The holidays are a time to come together, share, and celebrate the joys of our world – from the things that connect us to the things that make us different. And, in an increasingly more complex and global world, it’s critical we provide our children with opportunities to broaden their world view and deepen their understanding of other cultures and ideas. We all have our own holiday customs, traditions, and beliefs – making the holiday season the perfect time for parents to encourage their children to celebrate diversity and embrace multiculturalism.
To help you enrich this joyous time of year, here are a few recommended reads that will help your family weave the rich tapestry of other cultures and global traditions into the fabric of your own holiday celebrations:
Winter Candle - by Jeron Ashford
Using the common thread of celebrating light in darkness, this urban tale weaves together a beautiful story of community in our diverse and multicultural world when a single, lumpy candle is passed around an apartment complex to light each family’s winter celebration and guide new tenant home.
Lights of Winter: Winter Celebrations Around the World - by Heather Conrad
Also using the motif of light, this book explores many different winter celebrations from around the world – from the familiar to the lesser known holidays, like Teng Chieh, Soyal, and Las Posadas.
December’s Gift: An Interfaith Holiday Story - by Ashley Smith-Santos
This relatable tale follows a young girl, Clara, as she discovers the underlying meaning of both Hanukkah and Christmas through the stories, holiday memories, and cooking traditions of her two grandmothers: Bubbe and Grammy. For an added bonus, this book also includes recipes for making your own latkes and Christmas cookies, which we just happen to discuss next is a wonderful way of introducing and celebrating diversity.
Reading stories that explore how different families express their values and beliefs will help your child develop an understanding and awareness of other cultural practices and traditions, and allow them to reflect on their own. With so many wonderful multicultural and diversity-themed books available, we invite families to share (and post) their holiday favorites on our Facebook page @WorldAcademyNH.