Friday, February 3, 2012

Christmas in Europe

Grab your passports! We ended our study of Europe with a tour of European Christmas traditions. First stop. . .France!

We left our shoes for Pierre Noel.
We read a story about a little French girl you may have heard of. . .Madeline?
We sang a French carol we had been practicing: The Friendly Beasts.
We learned a few words and phrases in French.

How can you visit Paris without pastries? I have been trying for 8 months now to find a gluten-free crepe recipe that 1. doesn't taste like sawdust and 2. will roll up like a crepe. I am happy to say that I finally did it. Just it time for our party and a perfect justification to break my own no-sugar-at-school rule I perfected my GF crepes and let my little Parisians shmear them with Nutella and bananas. Bon Appetite!

Next we went to Germany. We read a story about a Christmas Mouse, learned that the Teddy Bear originated in Germany and searched for the pickle the elves left on the tree. Cambell was overjoyed that she was the pickle finder and opened a giant present: Christmas bears for everyone!

Back on the train to Denmark. The kids took turns being Saint Lucia. This woven crown is one of my favorite thrift store finds of late. Penny was our lucky nut-in-the-pudding finder (more sugar. . .I KNOW! IT WAS CHRISTMAS IN EUROPE! WHAT COULD I DO?) We had bacon in Denmark, too. It was the closest thing to a traditional Danish Christmas food that didn't sound really gross. My husband served a church mission in Denmark and said that bacon was fairly authentic. I took that as validation. Really, though, boiled cabbage? I couldn't do it.

Then we dressed up and sang and danced around the tree. This was pretty much hilarious. Look at those beards I found! They cracked me up!

While in Denmark we looked at some beautiful work by Carl Bloch. What a perfect artist to study during Christmas time. We all loved how he painted light and how parts even looked like they were glowing.
We made our own Carl Block inspired pictures of the Nativity by using crayon resist for the light parts. I had them use poster crayons for the star and any light parts so that it would really glow underneath the dark water color that we brushed on top.

Our last stop was in England. We ate fish and chips and made crackers to give our siblings. We sang Christmas carols and read a Christmas story.

The kids loved traveling to each country and getting their passport stamped. They loved tasting the different foods and taking a little prize from each place we visited. My only regret is that I didn't hire a photographer. I get so busy I forget to take pictures. . .also my pictures are, well, look at them! Someone help me!

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