Sunday, December 12, 2010

International Montessori Christmas!

What about setting up an international Christmas theme in your geography section this year?

There are so many beautiful Advent and Christmas traditions from around the world, it would provide the children with a great lesson about peace and how we are all truly connected. This is one of the things I love about the Catholic church. The word Catholic actually means universal, and as a Catholic we celebrate many feast days with an infusion of cultures from around the globe.

One of my FAVORITE traditions is Las Posadas! Las Posadas is a reenactment of St. Joseph's and The Virgin Mary's (Los Peregrinos, San José y la Virgen María) search for lodging in Bethlehem. The hosts of the evening'sevent act as the innkeepers, and the parish children and adults are Los Peregrinos, who have to request lodging through singing a simple song. The Peregrinos will ask for lodging SIX times, but only after the innkeepers find out who the Peregrinos are, will they be allowed in. Once the innkeepers let them in, the group of guests comes into the home and kneels around a Nativity scene to pray the Rosary. After all the prayers are done, a reception is held with foods such as posole, tamales, and drinks like hot chocolate and punch. Sometimes there is even a seven pointed star pinata that you beat, representing the seven deadly sins. When the pinata is broken open, you will find candy, fruits, nuts and treats inside, representing the reward for conquering sin.

Another part of Mexican Christmas customs are the singing of villancicos. Here are a couple of songs I found on YouTube that my children are learning.

Las Posadas begin every December 16th. This year that is on a Thursday. May you have a wonderful Advent preparation, whatever it is that you do to prepare your hearts for the coming of the christ child, or ninito Jesus!

If Las Posadas sound interesting to you, you can check out these books to add to your geography section or library!

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