One of the great things about living in a country with people who practice so many religions and come from so many countries and cultures is learning about their traditions and sharing in their holiday celebrations. December is a busy time for many religions and cultures, why not plan at least one activity around a tradition, religion, or culture outside of your own? Here are some ideas:
Bring a dreidel toy home and play throughout the week. At the end of each game, the child with the most gelt, candy coins that represent charity, wins.
Las Posadas—December 16–24
Join or host a Las Posadas celebration with other families. The kids can join in that night's procession, break star-shaped piñatas, and everyone can enjoy traditional foods like tamales, warm punch, and hot chocolate.
Winter Solstice—December 21
Each culture has a different way of celebrating the winter solstice, so find a festivity in your neighborhood. Expect feasting, singing, and dancing, and maybe even a bonfire.
Santa has become a Christmas favorite for kids of many religions, but the reason Christians celebrate Christmas is to honor Jesus Christ's birthday. Throughout his life, Jesus was charitable and giving. If Santa brings gifts to your children this year, ask them to donate some of their old toys to kids who are less fortunate.
Kwanzaa—December 26–January 1
As families and cultures merge, hold on to traditions from your family's past and teach them to your child. Just as each day of Kwanzaa focuses on a principle that is part of the African heritage, you can focus on your family's culture and history, whether it's an African, European, Asian, South American, or Native American. Teach your child about his or her ancestors and what they overcame to live their life and have a family that led to your family today.
Don't forget other big holidays coming up in the first half of 2018. Chinese New Year is on January 28, Purim begins February 28, Passover begins March 30, Easter is on April 1, and Ramadan begins May 15.