Christmas is celebrated in countries all over the world, but we all celebrate it a bit differently. Recently my daughter and I took a look at some of the ways that Christmas is celebrated around the world, and the sweet treats that our put out for Santa through our new Christmas book titled “A World of Cookies for Santa.”
Written by M.E. Furman and illustrated by Susan Gal, A World of Cookies for Santa takes readers around the globe, showcasing the Christmas traditions celebrated in various countries. In each country, the author shares a little bit about the different names for Santa Claus, the treats children leave out for him, and interesting traditions that families share on Christmas Eve.
Some of Santa’s different names are: Pere Noal (France), Julemande/Christmas Man (Denmark), Father Christmas (Great Britain) Viejo Pascero(old Man Christmas) in Chile, and Colacho (Costa Rica).
I will admit that until I read A World of Cookies for Santa, I didn’t know very much about Santa in the context of other cultures. I was surprised to learn that not only does Santa drink a lot of milk, but he’s also drinks tea, beer, sparkling cider, eggnog, hot chocolate and wine as he visits different homes round the globe.
We also learn not only about — but about how the children anticipate his arrival and how he delivers/leaves his gifts. In Ukraine, Saint Nicholas quietly slips gifts under the pillows of sleeping children. In Hawaii, children find their gifts under the trees they decorate with garland, shells and starfish.
Santa also likes to vary his entrance: he arrives by donkey in South Africa, arrives by surf board pulled by a dolphin in HAWAII , and climbs through windows in Chile.
In France, families celebrate Christmas Eve with 13 different desserts (Santa gets his choice!) In Argentina there are big fireworks displays, and just after midnight in Mexico, children break open a piñata before going to bed.
Dd you know that in Poland the Star Man visits families in Poland after Christmas dinner? He asks the children questions and rewards their answers with small gifts. IN return, they share fruit filled kolacki with him and his companions the Star Boys who sing for the family.
Vibrant, illustrations throughout the book show children of different ethnic groups along with cultural traditions and decorations.
Front end-papers show Santa’s route on a world map, and back endpapers feature the same map with cookies coded for each of his stops.
In the back of the book are recipes for nine different cookies. An author’s note gives further information about Christmas celebrations and Santa traditions.
Overall, both children and adults will thoroughly enjoy A World of Cookies for Santa, which is a celebration of food and cultural diversity.