The Nature of our Holiday Traditions

by  Royal Botanical Gardens (Canada)

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When you think of this time of year, what smells and colours come to mind? Pine, gingerbread, mulled cider, green, and red? These are related to plants that have been used to celebrate our winter holidays for over 2,000 years within different cultures. In fact, most of the plants that we use today for holidays have long histories and amazing stories from ancient times. These stories come from all around the world, and are part of many religions and beliefs…

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About This Program


By Request: $150.00

Fee: Regular price: $150
Canadian schools and groups will pay in Canadian dollars (CAD).
American and other international schools and groups will pay in US dollars (USD)
* HST/GST will be added for CDN schools where applicable.
* International (including US) and Indigenous schools are tax exempt.
Invoices are emailed out at the end of the month that the program happens. If you need it sooner, please let the provider know.
Payment: Cheque/ check, credit card or e-transfer


45 to 60 minutes for Grade 4 - 12 and Adults

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Teacher(s)/Educator(s), Parent, Adult Learners, Homeschool/Family , Learning Pod After school clubs or organizations Public Library: Library Patrons, Library Staff Cultural Organizations

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Sciences, Social Studies/History

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)
Google Hang Out
Microsoft Teams

Booking Information

This will only be offered from November until the third week of January.

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We will not charge for programs canceled due to nature i.e., snow days. We will need 48 hours notice for other cancelations; otherwise you will be charged for 50% of the program cost.

About This Provider

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Royal Botanical Gardens (Canada)

Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Royal Botanical Gardens is a living museum which serves local, regional and global communities while developing and promoting public understanding of the relationship between the plant world, humanity and the rest of nature.

Education at Royal Botanical Gardens encourages environmental stewardship by providing meaningful and diverse learning experiences that connect people with the wild and cultivated plant world. 
With over 15 years experience delivering engaging interactive videoconferencing programs, we offer topics that explore biodiversity, conservation, botany, plant ecology and the environment. Whether you are looking for an insect program; a program exploring wetlands, their functions and human impacts or you want to discover more about a delicious chocolate treat; we have a wide variety of plant-based programs to support and enhance your classroom needs or stimulate and entertain older adults. 
No matter where you are, your group can interact with our educators and scientists.

Karin Davidson-Taylor
905-527-1158 x249

Program Details


1. This program begins with the students imagining what it would have been like for people thousands of years ago in winter
2. We explore the history of using evergreens, and flowers at this time of year and the ancient traditions behind the use of this plants.
3. Students will, with the help of the instructor, learn to identify 4 main evergreen conifers.
4. Students will discover the reasons behind some of the common spices we use
5. Time is allowed for questions and answers.


The participant will:
- explore the variety and importance of plants in our holiday traditions
- discover where these plants come from around the world.
- develop an appreciation of how traditions can migrate when people and their plants do.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

NSS-G.K-12.2: PLACES & REGIONS As a result of their activities in grades K-12, all students should:
- Understand how culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions.
Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures
Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied
The student in grades 5-12 should understand
the emergence of Aegean civilization and how interrelations developed among peoples of the eastern Mediterranean and Southwest Asia, 600-200 BCE.
NSS-WH.5-12.5 ERA 5: INTENSIFIED HEMISPHERIC INTERACTIONS, 1000-1500 CEThe student in grades 5-12 should understand
the redefining of European society and culture, 1000-1300 CE.
The student in grades 5-12 should understand:
economic, political, and cultural interrelations among peoples of Africa, Europe, and the Americas,1500-1750.