we’ve incorporated into our celebrations! So without further ado, here are our favorite books to read about holiday traditions around the world.
Christmas Traditions Around the World Book List
1. Lucia Morning in Sweden by Ewa Rydaker: on December 13th, families around Sweden celebrate St. Lucia Day. This book follows the Svennson family as they prepare for the holiday. In addition to the lovely story of the family’s celebration, this book has recipes, sheet music, and sewing patterns for costumes traditionally worn on that day. I recommend the recipes! Delicious!
2. Christmas Around the World: A Pop-Up Book by Chuck Fischer: This is a gorgeous book of pop-up holiday scenes from around the world. Little kids will love that there are plenty of sliders, mini pop-ups, and removable booklets to keep busy as they read the book. This is my daughter’s favorite holiday book!
3. The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving by Dandi Daley Mackall: This delightful book tells the original story of St. Nicholas, the original Santa Claus. It’s a sweet story that emphasizes the season’s spirit of giving. The story originated in Turkey.
4.The Legend of Old Befana: An Italian Christmas Story by Tomie dePaloa- Befana is an Italian legend of an old woman who brings presents to kids on Epiphany (January 6th). This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Befana, an old woman who constantly sweeps. When the procession of the King goes through her town, she plans to visit the Baby King and bring him gifts. However, she misses him because of her sweeping and now she travels the country looking for the Baby King and leaving presents for the children. Epiphany is the main holiday celebration in Italy.
5. A Christmas Spider’s Miracle by Trinka Hakes Noel: Based on a Ukranian story, this is the heartwarming story of a peasant mother and a hardworking spider mother. The peasant mother ventures out on a cold day to get her kids the only Christmas present she can, a tree. She doesn’t notice that the spider mother is living in the tree. During the night the spider spins webs decorating the tree resulting in a Christmas neither mother will forget. Today, many Ukrainians still decorate their trees with spider web ornaments!
6.The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie DePaola: This tells the story of the Hispanic tradition of the procession of Las Posadas, the tradition in which Mary and Joseph go from door to door seeking shelter at the inn on Christmas Eve. While this story does touch on the biblical story of Mary and Joseph, it focuses on the traditional Las PPosadasprocessional rather than the religious story behind it.
7. A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around the World by M.E. Furman: Christmas cookies recipes and traditions from different regions in the U.S. to as far as the Philippines. My kids love to bake holiday cookies so we pull this out every year to make delicious treats for Santa!
8. Christmas Around the World Coloring Book : This is a beautiful coloring book of holiday scenes from around the world. Each scene has an informative caption. It’s a great way to keep kids busy while those yummy holiday cookies bake!
These are our favorite Christmas books from around the world! I hope your family enjoys them as much as we do. If you are interested in other book recommendations, please visit me at Books, Kids & Travel. I write about our favorite kids’ books, such as our list of our favorite books about strong princesses, and about family travel. I also share tips for busy Moms on my Facebook and Instagram pages. I look forward to connecting with you! Happy Holidays!
About the Author:
Hi, Guys! I’m Alana. I’m a working Mom of two kids who loves to read and travel with my family. Preferably, I read while traveling! I am passionate about inspiring others to love reading and traveling with their kids. Join me on these adventures at Books, Kids & Travel.
Print & Play Calendar
Simple, low prep activities that can be modified for toddlers and preschoolers on a simple calendar. No more worrying about how to keep the kids entertained. Just print and go!