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How kids celebrate Christmas around the world

December 24, 2021 2 min read

How kids celebrate Christmas around the world

Looking for new ways to bring Christmas into your home this year?

With an abundance of Christmas traditions around the world, the harder thing is knowing where to start! Whether you’re planning to travel over Christmas or just looking for a way to celebrate different cultures, here are a few ways that kids celebrate Christmas around the world.

Christmas traditions around the world

Generally, Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December around the world, but there are some variations of the celebration that you might not practise in your own home.


In France, Christmas is celebrated on the evening of the 24th of December. Families will enjoy a long meal that goes late into the night on the 24th, with everyone opening their presents at midnight. That’s right, that means no presents on Christmas morning! We’re not sure whether this is an idea that we can get on board with. But one way to bring this into your home could be to prepare a Christmas eve box full of handy gifts (such as pyjamas, socks, and pens) for your kids to open at midnight.


In Iceland, kids put their shoes on the windowsill on Christmas eve in the hope that ‘Juletide Lads’ (Santa Claus!) will fill them with sweets and other goodies. Celebrations start on the 24th and many families will attend midnight mass.

The Philippines

In the Philippines, it’s tradition to create a lantern from bamboo and paper to represent the star of Bethlehem. Whilst some families will make their own lanterns, there are also lanterns on sale that can be purchased and used to decorate the home over the festive season.

South Africa

In South Africa, Christmas is in the middle of summer! That means picnics, barbecues, and Christmas carols on the beach. And instead of woolly jumpers, kids will be wearing swimwear and beach clothes so that they can play in the sand all day. Although you might not be jumping into the sea over Christmas, you could make it a tradition to spend the morning at the beach - depending on where you live, of course. 


In Brazil, many cities put up Christmas and host firework displays over the holidays. Children await a visit from Santa Claus (Papei Noel) who travels all the way from Greenland to bring them presents. It’s traditional to see nativity or crib scenes that have been put up in front of churches.


In Japan, kids celebrate Christmas by attending parties that are held for them - with lots of dancing! Unlike the Christmas cake that you might be familiar with, Japanese Christmas cake is made from sponge and decorated with trees, flowers, and a Santa Claus figure.

The US

Celebrating Christmas in the US looks a lot like how Christmas is celebrated in the UK - but on an even bigger scale! In the US, kids exchange presents, cards, and help mum and dad to decorate both the tree and the house. Children might enjoy reading a special book about Christmas or making cookies for Santa Claus.

And you? How do you celebrate Christmas in your home? What special traditions would you like to introduce to your children this year?

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