5 multicultural Christmas books for kids

Have you ever wondered how families celebrate the holidays in different parts of the world? These books explore customs and traditions in other countries and show that despite our differences, holidays are about spending time with the people we love.

“The Legend of the Poinsettia” 

Learn all about the poinsettia plant and its importance to the people of Mexico in this sweet tale. A little girl named Lucinda is scrambling to find the perfect present to give the newborn baby Jesus after her original plan falls through. Lucinda finally gives up and brings the baby a handful of weeds, but little does she realize how important her contribution really is.  This take on the classic Three Wise Men story will show kids that any gift from the heart is a special one.

“A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around the World”

In America, most kids leave a plate of cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve. Kids will enjoy reading about how other countries follow the same tradition, just with different treats. For instance, in Russia, honey-spice cookies are the goodie of choice and ginger tea is a favorite in the Phillippines. The book also features recipes for each dish so you and your little ones can whip up some international treats of your own.

“The Night Before Christmas”

This unique re-imagining of the classic Christmas poem takes place in Africa and includes a Santa with dreadlocks and a zebra print coat. Read along as Santa delivers traditional African toys to village children. It may not be the story your kids are used to, but they’ll soon be won over by the colorful artwork and unconventional Santa character. Plus, the story gives parents a good opportunity to discuss the differences between cultures.

“Lucia Morning in Sweden”

St. Lucia Day (Dec. 13) is an important holiday in Scandinavian countries and the unofficial start of Christmas celebrations. Follow along with three children as they celebrate the traditions of the holiday, including the making of sweets, singing traditional songs and wearing lighted wreaths. Recipes and activities are included so kids can celebrate at home, too!

“Tree of Cranes”

When a little boy in Japan comes down with a cold, his mother cheers him up by making paper cranes and decorating a Christmas tree for the very first time. With a mixture of Japanese and American traditions, it’s easy to see that the author takes elements from his own childhood growing up in Japan.


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