Your Christmas guide to children's presents that will be used and reused. No gifts for the sake of gifting!

Christmas lights are shining, holiday trees are twinkling, songs are jingling and children are beaming with joy. It must mean that the Christmas holidays (also known as the most wonderful time of the year) are approaching! And no matter what type of gifter you are (even if you’re the expert-acular type), there’s always that someone you’re not sure what to gift to.

At Worldwide Buddies, we’re more of the meaningful type of gifters. No gifts for the sake of gifting. We believe in the power of gifts that put a smile on people’s faces, gifts that actually make an impact and gifts that create experiences. We believe in presents that bring people closer, educate, inspire and spread love! After all, that’s what Christmas is all about.

To help you, we’ve created a list of Christmas presents for littles (… and not so littles) tailored to personalities and tastes. Take a look an if you don’t find something that’s perfectly fitting, please, keep looking.:) No gifts for the sake of gifting!

FOR THE GIFT OF THE YEAR AWARD

A Marvelous Mexican Story Box. Our famous “gift filled with gifts”, is an out-of-this-world educational and funtabulous experience for littles and families, alike. Filled with toys, games, activities and surprises, it’s guaranteed to keep families engaged for weeks, let alone get you the “present of the year” award. Little ones have already stated that “opening this felt like Christmas morning”!

Price: $39.00 - Shop Now

Perfect for: that special Christmas present for your daughter / son / niece / nephew / granddaughter… (you get the gist!), Santa’s surprise gift or simply if you want to… top Santa’s gift!

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FOR THE LITTLE BOOKWORMS THAT LOVE A GOOD ADVENTURE

A Marvelous Mexican Misunderstanding, HC picture book. Bring Mexico’s culture to life in 62 pages packed with imagination, adventure, and colorful outbursts of fun!

Price: $17.99 - Shop Now

Perfect for: little book worms, children who love Coco, children who love a good adventure, children who love to solve riddles and puzzles, children who have been or will visit Mexico soon, children with relatives or friends from Mexico.

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FOR THE GAME LOVERS, AND ALL ASPIRING SPANISH SPEAKERS

Jueguito, English/Spanish bilingual playing cards. 23 pairs of English / Spanish flashcards that can be used for memory, snap and any other game you can think of!

Price: $12.50 - Shop Now

Perfect for: Secret Santa, bilingual speakers and bilingual speakers-to-be, children that like to play card games, children with a Spanish-speaking background or relative, children at a bilingual school, your competitive colleague that always makes you play games, your friend who claims knows Spanish, but definitely needs some practice!

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FOR THE PLUSH TOYS ENTHUSIASTS, AND THE PECULIAR CREATURE LOVERS

1) Hermelindo, axolotl plush toy. He even comes with a personal message to you, alongside a link to our post, so that its new owner can learn all about his special properties!

Price: $12.00 - Shop Now

Perfect for: your Secret Santa, little ones that love cuddling, little ones that love adorable animals and plushies (especially peculiar ones, that not many people know about!), little ones that are interested in science and the environment, your colleague at work that still collects stuffed animals!

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FOR THE HOLIDAY CARD SENDERS

Buddiful Christmas Cards. A set of 12 colorful holiday cards, each of which contains a surprising Christmas fact from around the world. And part of the proceed s e part of the proceeds to donate a new book to a child in need.

Price: $14.00 - Shop Now

Perfect for: You - fill them with wonderful words and give them to your favorite people. Your child who just learned how to write and can’t wait to spread his/her wisdom, or your cute and thoughtful friend, who’s full of nice words and sends quirky Christmas cards.

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A Worldwide Christmas Snapshot

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas... here, there and in so many other parts of the world. But what does Christmas mean for different cultures, how do they celebrate and where do our beloved Christmas traditions come from?

Our Worldwide Christmas snapshot is specially designed to capture your children's imagination, ignite some festive sparks and warm hearts, not just by bringing you closer to friends and family, but also by connecting you to distant parts around the globe!

To top it off, we’ve also created the perfect set of holiday cards: they’re lovingly playful and filled with holiday cheer. Each card contains a surprising Christmas fact from around the world and altogether, with each sale, we will use part of the proceeds to donate a new book to a child in need.

CHRISTMAS TREE:

“O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree – how did you ever become so popular?”

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While countless of houses around the world have Christmas trees sparkling and beaming with joy, someone must have been the first to say “what a wonderful idea, let’s do this! So, who was it, then? Like all wonderful ideas, everyone wants a claim to fame for this one, so rumors tend to vary and it is said that the importance of the tree grew gradually. Here are some of the most popular ones:

According to one legend, the first person to have ever decorated a tree was German protestant Martin Luther, who, on his way home one day, was captivated by the shining stars between the branches of a tree. “Oh my, how shiny and bright. My children would like that,” he thought, and brought a tree home with him, decorating it with candles.

Another legend, says that the first decorated Christmas tree was in Riga, Latvia, where the Brotherhood of Blackheads, a group of unmarried merchants, put up a tree for celebration.

Whatever the case, we are glad the tradition took off. 

 

SANTA CLAUS:

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“Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down Italy lane...” sang Santa on his way to Italy, on Christmas Eve.

“Santa, don't give out all the gifts yet!” shrieked La Befana, the old witch that was riding her broomstick around Italy. “Children here also expect presents on 6th of January.”

“On the 6th of January?” exclaimed Santa. “I can't do that. I'll be catching up on all the sleep I’ve missed in December, wrapping gifts, training elves, ringing sleigh bells.”

“I’ll take over,” offered La Befana kindly, and has been delivering gifts and sweets to children around Italy on the 6th of January, ever since. 

Still, Santa does have a lot of visits for one night, but thankfully, delicious cookies and milk are there to keep him going. Except in Ireland. There, children prepare minced pies alongside a…GUINNESS BEER for him. Let’s just hope Santa stops by your country before he visits Ireland, or you’ll get one tipsy Santa and possibly mixed up gifts!

 

CHRISTMAS SEASON:

How does the rest of Santa's journey look like? Can he travel all around the world in one night? Well, not quite.  

In many countries of Asia, like India and China, where most residents are not Christians, only a very small part of the population celebrates Christmas, and Christmas Day is not a holiday. That really helps Santa complete his mission faster, as both countries have the two largest populations in the world and delivering presents to all the children there would require lots of additional elf power. 

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And on his way to Australia? Santa switches to his red bathing suit and always carries his sunglasses, just in case. Christmas in Australia falls on a sunny summer day, so Australians can even enjoy some ice cream after their dinner. HO(t) - HO(t) - HO(t)!

Even if Santa claims that in January he catches up on lost sleep, he still has a few stops to make. In Russia, people celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January, so Santa switches to his blue coat (as you can imagine, his red coat does need to go to the dry cleaners after all the Christmas sweat!), and delivers his last batch of presents. 

 

CHRISTMAS CRACKERS:

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You can thank Tom Smith for that. Inspired by the French bon bon sweets of the time (almonds wrapped in pretty paper), Tom wanted to bring the concept to England. But while sitting in front of a crackling fire one night, he decided to develop the idea further. “What if the sweets and toys I sell don't just have a pretty wrap, but also make a crackling sound every time someone opens them? That would make them even more marvelous!” And it did. Ever since, we have Christmas crackers and sometimes...really bad jokes.

 

CAROL SINGING:

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Do you go carol singing during the holidays? What is your favorite Christmas song? If “Jingle Bells” comes to mind, then think again. "Jingle Bells", which was written in the US, was originally called "One Horse Open Sleigh" and was intended for Thanksgiving. 

If, for some bizarre reason, you end up carol singing in Romania, be prepared for a peculiar surprise. Amongst your friends’ faces, it’s likely that you’ll also see a face with a multicolored mask, dressed up as a goat. That's what Romanians call the “Capra” and his/her job is to jump up and down, dance and bop around and be joyfully mischievous.

 

YUMMY SWEETS:

“Oh, I do love chocolates, so very much”, said French chocolatier 1.

“They're so tasty, I bet people would still want to eat them, even if they had the shape of...MUSHROOMS!” added French chocolatier 2.

And so they tested it. They made chocolates that looked like fungi, named them chocolate truffles, and sent them out as Christmas time goodies.

THANK YOU, FRENCH CHOCOLATIERS.

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As for candy canes? They first made their appearance as all white canes, and their shape was inspired by the hook Jesus used to shepherd his lambs.

 

CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS WE LOVE:

“Time to clean your room to get ready for Christmas!” said no mom ever in Norway. Christmas household chores? In Norway, there aren’t any. Well, not really, but according to sources, there's an old rumor that in the past, Norwegians thought evil witches and spirits would steal brooms on Christmas Eve and ride in the sky. As a result? They would hide all brooms and cleaning agents, and no one could clean. Our kind of Christmas. 

And here's one for those who like to play dress up. In some countries of Western Africa, including The Gambia, towns and villages celebrate Christmas with masquerade parties, extending the religious traditions to include people of all religious beliefs and backgrounds. Two big high-fives, one for masquerade parties, and one for embracing inclusivity.

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Finally, our very favorite: Jolabokaflod. The Christmas book flood, in Iceland. On Christmas Eve, Icelanders exchange books, spend their night carried away in their magical worlds and eat lots and lots of chocolate.

 

FESTIVE CRAFTS:

Make the most of our our Worldwide Christmas Snapshot and turn it into fun, festive activities to introduce your little ones to Christmas delights from around the world with our easy DIY crafts and shenanigans here

Make your own Worldwide Christmas pop-up map to decorate the house and help your little ones learn to identify different countries.

SPREAD HOLIDAY JOY:

And of course, our Buddiful Christmas cards are the best (at least, in our mind!) way to do it. Simple, colorful, and ready for you to fill with wonderful words for your loved ones, all while helping support child literacy, too. Can’t get more merry than that.

Have a Whimsical, Wonderful Christmas

and a Quirky New Year!

 

We hope we'll meet again soon in a story,

Your Worldwide Buddies - Us

 

 

It’s sneak peek recipe time! Today we’re making…Rice Krispies Calavera!

We love sweets. We love creative designs. We’re super excited about the Day of the Dead. And we love having fun in kitchen!

Put 2 and 2 together, and today, you’ll find us in the kitchen making this yummilicious Rice Krispies Sugar Skull from the recipe book that can be found in our Mexico Story box. It’s fun, straightforward and seasonal. Did we mention it’s delicious?

And since we’re feeling super generous, we’re sharing our recipe below! Take a look… and then maybe also take a bite!

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Ingredients:

3 table spoons of unsalted butter (45g)
6 cups of mini marshmallows (300g)
6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal (180g)
Any edible decoration you like!

Easy peasy steps:

  1. Place the butter in a large saucepan and melt it over low heat.

  2. Add the marshmallows and stir until they are completely melted and blended.

  3. Take the pan off the heat and immediately add the Rice Krispies cereal. Mix lightly until the cereal is lightly coated.

  4. Use a pyrex (around 13x9 inches) and cover it with cling film or aluminium foil. Alternatively, grease with cooking oil.

  5. Allow the mixture to cool completely or place it in the fridge for 20 minutes, until it becomes solid. e

  6. Draw a skeleton head on wax paper and then cut it out.

  7. Place the skeleton stencil on top of the Rice Krispies mixture and cut around the skull shape, removing the excess pieces.

  8. Give your skeleton head a face by decorating ti with smarties, M&Ms, mini marshmallows, gummies and jelly beans, fruit loops, colored sprinkles, royal icing, sugar cookies, anything else that comes to mind!

Looking for more Day of the Dead inspired recipes to make with your little ones at home? Our Mexico story box can definitely come to your rescue!

Mexico Story Box Giveaway! Test your knowledge and win!

The Day of the Dead is fast approaching, and to celebrate our excitement, we’re giving away one Mexico story box to a lucky buddy out there! The rules? We did think of keeping it straightforward, but then we thought… why not just make it fun!? :)

And since we are passionate about cultural education, and we definitely love games, we designed 6 multiple choice Day of the Dead questions for you. Tell us your answers below and automagically enter our giveaway competition.

Hurry, competition ends on November 4!

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1. People trace the roots of the Day of the Dead back to...
2. When is the Day of the Dead celebrated?
3. What is the meaning behind the Day of the Dead?
4. What are some traditional foods that people consume on the Day of the Dead?
5. The sugar skull has become one of the most famous Day of the Dead symbols. Where was it inspired from?
6. What is an ofrenda? An altar with the favorite objects of the deceased, designed by their loved ones in order to...
Name *
Name

Move over, Halloween. This box will teach your little ones all about the Day of the Dead

October is already here and families all around are getting spooky-ready for Halloween. As for us? We’ve got our eyes on the days after Halloween: the marvelous Day of the Dead holiday, which happens on the 1st and 2nd of November each year. One of the most important celebrations in Mexico, during the 2-day event, people put on their festive everything in honor of all the loved ones that have passed away.

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And of course, we’re here to make sure that all the littles around the world will discover more about this beautifully wonderful celebration, as well as Mexico’s rich culture. That’s why we’ve designed the perfect story box, that will get your family to forget all about Halloween, and instantly fall in love with the Day of the Dead’s whimsical traditions, delightful activities, and lovely meaning . How? Read along!

1) It has a color-bursting picture book that will transport young readers and teach them all about the Day of the Dead and Mexico’s culture, all while following the adorable young Adri, and his fun, funny adventures! And there’s more. At the back of the book, you can solve a witty quiz on Mexico, whose answers are hidden in the story, alongside a two-page English/Spanish vocabulary. 

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2) It has 3 delicious and easy traditional Day of the Dead recipes that you can do with your little ones at home. Bring the tastes of the celebration to life, all from the comfort of your home. Spoiler alert: there’s something for the littles with a sweet tooth, for the littles without a sweet tooth, and something for the crafty littles that like to decorate their creations, alike!

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3) It has a DIY Day of the Dead mask, which is specially designed for creative coloring time, as well as simple, yet awesome dress-up situations. Give your littles as many colors and materials as you can find and let their imagination run wild!

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4) It has Day of the Dead postcards that you can send to a very special buddy, as well as some lively stickers to decorate your… well… anything, really!

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5) It comes with some additional toys guaranteed to steal hearts and offer some quality laughs! Your little ones won’t be able to stop cuddling with Hermelindo, the cutest axolotl plush toy, and they’ll step away from their screens to play memory and snap with our bilingual flash cards. Be prepared to step up your memory skills and expand your Spanish vocabulary, parents!

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6) It’s just too irresistible. Proof, below.

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