Where can I find information about Christmas?

Image: A Kiwi Christmas by Sarah Macmillan on Flickr

Entry last updated: 14/01/21


For many Christians, Christmas marks the birth of Jesus. It is celebrated on 25 December in most countries around the world, and involves traditions like Santa Claus, decorating the Christmas tree and gifting of presents. Christmas falls in summer in New Zealand, so Santa Parades, and barbecues in the backyard are some of the ways the festival is celebrated here.

History of Christmas

In this section we'll look at when and where Christmas started. We'll also look at how the Christmas treeand other Christmas traditions started.

Britannica School

This is one of the EPIC resources, which is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.

  • Select the Primary level and type in the keyword 'Christmas' to bring up a list of results.
  • The article Christmas (holiday) is about the history of Christmas and how it is celebrated around the world.
  • Choose the article Santa Claus to read about the legend of Santa Claus.
  • To find information suitable for older children choose Article Reading Level 2 from the top of the page.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6 pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.


NZHistory is a great website for information about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we go all the way down the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

It has an excellent section that covers the history and special features of Christmas in New Zealand.

  • Enter 'Christmas' in the search box at the top of the page to find the page Christmas in New Zealand.
  • Here you will find a range of unique stories from the past and present on Christmas in New Zealand. Select any of the articles to read the full story.
Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.


This is another site with lots of facts and interesting articles. Information is based on students’ questions or 'wonders'.

Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg Christmas. We can always change our keywords if we need to.

Christmas around the world

Did you know that in Sweden, straw is used as a decoration in homes to remind them that Jesus was born in a manger? In this section we'll look at some Christmas traditions and customs around the world, including New Zealand.


This website is the work of a web designer from the United Kingdom who wants to share information on the story, customs and traditions of Christmas around the world.

Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About this site link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

For Teachers for students (FTfs)

FTfs is an Australian website specially for teachers and primary and intermediate students.

Tips: Some websites have .au, .nz, .uk or other codes in their url. This can tell you which country this website comes from eg .au is from Australia or .nz is from New Zealand. You can check the ‘ About us’ link on the website for more information.


There have been many books written about Christmas including Christmas craft and cookbooks. Check out your local public or school library to see what they have.

Some recommended titles are:

SCIS no: 1956771

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