It is time for Saint Nicholas and we have been listening to stories and carols from all around the world just to get into the Holiday Spirit.
Story Nory has some amazing free stories to download from traditional ones to fables. Our favorite at this time of the year is Christmas in Iceland. Did you know there is no Santa Claus in Iceland? Yule lads called Jolasveinar (say that three times) come baring gifts throughout the 12 days of Christmas. Here is a little clip to learn more.
In Netherlands Sinerklass is accompanied by helpers with black faces and traditional Moorish costumes, they are called ‘Zwarte Pieten’ (Black Peters). Zwarte Piet lets Santa know if a child has been good or bad. Sometimes, it is Zwarte Piet’s job to discipline the naughty children. They arrives from Spain by steamboat in the middle of November. Here is a beautiful animated film from Netherlands.
It is so hard to find books about different Holiday Traditions. Therefore I was really excited to see this book that just published about Polish Christmas Traditions:
It is a Charming Story Polish- American Children and their Christmas Celebration and it is written in English for everyone to enjoy. For more information click here.
And as you search the internet about other Clauses, you may be able to find them under these names:
Russia- Ded Moroz
And as you search don’t forget the Traditional American Tale and numerous stories from Story Nory.
It is Holiday Season and we live in Virginia, which pretty much means no white Christmas for us. It can also mean that there will be no snow till spring, and rarely enough to build a snowball, not even a miniature snowman. Luckily for us we can drive for two hours to beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and enjoy fake snow there. So to make me feel a little bit more like Christmas or to feel better about eating 50 holiday treats yesterday with no signs of Holidays outside we made these super cute Crystal Trees.
All you need is Liquid Bluing, Ammonia and Salt. I found liquid bluing in Kroger laundry isle next to the pre-treater, starches and bleach. It is small so you may need stare at the shelf for a bit. Personally I don’t know what it is but my husband the architect looked up the chemical structure of it. You know just in case. Apparently mixing ammonia and bleach is not a good idea, so he just wanted to make sure I was safe. Don’t ask me I’m not a chemist, but if you want to revisit your high school chemistry class here it is.
Mix 2 tbs of each in a jar: bluing, salt, water and ammonia. Shake well
On a cereal box, or other cardboard box draw two trees. Didn’t I tell you I can’t draw?
Cut them out and make a slit half way through, one going bottom-up and one going top-down.
Slit one inside the other so they resemble a tree
or forget the entire step and use a pine cone, sponge or whatever your heart desires
Pour the liquid in a saucer place the trees on it and pour the liquid. The liquid was really nice and blue when poured but after about 12 hours (overnight) the crystals where created but the blue turned, well not so blue.
My kids loved it, tried it touch it over and over. Unfortunately they did not call it snow since it has been a while since they saw it. They called it whipped cream. Mountains here we come.