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Students get taste of Christmas outside U.S.
Walking in the kindergarten hallway at St. Simons Elementary School on Friday was like hopping on a jet plane at Christmas time and traveling the globe.

Each room reflected the culture of a foreign country.

Students had an opportunity to make nutcrackers reminiscent of the famous Tchaikovsky ballet, handmade maracas, cookies and more.

Germany, Russia, Sweden, Norway and Mexico were represented.

Students learned something about the holiday traditions of foreign countries. In one lesson, teacher Aimee Stewart helped students understand the pickle ornament, a German tradition. The ornament is hidden on the tree, and the person who finds it first gets a special treat on Christmas.

Using paper, glue and green glitter, the children made their own pickle ornaments to share the tale with their parents.

Folded and stapled paper plates full of beans helped kindergartners keep tune with the popular holiday song, "Feliz Navidad." They gave a little shake every time they heard the phrase, which they knew meant "Merry Christmas" in Spanish.

Across the hall in Sweden, teacher Laura Moulton looked more like a Swedish saint than her usual self.

"This is a really fun way for the children to learn these traditions," Moulton said. "This time of year, they're just so excited and this is a way for them to let that out and learn at the same time."

Wearing a white robe and the candle head-garland associated with St. Lucia, the patron saint of the blind in Sweden, Moulton explained to the kindergartners that children and families in Sweden celebrate St. Lucia Day on Dec. 13.

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.

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