Christmas Around the World Unit Study

As we embrace the spirit of giving and togetherness this holiday season, I am thrilled to present you with something truly special – our latest resource, the “Christmas Around the World” unit study! Embark on a global journey to explore how Christmas is celebrated worldwide. Each day presents a new adventure – a captivating story, a festive Christmas carol, and exciting hands-on activities or recipes inspired by cultures around the world.

In this post, I want to quickly share our family’s plans for Advent this year. For the past couple of years, we’ve actually taken a break from our regular homeschooling curriculum to immerse ourselves in “Christmas School” during the month of December. This year the timing happened to work out perfectly as we just completed our study of South America last week. I’m now excited to explore different Christmas traditions and stories from around the world before delving into our study of Africa in January.

In preparation, I put together a brand-new “Christmas Around the World” unit study for us to use, and I’d love if you’d join us on our global journey this holiday season. My hope is this unit study can help you cultivate a season filled with warmth, wonder, curiosity, creativity, and the spirit of togetherness.

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Our Advent Guide

Monica Utnik’s book Christmas is Coming: Traditions from Around the World and the Around the World Advent Calendar from Worldwide Buddies serve as the cornerstone of our “Christmas Around the World” unit study. Each day brings a new country with a new adventure – a story, a Christmas carol, plus exciting hands-on activities or recipes. You’ll discover unique traditions and heartwarming stories that celebrate the spirit of the season.

Navigating Our Advent Calendar Adventure

Each day will feature a new country, with a selected reading from Christmas is Coming: Traditions from Around the World, a related Christmas carol to listen to together, and several suggested hands-on activities for your family to enjoy. These range from different crafts to make, recipes to try, and other activities that aim to inspire creativity, kindness, and togetherness throughout the holiday season.

Download our Christmas Around the World unit study

How We’ll Manage Our Time

Of course this is just a ballpark guess at this point. We’ll swap things around as needed, but I like to at least have some type of loose framework for our schedule in place.

  • Morning Time: We’ll start with the day’s selected picture book and listen to our Christmas carol. Then, we’ll read the assigned passage from Christmas is Coming: Traditions from Around the World. We’ll complete the suggested map work prompt. The kids will unwrap their Worldwide Buddy ornament from the Christmas Around the World advent calendar. Then we’ll start on one of the day’s suggested activities, plus play a couple games. #gameschooling
  • Lunch: Over lunch, we’ll listen to one of our selected Advent books, plus a Christmas read-aloud. In this case, it’ll be All Creation Waits: Children’s Edition (audio) and The Christmas Barn by C.L. Davis (read-aloud).
  • Afternoon Time: We’ll use this time to make any recipes or perhaps finish up the morning’s craft. If there’s an extra picture book (or two) for the day’s country or a related reading from Joy to the World: Christmas Stories from Around the Globe, we’ll sprinkle them in during this time.
  • Bedtime: We’ll be alternating between reading a story from Christmas Fairy Tales and completing an Advent puzzle each night. Ours is currently unavailable, but here’s a couple similar ones: Twelve Days of Christmas and Winter Lights. We typically devote 30-45 minutes before bed to read or play a game together. Then, we’ll read a chapter from one of our selected Christmas read-aloud books.


Here are the extra books we’ll be working into our readings throughout the holiday season. I managed to find all of these at our local library. We used the Glorious Christmas Songbook last year, and my kids loved it! The rest will be new to us this season, but they all look amazing from the brief looks I’ve taken.

  1. Christmas Fairy Tales: 12 Enchanting Stories Including The Christmas Cuckoo and The Nutcracker
  2. Joy to the World: Christmas Stories from Around the Globe
  3. The Glorious Christmas Songbook (A Classic Illustrated Edition)
  4. Las Navidades: Popular Christmas Songs from Latin America
  5. All Creation Waits: Children’s Edition by Gayle Boss

Free Festive Goodies for an Enriched Experience

Our “Christmas Around the World” unit study also includes several printable goodies for your family to enjoy not only this season but hopefully for many years to come.

1. Advent Book Calendar Tags

Organize your holiday reading this year with a book calendar for your children. Use the printable Advent book tags to label each day’s book. Children will love the delightful element of anticipation. Each tag also includes the day’s suggested Christmas carol.

2. “How to Say Merry Christmas in Different Languages” Game

Expand your family’s language skills by learning how to say “Merry Christmas” in different languages from around the world. Use the cards separately, or print out two copies and turn it into a memory game. The catch? In order to collect the match, the player must be able to say “Merry Christmas” in that language. Don’t worry, QR codes are included to make it easy for everyone to learn.

3. Christmas Book Log Bookmark

Use the reading tracker bookmark to jot down the titles of the books you explore together during the Christmas season. It can become a beautiful record of your unique family traditions, and as the years go by, you can revisit your Christmas reading adventures. Several designs are included, allowing each family member to record their individual Christmas reading journey as well.

4. Favorite Christmas Cookie Tracking Sheet

Encourage your little ones to record their friends’ and family’s favorite Christmas cookies. It’s a fantastic way to incorporate math as they tally and compare, plus it doubles as a keepsake of delicious memories. For extra festive fun, you can bake the cookies that receive the most votes!

5: “Doodle Your Journey” Christmas Calendar

The blank calendar becomes a canvas for children to visually document their cultural exploration. Children can showcase their creativity by doodling the journey around the world. The calendar provides space for short notes and drawings. Whether you work on it collaboratively as a family or each person records their own, it’s sure to become a treasured keepsake from your “Christmas Around the World” adventure.

Christmas Book Advent Calendar

The “Christmas Around the World” unit study also includes suggestions for a Christmas book advent calendar. I was able to source most of these books from our local library, and hopefully you’ll have the same luck. If there’s a book you’re unable to find, you can easily substitute it with another of your family’s favorites. A few days on the calendar have alternate suggestions as well.

Each book selected for the Christmas book advent calendar is either related to the day’s country, topic, or suggested activity in the unit study.

Christmas Around the World Advent Book Selections

  1. The Queen and the First Christmas Tree: Queen Charlotte’s Gift to England by Nancy Churnin
  2. The Farolitos of Christmas by Rudolfo Anaya
  3. What’s Cooking, Jamela? by Niki Daly
  4. Christmas in Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren
  5. Saint Nicholas and the Nine Gold Coins by Jim Forest or The Gingerbread Doll by Susan Tews
  6. Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story by Cynthia Rylant
  7. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston
  8. Kenya Christmas by Tony Johnston
  9. The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie DePaola
  10. Madeline’s Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans
  11. Mim’s Christmas Jam by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  12. An Island Christmas by Lynn Joseph or O Christmas Tree by Vashanti Rahaman
  13. Lucia Morning in Sweden by Ewa Rydaker
  14. Papa Panov’s Special Day by Mig Holder and Ruben Saillens or The Miracle of Saint Nicholas by Gloria Whelan
  15. Arturo and the Navidad Birds by Anne Broyles or The 12 Days of Christmas by Rachel Isadora
  16. The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie DePaola or Nine Days to Christmas: A Story of Mexico by Marie Hall Ets
  17. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
  18. Tree of Cranes by Allen Say
  19. Snow in the Garden: A First Book of Christmas by Shirley Hughes or Christmas in Exeter Street by D. Hendry
  20. Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble or An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco
  21. The Third Gift by Linda Sue Park
  22. The Glorious Christmas Songbook by Cooper Edens and Benjamin Darling (or a similar Christmas songbook)
  23. The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren
  24. The Christmas Book Flood by Emily Kilgore
Need more christmas book ideas from around the world?

From heartwarming stories to festive traditions, here’s our specially curated list.

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Christmas Poetry Books

As we eagerly anticipate the magic of Christmas, let this Advent season be a time of discovery, learning, and shared joy. Together, let’s unwrap the beauty of diverse traditions and create cherished memories that span the globe. Grab your copy of the “Christmas Around the World” unit study in the Global Explorers Shop today.

Christmas Around the World Unit Study

Download our “Christmas Around the World” unit study and embark on a global journey to explore how Christmas is celebrated worldwide.

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