Go around the world in books and introduce your children to festivities and traditions celebrated by different countries this holiday season. From the origins of the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree to the festivities of Kwanzaa, keep reading to find out more and discover some book recommendations along the way!
Hanukkah is an important Jewish festival that is celebrated to commemorate the Maccabean Revolt and the great miracle of Hanukkah – when a menorah, a gold candelabrum, burned continuously for 8 days. During Hanukkah, people celebrate by exchanging gifts, eating potato pancakes and jam-filled donuts, and playing with four-sided spinning tops called dreidels.
All About Hanukkah: Things to Make and Do This beautiful activity book is bursting with crafts and recipes, fun activities and facts about the Hanukkah celebrations observed by over FIFTEEN MILLION Jewish people around the world. Read all about why Hanukkah is known as the festival of light and discover the stories behind it. Children can also create magical decorations, plan for the wonderful year ahead and make delicious treats inspired by countries and cultures all over the world.
The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree celebrates a special tradition that stretches back over seventy years. Every year, the Mayor of Oslo in Norway presents the British people with a spectacular Christmas tree as a symbol of peace and friendship, and a thank you for the UK’s support during World War II. As well as this, each year the UK Poetry Society asks a poet to write a poem to welcome the tree.
The Christmas Pine Deep in a snowy wood stands a little pine tree with a special destiny: when it grows up, it’s going to be the famous Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square! This is the perfect picture book to snuggle up with and share at Christmas. Gorgeous, atmospheric illustrations whisk you from frozen forests to the sparkling city square in a beautiful, moving story of festivity and hope.
The advent calendar originated in 19th century Germany when a boy called Gerhard Lang was gifted a piece of cardboard with twenty four cookies attached to it from his mother in the lead up to Christmas. Inspired by his mother’s idea, Gerhard started to manufacture his own advent calendars in 1908 and soon they became a staple during the holiday season.
Tom Gates Advent Calendar Book Collection Have a top-of-the-class countdown to Christmas with this advent calendar collection of twenty-four mini activity and story books, PERFECT for every Tom Gates superfan! Enjoy a book every day packed with how-to-doodles, mega make-and-do activities and stories to share, starring all your favourite characters, including Rooster, Marcus, Delia and Amy.
St. Nicholas was a saint known for his generosity towards others with one well-known legend being that he paid the marriage dowries of three girls who lived in poverty. His generosity has inspired many winter traditions across Europe and, for Western countries, he was the inspiration behind Santa Claus. In many countries, celebrations include leaving letters and carrots for St. Nicholas and his donkey, giving gifts such as sweets and cookies, and children leaving their shoes out at night to be filled with gifts.
Virtually Christmas It used to be the most WONDERFUL time of the year, but for years Christmas has been taken over by Winterzone. All the things that made Christmas special are gone: the human connection, the baubles passed down through generations, even the rubbish cracker jokes. Instead, Christmas is run by robots!
The history of carol singing has origins in many countries around the world, but it most famously became popular during the Victorian period in England. Many families would sing carols after their Christmas dinner which eventually turned into carol services held at cathedrals and local churches during the festive period. As well as this, people would also go from door to door or sing in town squares, usually as a means of raising money for charity.
A Christmas Carol Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly and mean-spirited old man. He treats family, coworkers, and strangers alike with distaste. But on Christmas Eve he receives a visit from the ghost of his dead business partner, Jacob Marley. Marley warns Scrooge that unless he learns to be less greedy and self-serving that Scrooge will be condemned to wander Earth weighed down with heavy chains, as Marley has been. Marley tells Scrooge that three spirits will visit him. As Scrooge travels through his past, present and future life, he begins to learn the true meaning of Christmas.
Kwanzaa was founded in the USA in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga and introduced as a celebration of African-American culture and harvest festival traditions from Africa. It is celebrated for 7 days and on each day a candle is lit on the kinara (candleholder). On the final day, families host a feast called the karamu.
African and Caribbean Folktales, Myths and Legends Enjoy a rich collection of folktales, myths and legends from all over Africa and the Caribbean, re-told for young readers. From the trickster tales of Anansi the spider, to the story of how the leopard got his spots; from the tale of the king who wanted to touch the moon, to Aunt Misery’s magical starfruit tree. This book includes traditional favourites and classic folktales and mythology.
From the festive halls of Hogwarts to the snowy mountains of Narnia to the merry streets of Who-ville, discover our top Christmas classics to curl up with and read before you watch this holiday season!
Make Christmas personal with our selection of the best Christmas classics and festive favourites to give as presents! From baking gingerbread castles with Harry Potter, to meeting Father Christmas with the Pevensie…