December Pathfinder: Holidays

What is a pathfinder?

Have you ever wanted to know more about a topic, but had no idea where to start? The internet provides a lot of information, but it can be difficult to sort fact from fiction. Whether you’re researching a paper or just want to satisfy your curiosity, a pathfinder might be a good place to start.


Sometimes there is too much information about a certain subject. How do you know which sites you can trust? (Image from:


A pathfinder is a list of reliable resources about a specific topic.

The library will be closed on Thanksgiving, but this list of websites will provide plenty of information about turkey day!

There are two pathfinders on this page. The first one is designed for kids. Please scroll down for the pathfinder for teens and adults.


Pathfinder for Kids



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Do you want to write a letter to Santa? Check out this website to find out how to contact Old St. Nick. Please ask your parents before giving out your email address.

Send a Letter to Santa


How do people celebrate Christmas in other countries? Take a look at this website and try to answer the following questions:

Christmas Around the World

  1. In Greece, what do the do?
  2. In Italy, who brings presents for the Epiphany?
  3. In China, what do they use to decorate the tree?
  4. In India, what kind of tree do they decorate for the holiday?
  5. In Mexico, which flower is closely related to the Christmas season?

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Are you looking for the perfect Christmas present for someone special? This site has many easy to make gifts and crafts for the holiday.

Kids’ Christmas Crafts




What is Hanukkah all about? This site gives an explanation of the Jewish holiday along with a list of Hanukkah related books. See if you can find the answers to these questions on the site:

Hanukkah: A Festival of Lights

  1. What does the word Hanukkah mean?
  2. What are two examples of Hanukkah traditions?
  3. When does Hanukkah take place?
  4. There are many ways to spell the name of this holiday. What is an alternative spelling for “Hanukkah”?
  5. Hanukkah is celebrated for how many nights?


This site has twelve different crafts you can make to celebrate the “Festival of Lights.”

Hanukkah Crafts for Kids




Visit this site to learn more about Kwanzaa and then try to answer the following questions:

  1. What does “ujima” mean?
  2. When does Kwanzaa take place?
  3. What does the word “Kwanzaa” mean?
  4. What are the colors of the African flag?
  5. When are gifts given during Kwanzaa? What are these gifts called?


Celebrate Kwanzaa by making one of these fun crafts!

7 Kwanzaa crafts for kids


New Year’s Eve

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Bored on New Year’s Eve? Not a chance! These fun crafts and activities will keep you entertained until the ball drops.

Party Ideas for New Year’s Eve



Pathfinder for Teens and Adults


December Holidays around the World

Christmas is celebrated in many different ways around the world. Select a country at this site and find out how other countries celebrate this holiday.

For New Year celebrations around the world try:


Christmas Recipes

All types of recipes, including some for the leftovers. Many of the recipes are on video so you can follow a step-by-step process. Find them at:


Christmas Songs

There are lyrics for many traditional Christmas Songs at this site; you can sit around the hearth on Christmas Eve and sing many old favorites. The site also offers a large selection of other Christmas ideas.



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Hanukkah, also spelled Chanukah, Chanukkah or Chanuka, is a Jewish holiday. It is also known as the Festival of Lights. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar may occur at any time from late November to late December. This year (2012) Hanukkah runs from December 8 to 16.

This history site contains information, pictures, and videos explaining this Jewish holiday.


As with all holidays, Hanukkah comes with its own special foods. Find some at:


The 7 days of Kwanzaa

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Kwanzaa is observed by African Americans December 26 to January 1. The Holiday celebrates Black Heritage, unity and culture. It culminates in a feast and gift-giving. The official Kwanzaa web site is hosted and maintained by the holiday’s creator, Dr. Maulana Karenga at:

Since Kwanzaa is a fairly new holiday (it began in 1966), learn more about the meaning and traditions of Kwanzaa at:

The foods of the Kwanzaa celebration have a definite Southern flare. The good thing about this site is that it evaluates the level of difficulty for each recipe:

Kwanzaa gifts, or zawadi, are given to recognize achievements of the recipient in the last year. Gifts that are related to education, African and African-American culture, or the arts can honor the receiver and keep the tradition of the holiday. For suggestions of good zawadi, try: