CHRISTMAS STORY AT FRIDAYS CHILD MONTESSORI http:// www.fridayschildmontessori.com

Christmas story at fridays child montessori

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Saint Nicholas (historical): In about 300 AD or thereabouts, there was a bishop in a town in

Turkey who was renowned for his kindness and generosity as well as

his piety and religious zeal.

He was imprisoned for his beliefs under the Roman emperor

Diocletian but escaped being thrown to the lions and lived on in


One day, he heard that one man in his church was very poor and his daughters were going to have to be sold into slavery to pay their


To save the young women from this plight, he secretly entered

their house at night and left a gift of money for them, and this

money ended up in their stockings.

His feast day was celebrated on the 6th December and in Holland

for centuries, in particular, he rode at night on his white horse

leaving gingerbread for good children (but watch out for his

assistant, Black Peter, who carries a bundle of sticks for the naughty


Babushka and Strega Nona:

Ever wondered if there’s a Mother Christmas?

Children in Russia and in Italy would say yes, and they call her

Babushka (Granny) or Strega Nona (Granny Witch) respectively.

She may be the same as Mother Hollen or Grandmother Winter in German folktales. This is the tale that would have been familiar to

Maria Montessori.

They say she was an innkeeper who hosted the Magi on their way

to visit the Christ Child. They asked her to accompany them with a gift but unlike the Little Drummer Boy, she declined.

Later, she regretted her decision and now she wanders the world

leaving gifts for every child. Traditionally, she paid her visit on the 6th January – the 12th Day of

Christmas and the feast of the epiphany.

The Magi appear in the Biblical account of the birth of Christ as the wise men from the east who follow a star as they bring their gifts of gold, frankincense and

myrrh to the one born to be king.

Tradition has elaborated on the Biblical account and states that there are three of them and that

they are kings.

The three kings are supposed to represent the three main ethnic

groups of the Old World: Asian/Middle Eastern, European

and African.

The Asian king is Caspar or Gaspard; he is an old man and his gift is gold. Melchior is the

European king; he is middle-aged and his gift is frankincense.

Balthazar is the young African king and his gift is myrrh.

The Biblical account can be read in the Bible itself (the gospels of Matthew and Luke), or you can find a children’s version with

pictures quite easily.

Hanukah and the Festival of Lights:

During the time when Judas Maccabeus was leading the Jewish people in a rebellion

against the Greeks who were occupying their land.

Maccabeus managed to recapture and rededicate the temple in Jerusalem, which had been


When the lamps were lit in the temple, they burned for days and

days without the oil being renewed, so this festival became

the festival of lights as well as the festival of the rededication of the


Intriguingly, this is the celebration that Jesus would have celebrated, even though we now celebrate his

birthday at this time of year.

Charles Dickens’ tale A Christmas Carol

is often read, performed or watched at this time of year.

However, it’s best to leave this one until the children are a bit

older, as some of those ghosts are pretty scary for younger people,

especially Marley’s Ghost and Christmas


Telling ghost stories is traditional for Christmas, as it was held that nothing evil could be abroad on

the holy night between Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning, so it was safe to while the long, dark

night away by telling spooky stories. Charles Dickens’ tale was written as part of this tradition.