Christmas Around the World (in a box)
It’s my turn to teach Brownie Girl Scout’s this afternoon. The theme for today’s meeting? ”Around the World.” Timely for this season, dontchyathank?
So, I’ve spent an absurd number of hours on Christmas websites, learning about the holiday traditions of countries and conjuring a craft that is simple enough for a room of 8 year old to create while still teaching them a few memorable things.
So maybe you’re not doing girl scouts, but this was such a fun craft to create I thought I’d share. Many of the items for the box are little dollhouse miniatures, which are so magical and remarkable that you find yourself whispering as if they were sacred relics. This would be a great church craft, family night lesson, or party activity, so long as you don’t mind working with paint and glue and really bad poetry.
So, the craft starts with a 99-cent brown paper mache box which I purchased from Hobby Lobby, and red, blue, and green paint. Isn’t the bottom of that box just calling out for white polka-dots or candy cane stripes? Yeah, grab a bottle of white paint, too.
Inside, there’s a poem to explain each of the items and help the recipient remember what each little thing represents. Half the fun of a tiny little treasure box like this is being able to open it, spill the treasures out, and share their stories. Oh, who am I kidding, that’s all the fun.
There it is. The poem. It’s not pretty, but it will serve it’s purpose for the Brownie Scouts. So long as none of them isn’t opposed to off-meter wording.
So here’s what’s inside. In Denmark, there is a tradition to create an advent crown with candles around it. We’re using these miniature dollhouse wreaths (four wreaths were $1.99, but are half-price this week at Hobby Lobby). The girls get to use just a bit of Tacky Glue to decorate the wreaths with tiny golden bells. Easy peasy.
In Hong Kong, Christmas isn’t celebrated the way many Christian countries celebrate, but many families exchange elaborately decorated cards created by fine artists. Sequin stars and a dab of glue to decorate these dollhouse books represent Hong Kong in our little boxes.
Hi little books. I love you.
As a time filler (because you ALWAYS have to have time fillers with Girl Scouts), the inside of the book has actual pages that can be artistically designed by little artists. Cute.
Okay, freaky. Little plastic babies are freaky.
When they wink at you? Don’t even get me started. Who painted that gimpy eye up there?
But little plastic babies are cheap. Plus they are the perfect way to represent the Italian story of Befana, who (as the story goes) travels around the country with a basket full of gifts, looking for the Christ child. Our baskets? Tiny straw hats turned upside down.
Stop looking at that babies winky eye. I don’t want you having nightmares.
Countries all over the world prepare a host of different food and feasts, from Germany to Mexico, special meals are prepared and enjoyed. But, my favorite is France, where “La galette des Rois,” or “King’s Cake,” is baked with a small metal king somewhere inside. Party goers must dip into their slice of cake and find the king. We should do this everyday.
To represent holiday food from around the world, a bag of miniature pastries, fruits, and veggies (also purchased in the dollhouse section of Hobby Lobby) can be arranged and glued to tiny plates.
Imagine right now you’re a little girl. Okay. Imagine you’re a big girl.
HOW FUN IS MAKING TINY PLATES WITH TINY FOOD? This is what Christmas is allll about, guys. M.a.g.i.c.
Big girls like playing with little things, too. Maybe I know from experience.
Maybe I cut a 1-inch piece of burlap today and pretended it was the smallest napkin ever.
It was all for France. Mmmkay.
This silly little Christmas Around the World Box is two shakes too fun.
So, whenever I’m pulling together crafts or activities for kids, I am a firm believer in keeping it SIMPLE and ORGANIZED. A few ziploc containers with each step of the craft shall suffice for this afternoon’s festivities.
And, voila! Girl Scout meeting over and out.
Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun.
Christmas Around the World
The earth is big
This box is small
But it reminds me
Of us all.
From Europe to the USA
People love the holidays!
In Denmark there are
Wreaths and Song.
Pretty cards given
All over Hong Kong.
Befana's basket holds gifts
For kids in Italy.
Christmas food in France
is as royal as can be.
Our flags may look different
When they are unfurled.
But we all wish the same
Peace and love for this world!