Tag Archives: Christmas

Our German English Christmas decorations

As a German and English family we celebrate both English and German traditions at Christmas. Our decorations are also a mish mash of English and German.

You may have noticed from the photo we don’t have a Tannenbaum but an artificial tree. On our tree we have Strohsterne straw stars, we bought these from Tchibo in the UK. (I don’t think there are any more Tchibo shops in the UK now). This year we’ve decided to use the typically German blue pointy tree topper /Christbaum Spitze. We also have some Engeln/ angels made from folded German hymnbook pages and a bead. The hand-knitted decorations are made by my English Grandma. The pretty cross stitched decorations were a gift on my daughter’s birthday. The lights were from Aldi in the UK.

The wooden Weinachtspyramide/ Christmas pyramid and Weihnachtsmann/ Santa are from the Weinachtsmarkt/ Christmas market in Osnabrück. The Weihnachtspyramide works with candles. As the candles are lit the warm air rises and causes the figures to turn. On the bottom layer is Mary, Joseph and baby with the wise men circling around them. The second layer is the Shepherds and sheep. the top layer are the angels blowing their trumpets. it’s a really lovely way to think about the Christmas story together. The Weihnachtsmann smokes, from his mouth if you light a scented cone inside him and gives a Christmassy smell to the whole room.

It is the first time we’ve had these decorations out in many years. I think our youngest is safe around candles now so we can have them out.

What are your Christmas decorations like?

Black Friday deal on a brilliant language learning resource

As you may know Santa is THE most multilingual person on the planet as he reads letters from children all over the world.
As a fellow polyglot he also was the first to get his hands on our brand new Mostly German CD and I’m sure he’d like to put one in your stocking.

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Three years this month we held our first ever class. We’ve been celebrating by running a giveaway of our CD.

We’ve sold a few copies so far and had some brilliant feedback.

This has been our school run sound track for the past two weeks. It’s packed with catchy tunes in “mostly” German but there’s a bit of French, Spanish and even some Chinese too. We’re getting quite good! – Kate Eccles

I loved recording the CD and it really comes through in the recording.

Singing is a really powerful tool in language learning, research is now showing. In singing you pick up the sounds of a language and quickly join in yourself. By bypassing the analytical part of the brain, you quickly acquire a good accent. This works for grown ups as well as children. When singing, you are no longer limited by grammar tables and vocab lists, free to enjoy the language and learn along the way.

For little ones, it’s an amazing foundation in language learning and the start of a bright future. We’ve seen this time and time again in our classes and now you can enjoy it at home too, with the most popular songs from our German classes. Most of these songs have not been translated into English before. We’ve also included verses in French, Spanish, Mandarin and Esperanto. Contrary to popular belief this does not confuse language learners (big and small) but actually helps language acquisition. Though these songs may be children’s songs, adults will enjoy singing along too.

Santa has his copy and I’m sure he’d like to put one in your stocking. If you want to help Santa along we have a great deal for you! 50% off when you order your copy for the first 20 customers so, get in quick as this offer closes at midnight on Monday 28th November.

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Get yours at www.Lingotastic.co.uk/shopLingo_web_CD

Are socks the perfect gift?

So I’ll admit it, I’ve a thing about silly socks. As I work with small children, I often work without shoes so silly socks are very necessary. As I love socks, I think they are a great gift too. Who does not need a good pair of socks?

normal_sock-subscription Great for birthdays and Christmas gifts. These Henryjsocks are pretty special. They are fun, funky, fabulous and colourful. Need to wear a boring suit for work? These funky socks allow you to still express your inner creativity!; HenryJSocksoffer a subscription service to send one, two or three pairs a month. Simply choose your subscription and these lovelysocks are sent monthly through their door. Minimal fuss to you and a lovely gift for them. We’ve family and friends both in UK and abroad and this is an ideal way to send them a fun, useful gift with minimal fuss to us.

They drop through the letterbox in a funky box and when it’s opened they can still unwrap the tissue paper. Who does not LOVE opening presents?

Henry J Socks

Henry J Socks

Subscriptions are for three, six and twelve months so each month they can be reminded how you care for them. Prices start at £17.49 worldwide shipping is £3.50 extra.

Check out the website

We were sent these socks to review but all opinions are my own.

A Polyglot Christmas

As a polyglot family we think it is really important for our children to experience other cultures. To understand and empathise with other cultures is just as important as speaking the language. Winter is a dark time and midwinter festivals are there to bring light and celebration.
This week’s blog is about the midwinter festivals we celebrated as a family, our polyglot Christmas.
As a German and English family we celebrated St Nikolaus Day on 6th December. Here is a video of us finding our boots the next day.

 

We’ve done this since our children were young. It’s just what we do as family at that time of year. My middle daughter often gets embarrassed about being different, but she was really pleased to discover a few of her Polish friends celebrated St Nikolaus day, too.
Our local church held a St Lucia celebration. I was so keen to see it for myself, having heard a few others talk about it. Here is the video of the event.


After this brilliant celebration we shared some typical Swedish food together and we had the chance to talk to some children who are bilingual Swedish and English. They love that they can have lives in both countries. One girl talked with glee about the summer house her family have in Northern Sweden.

 

As a family we also light the lights of Hanukkah, remembering how God provided for his people when their temple was destroyed. Eight nights of remembering God’s goodness and the chance to learn a bit of Hebrew together.
We celebrated Christmas in the UK with my parents with English Christmas carols and mostly English traditions, though they did pick us up a few times for answering them in German. Have you had a polyglot Christmas? Let us know in the comments below.
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I hope you and your family have had a lovely Christmas. It just remains for our family to wish you and your family a very happy and blessed new year.

Sarah, Maik and family.

Christmas Crafts

Happy new year to you and your family. I hope you’ve had a brilliant Christmas. We had some lovely family time so I’m just back to blogging now.

We’ve made some beautiful Christmas crafts in the last few weeks at Lingotastic. Making with little ones is good for developing motor skills, co- ordination, social skills and spending fun time with their grown ups too.

My family have many Christmas decorations our Children have made over the years and it’s so special to pull out the box each year to see how the children have developed.

Lingotastic is not a craft class but craft is brilliant for language learning. As you make you can point out relevant vocabulary and count too.

We made magic Reindeer food. (alimentos para los renos) and choose coloured glitter to make it magic! We focused on el reno (the Reindeer) and the colours of the glitter in Spanish (azul, verde, plata, oro y rojo).

Reindeer food
(photo by Cecilia, with Swedish Tomte in the background)

We made a papá noel with el sombrero rojo, (the red hat) la barba blancos (the white beard) dos ojos (two eyes) la boca (the mouth) and la nariz (the nose).

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We decorated baubles and talked about the colour glitter we choose.

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We made el reno with las mantitos (the little hands) y el pie (the foot) He also has dos ojos y la nariz rojo.

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We’ve been learning about los tres reyes a great Spanish Christmas tradition and a good way to get little ones counting in Spanish!

tres reys.

We made our own Muñeco de nieve (snowman)and talked about his sombrero negro (black hat)and also his dos ojos (two eyes) la boca (the mouth) and la nariz (the nose).

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You may have noticed, we repeated some words a few times, so the little ones picked them up quickly.

It may have looked like we were just making some Christmas decorations, but actually there was some serious learning going on!

Nikolaustag

This morning lots of children were really excited. Last night they left out their boots in the hope that Sankt Nikolaus would fill them with coins, oranges and perhaps a few presents too! Here’s what Nikolaus left for my children (and us grown up’s too).

Nikolaus Boots

I also got a text from St Nikolaus to say he’d left something on the doorstep outside too! My daughter’s best friend is Polish, so they celebrate Nikolaustag too. They’d left a stocking on the doorstep with a book in for each of the girls. They were thrilled!

Our family is half German (with a sprinking of Polish). We love to celebrate Sankt Nikolaustag and remember how Sankt Nikolaus, though he had lots of money, choose to share what he had with those less well off than himself. VeggieTales have made a brilliant video which we’ve used to teach our own children about Sanct Nikolaus. St Nicholas- A Tale of Joyful Giving! As we give we receive benefits that may not be immediately obvious to us. This is such an important thing for children and us grown ups too.