Christian Village hosts “Christmas
around the world” open house
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[December 05, 2016]
- On Friday evening, the Christian Village hosted a special open
house featuring different displays of how Christmas is celebrated in
various countries around the world. Displays were set up in the
Congregate Living Building, the Grace Point Rehab-to-Home Center,
and the Woods Foundation Garden Villa assisted living center.
The tour began in the Congregate Building with a trip to France.
Inside the front door, tourists were greeted with an opportunity to
enjoy some French sweets. A variety of chocolate crepe cookies were
served with non-alcoholic sparkling drinks representing the rich
heritage of the French winemakers.
The highlight of the tour included more than 60 Nativity scenes in
different varieties and some from other countries or regions of the
United States. It was explained that in France, there are no
Christmas trees decorated for the holiday season. Instead, the
French honor Christ and Christmas through the Nativity.
Moving on, multiple countries were represented in the Grace Point
Building. The first stop there was Australia. It is summer in
December in the bottom portion of our world, so Christmas is
celebrated in very warm weather. Instead of snow and skies, the fun
activity in that country includes water and surfboards. The hostess
for the country was inviting everyone to try a piece or two of
“Aussie Gum.” The Australian chewing gum, she said has a taste of
sweet bubble gum, and is really quite good.
The next country tourists could visit was Germany. In Germany, the
hostess explained, there is an age-old tradition of finding the
pickle in the tree. On Christmas morning a pickle is hidden in the
Christmas tree. When children rise, they are tasked with finding the
green pickle in the green tree. The child who finds the pickle gets
to be the first one to open a gift.
Another Christmas day tradition is Stollen, a Christmas fruit bread.
That delicious bread was being served to tourists on Friday evening
at the German stop.
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In Mexico, Christmas is bright and beautiful with lots of color and plenty of
sweets. At the Mexico station, the hostess explained that Christmas trees are
often decorated with the red leafed poinsettia. She said the traditional story
goes that when Christ was born, and child wanted to bring a gift to the baby
Jesus, but had nothing to give. Digging about among some weeds, the child found
the brightly colored red poinsettias, and chose to pluck it up and take it to
the Christ Child.
The last stop would be at the Garden Villa, for a traditional Christmas in
America. There the highlight of the evening was a chance to visit Santa. Santa
sat in a large chair next to a special Christmas tree. He explained that the
tree was decorated completely in snowmen, and was extra special because every
ornament on the tree had been given to the Christian Village as a keepsake.
There was also a large variety of cookies for tourists to enjoy along with hot
Along their way, tourists were given passports to have stamped in each country.
At the end of the tour, the passports were to be returned and exchanged for a
special Christmas gift; all making for a special memorable experience of
Christmas around the world.