Christmas School–Day Seven

Feliz Navidad!

Today was day one of two that we’ll be learning about Christmas in Mexico. I started with a brief overview of the holiday in that country (thanks to information primarily found in Celebrate Christmas Around the World)–special foods that are prepared, religious festivals, games, (Turkey and Bunny really want a Christmas piñata someday!), that sort of thing. In particular, we learned about Las Posadas, or “The Processions,” in which families and neighbors process through the streets for nine nights, in remembrance of Mary and Joseph looking for a room in Bethlehem.

We then read a cute story–Too Many Tamales. This is charming tale about a little girl who is helping her mother prepare Christmas dinner, and in the process, the mother’s diamond ring gets lost. Many tamales are eaten before the ring is discovered, and there is a lot of laughter, a few tears, and some very full stomachs!

Turkey and Bunny also colored a picture in their Christmas Around the World coloring books. This is the third year we’ve used these books, and they’re still not complete. They’re put out by Dover Publications, and like all Dover coloring books, they have excellent detail. It’s actually pretty cool to compare the first pictures they colored to the ones they’re doing this year. They didn’t have the motor skills or the patience to really complete the pictures two years ago, but now they’re doing a really good job of getting the detail work done.

Tomorrow, we will continue our studies in Mexico, including the legend surrounding a very famous Christmas flower!

Feliz Navidad!

Today in school we moved onto Mexico.  Actually, this was a little bit more low-key for us, as Turkey and Bunny already  had some familiarity with Christmas in Mexico.  They knew “Feliz Navidad,” they had an idea of Las Posadas from our failed field trip a week ago Saturday (someday, I would like to give seeing that traditional procession of Mary and Joseph looking for a room at night, illuminated by candlelight, lanterns, and flashlights another chance, because I think it would be awesome to see!), they knew pinatas are used for parties (although they were a little surprised that they could be used for something other than a birthday party!).

They did enjoy reading about the legend of the poinsettia, though.  We turned back to our favorite Lion Storyteller Christmas Book, and read “A Flower for Christmas.”  I have no idea if that’s the “real” poinsettia story, or if there might be others out there, but they really enjoyed it, even if Turkey did insist on pointing out to me that that could never happen.  But we talked about how we have some poinsettias in our church, and we added a new symbol of Christmas to our list:  stars in the Philippines, nativity scenes in Italy, Christmas trees in America, and now, the red poinsettia plant as a Christmas symbol in Mexico.

They also got to color a new picture in their Christmas Around the World coloring books.  Much like we had discussed, it showed children taking turns at a pinata, with a backdrop of poinsettias.  They loved the shapes the pinatas were in (three different animals), and they were puzzled and excited that the picture actually showed the pinata being used outdoors.  So, they’ve decided that when the little tree we planted in our yard last spring gets bigger, they would like to try their hands at a pinata out there.  Not a bad idea, actually.

Friday, we finish our Christmas journey around the world with my favorite country (outside of America, of course!): Germany.  Until then, Feliz Navidad!