I need help! Our school does a huge unit on Christmas Around the World. The 2nd and 3rd grade, 11 classes, changes students and we do the unit for two and half weeks. My country is Sweden I have to read a book, make a craft, and then at the end provide food from my country. I was thinking about letting the girls make Santa Lucia wreath/hats. I need something for the boys. Does anyone have a template or pattern for the star hats the boys wear? Does anyone have recipes, easy for my parents to make? Or any ideas how to decorate the outside of my door and bulletin boards? Anything would be greatly appreciated.
I am doing the same thing. I can't help you with the boy's hat but I'm going to bring in Christmas Porridge. It's actually rice pudding with an almond hidden in the middle. The children of Sweden leave a bowl for the tomten (gnome) on Christmas eve. If you find the almond in the pudding it is said to bring luck.
You could do swedish meatballs or something with swiss cheese?????
My kinder kids did Christmas in Sweden 2 years ago. I made the star hats with tagboard rolled up like a cone and pasted shiny stars on them (if you send me your email address I can send you a picture of the kids dressed for Santa Lucia)
Swedish two-colored 'woven ' heart baskets look fantastic and hold Christmas treats. You could hang them on a bare branch or a Christmas tree for a display. There is a video link I've attached to show how to make them as well as some written directions.
Beverly Lewis wrote the book "Anika's Secret Wish"..it is a story about the Swedish tradition of the almond in the rice pudding. My friend was actually the illustrator for the book. It is a really good story. I have chosen Sweden too!
They also make straw ornaments. I am trying to think of a way to make an ornament using raffia. Maybe having the students wrap the raffia around a wreath shape or star shape??
My grandmother (Mormor, in Swedish) was born there. Here are some traditional Swedish foods we would have at Christmas: glug, pickled herring, limpa bread, potato sausage, and spice cookies. The cookies are called "pepparkaka". You can google it to find a recipe.
"Anna's" cookie company also makes them, but it would be costly to buy them for a large number of people.
I read the kids Kirsten's Surprise (one of the American Girls - her family is from Sweden and it's about their first Christmas in America. (It's actually a chapter book, I only read the part that describes what Christmas was like for her family back in Sweden) Then we made St. Lucia crowns (white sentence strips with construction paper candles and leaves to glue on - they turn out cute and I have both the girls and boys make them, the boys don't seem to even notice that they're usually just for girls) and eat cinnamon buns. The book mentions that cinnamon buns are a treat they have on Christmas morning in Sweden - the "St. Lucia girl" wakes the family up in the morning with the smell of cinnamon buns that she brings to her family on a tray.
Do you have an IKEA near you? If so, they have a lot of traditional ornaments and foods to buy (maybe cheaper than another store). The straw ornaments are a great idea, and IKEA has large packages of them.
Another good book is Hanna's Christmas. It is very cute, and it tells a lot of the traditions. If you can find it, another good book is Christmas Morning in Sweden. My library doesn't have it--I have to borrow it from my parents since they have a copy. I also like the book The Christmas Tomten by Astrid Lindgren, the same author as the Pippi Longstocking books.
I like to have my kids make the Lucia crowns out of paper. They turn out really cute, and even the boys like them.
You may also substitute ginger cookies for the traditional cookies.
Hmmm... I just finished making Swedish meatballs (grandma's recipe) and Swedish Coffee bread with cardamom (great aunt's recipe). Great timing!
Pepparkaka cookies are difficult to make. My great aunt was a pro, but I've tried for over 20 years and finally gave up. The dough is finicky and getting it thin enough is tricky or else it toughens up.
The Anna's pepparkaka cookies are the way to go. They are very thin and have MANY in a package. At $3.49 they're worth it when you consider the labor and cost in making homemade.
Another option is pepparkaka cake, a moist ginger-type cake that I prefer to make in a bundt pan.
If you decide to go with St. Lucia Day, Swedish coffee bread (vetebrod) is a great option. If you have bread makers among your parents, that may be an option.
I, too, grew up in a Swedish household and my parents would have a huge Swedish smorgasbord on Christmas Eve. Many of the suggestions in the posts brought back warm memories.