Way back on December first I posted: Se7en’s Advent Adventures. And I thought I would let you know how it had gone and what worked and what didn’t!!!….
So let’s begin:
- Around the World Advent: We made a list of countries round the world and looked at a different country up to and including Christmas day. We colored in the flag for each country and added it to the flat and looked for a fact pertaining to Christmas for each country. We used the Whychristmas.com site for finding our links and you can follow the links to each country. We intended to color in the traditional costume of the countries as well, but if the country wasn’t on these pages (page 1; page 2; page 3) then it didn’t happen!!! We weren’t alone in our travels: There was Christmas Around the World on CurrClick, and it was a great resource, I have linked them whenever relevant!!! We couldn’t think of a country beginning with X… if you have any inspiration then let us know!!!
- Arbor Advent: This was our favorite part of Advent… who knew a plant a day!!! Our Keyhole garden is back in action… and everyone is watching the corn!!! We have never grown that and I am so hoping the bugs and beasts don’t get to it before us!!! Otherwise we have a new herb garden… planted and good to go!!! And lots of little seeds in trays, just waiting to pop. I think planting a plant a day really worked for us… especially since planting one plant got us all outdoors and working in the garden for hours at a time… we loved it!!!
- An Action a Day: This worked so well, we just chatted about a “campaign” sometime during each day, did a quick google search and learnt an enormous amount!!! I think we need to pursue this further and maybe we will look at doing this more often during the year. We really began this project to learn more about issues facing the world today and ended up really concerned for our world and the people living on it!!!
- The Jessie Tree: My kids love this and they can hear the story over and over and over again!!!
- Fun Flags: We never said anything, just sometime during the day someone had a peep at the board to see if the flag of the day was written on yet… It was a bit like checking the mail. Simple fun and easy fun!!!
- Heaps of Crafting, Making and Decorating: Our Christmas crafting was really simple this year because we did school almost right up to Christmas… Our crafting was mostly about gifting for siblings, gifting for friends and teeny tiny angels… Our baking didn’t happen, neither did our Cookie Swap, we were struck by a tummy bug, so instead we will make a huge batch of cookies next week for some New Year fun… and deliver them up the road as folk in the clinic get back to work.
- Christmas Books: We are still reading the Christmas Carol, we finally bought a copy of the book rather than borrowing it from the library. It is lovely and feels like an old book, it has a worn leather looking cover and Quentin Blake’s illustrations help to bring it to life. We are loving it!!! Everyone is so enjoying it that we are rereading sections over and over again and some folks are learning copious tracts of it!!!
- Games, games, games: I am amazed at how well this worked out… We loved games and never have time for them… and I was worried we would never fit a game a day into our schedule… Turns out you can, just make sure you start!!! I am always putting off games until the next task is done… Well I stopped worrying about the next chore and just started playing. Turns out, and I know this but always forget it!!! So we played a heap of games and I think we may have begun a new habit of a game a day… because it hasn’t stopped and we are still playing like crazy!!!
B for Brazil: Celebrations begin with fireworks on Christmas Eve and if you leave a sock on the window sill then Papai Noel will exchange to sock for a gift. Passport Academy looked at Brazil in Christmas Around the World. The Holiday Spot also has a page on Brazil, a country with a hot Christmas like ours.
C for China: The Ironic thing about Christmas in China is that so many people there haven’t heard about Christmas yet as a country they make the most decorations. Jimmies Collage took a look at China. The Holiday Spot has a China page as well.
E for Ethiopia: Christmas is called Ganna, they don’t exchange gifts, but go to church, feast and play games.
F for France: In France a Nativity scene made from clay is used to decorate the house and a sweet smelling yule log is burnt. Life: One Magnolia Scented Bubble Bath at a Time. The Virtual Museum of Canada has a great page on French and Canadian Christmas traditions. The Holiday Spot also has a page on French Christmas Traditions.
G for Greece: Children go Carol singing on Christmas Eve. They play drums and triangles and carry a gold boat covered in nuts.
H for Holland: The celebration begins on 5 December when children leave out their clogs hoping for gifts from Sinterklass.
I for India: Churches are decorated with Poinsettia flowers and and instead of a traditional Christmas Trees they often decorate banana or mango trees. Indian Christmas Traditions are shown on the Holiday Spot.
J for Japan: In Japan Christmas Day is not a holiday, it is a time to spread happiness rather than a religious holiday. Folks tend to go out for a romantic dinner on Christmas Eve. The Holiday Spot has interesting things to say about Christmas in Japan.
K for Kazakhstan: This country was formerly part of the USSR and only in recent years have christians been allowed to celebrate Christmas. Here is a link to a blog of someone who celebrated Christmas there.
L for Lebanon: They serve sugar coated almonds with their coffee when they visit friends.
M for Mexico: My kids loved hearing about the procession of Posada… Posada means inn in Spanish and children visit visit nine “inns.” The inns are decorated with moss and paper lanterns. At each inn they are told there is no room in the inn… until the last inn where they are welcomed into a fun party with pinatas of course. Holiday Traditions also has a page on Mexican Traditions and explains the Posada.
O for Oman: From what we could discover Oman is a Muslim country and they do not celebrate Christmas.
P for Pakistan: In Pakistan Christmas Day is a public holiday in memory of the founder of their country. There are relatively few Christian there and celebrations include carol singing. The houses are decorated with a star on them.
Q for Qatar: In a country with Christians scattered few and far between Christmas is not a big celebration in Qatar.
S for Spain: Most folk in Spain go to mid-night mass on Christmas Eve and it is called “La Misa Del Gallo,” which means the mass of the rooster because a rooster was supposed to have crowed the night before baby Jesus was born. Chocolate on My Cranium dod a great post on Christmas in Spain. Holiday Traditions has a page on Spain and my kids all want to make the caramel custard!!!
T for Trinidad and Tobago: Christmas seems to be a very social time of year here with lots of preparation and partying.
U for United Kingdom: The Boxing Day tradition began here about 800 years ago when church collection boxes were open and the alms were distributed to the poor. Adventures of a Somewhat Crunchy Mama did a post on English Traditions. Holiday Traditions has a great page on England including how to make a Victoria Sandwich Cake.
V for Vietnam – Christmas is celebrated mostly on Christmas Eve in Vietnam – where they party in the streets and throw confetti, they also exchange gifts of food, especially a chocolate cake in the shape of a log.
W for Wales: In Wales they call caroling Eisteddfodde and they make taffy from brown sugar and butter at Christmas time.
Y for Yugoslavia: You have to follow the link to see how they celebrate mothers and fathers day in the weeks before Christmas.
Z for Zimbabwe – Christmas cards with snow scenes and wild animals are sent. On the day everyone wears their very best clothes…
B is for Blood Donation: The UK website was brilliant for this, their funzone is just that, fun, and the virtual tour is perfect.
C is for Cancer: Cancer is so prevalent, I just can’t believe there are people who haven’t lost someone dear to them because of this disease. We thought it was important enough to have a blog tea party this year to raise funds… HEre is a click to cure breast cancer link.
D is for Diabetes: The Father person has Type 2 Diabetes, so this is a topic close to our heart… we didn’t even know their was a World Diabetes day!!!
E is for Education: The literacy site has a click to give button. We loved the Room to Read Website, there is even a South African Project. Did you know 80% of students in South Africa have no library – that is simply shocking when I consider how much freely available access to a library my children have.
J is for Jaguar: Jaguar was our inner animal when we played “What’s your inner animal? Scroll down on the WWF site to find it.
N is for NO Nestle: PhD in Parenting has heaps of information regarding Nestle and their atrocities…
P for Plastic, especially in our Oceans: Recently my boys did a workshop at the Aquarium and learnt about the 5 Gyre Project. Read about the plastic pollution problem in our Ocean. AAAAH my pet hate is packaging, you will be fired up to do something about plastic pollution.
We didn’t manage a cause a day so if you want to help us out then add a comment, we still have all the awkward letters: I, K, Q, U, V, W, X, Y and Z!!!
And the Se7en +1th Thing:
That’s our Advent… My kids would have been happy with the just the arbor advent!!! But that doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy all the other fun!!! We will definitely do a spin around the world next year… and maybe I will prepare it a bit better and add some crafts and recipes. And the causes well they worked well, I think they deserve a space of their own on our blog so that they can add to them from time to time.