New Traditions

This will be the first Christmas celebrated by 3 of my 4 children. No, I didn’t have triplets. 😉

My husband and I decided to stop celebrating Christmas years ago for several reasons. That’s not what this post is about, so I won’t be going into any detail about our reasons right now.

What I will say, is I have a 13 year old who is looking forward to celebrating again, a 4 year old who is very excited, a 2 year old who LOVES the tree and a newborn who is just along for the ride. 😉

We’ve been trying to have fun, so we’ve been doing different activities. We purchased Advent calendars with chocolates, that the boys get very excited about every day. We decorated a faux gingerbread house.

We used ornament making/decorating kits that had mixed results. 😛

This year we are trying something new, and for the most part it has been great. There have been struggles deciding how much we should do for the kids. Having a teenager who’s items tend to be smaller yet more expensive than those for the little ones leads to concerns about how fair we are being or how the kids will feel Christmas morning. We’ve also had some delivery issues, but thankfully everything we ordered has arrived on time. (This pressure was one thing I never missed while not celebrating)

We are not supporting the lie of Santa, yet we are not completely boycotting him either. We know there is exposure to Santa in this world, so we have acknowledged the story but maintained the truth that we are buying/giving the gifts out of love. I handmade stockings for the kids. They are a symbol that is tied into the story of Santa, but we wanted to give small gifts too. They are a perfect vessel for those items that are small and awkward to wrap. Because this is our first year celebrating in a long time our initial plan was to use gift bags for those small items rather than purchase stockings. Then I found I could easily make stockings with my round loom. I enjoyed making them and I think they came out nice.

I had thoughts of different crafts to make with the kids, but most things have simply stayed in my head. I’ll try to be more prepared next year. We may spend a little time this weekend drawing or crafting but since it’s me and 4 kids it won’t be complicated projects.

I can’t say that everything we tried this year will become new family traditions, but we will surely be finding more joy in this life.

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Feeling Like Christmas

My family and I haven’t celebrated Christmas since my 13 year old son was maybe 5-6 years old. Religious beliefs led to our giving up Christmas. Christmas seemed pagan and wrong to us. The way it was being celebrated didn’t fit with our belief system. At first we gave up Santa, and the traditional Christmas “stuff” then we gave even the religious take on Christmas up too. None of it made any sense to us.

Recently we decided to celebrate again. None of it makes sense still, but we are in it for the fun and to see joy in our children’s faces. Maybe even to give ourselves some joy again too. We put up a tree on Thanksgiving.

I have to say that walking by it does put a smile on my face. 🙂

The cold temperatures here have put me in a crafty mood too. I used my knitting loom to make a replacement hat for a family friend. I wasn’t happy with one I made him last year. This one seems better, we’ll see how it holds up to regular use. (If he likes it)

I’m also working on a new hat for my friend’s daughter. I don’t think she liked the slouchy one I made her, but her mom does and wears it all the time. Her favorite color is blue, so I chose to make a blue and white one.

I told her mom that if she doesn’t like it, at least she’ll have a spare.

No Christmas Craziness Here:D

I am happy to have given up this thing called Christmas.

I do still live in a world that celebrates Christmas, so I am exposed to the stressed out throngs of people wandering aimlessly, or looking possessed with a mission.  My husband and I are out doing our regular shopping, and we just drove by the local toy store. Its  parking lot is normally quite empty, but here just days before Christmas it is pretty full. I’ve been out with the crowds in years past, and seen it without an open spot to park in so it’s not quite full yet. It just boggles my mind how we all buy in to this idea that we NEED to buy gifts for everyone we know on this one day of the year, and that we have to check off everything on our kid’s wish lists or we’re bad parents.

I was busy nursing the baby, and didn’t get to witness the gift card grabbing frenzy my husband saw one shopper doing to check off the names on their list. When little to no thought goes into what you’re grabbing, is that really going to make the recipient feel special? I don’t want to be a name checked off a list. I also don’t want to lie to my kids and say some magical man brought them gifts. We did celebrate with Santa when my oldest son was very young, but now we regret the lies. We give our kids gifts year round, unexpectedly. Most of the time they are surprised and appreciative.;) It just seems to mean more when we do things for others spontaneously.

I celebrated Christmas for many years, and loved many aspects of it. My husband and I have been reflecting on why we do what we do, and so many of the Christmas traditions just don’t make sense,  or have negative pagan origins.

I just wanted to get this post out there to let people know you don’t have to follow the crowds, especially if it feels wrong to you.

It’s Christmastime

Yesterday I had someone ask if it was my baby’s first Christmas, or second. I answered that it was his second, but that we don’t celebrate it. She told me it was overrated anyway, and that her six year old daughter was too serious for Santa already. She said her daughter said to her “Santa? Really? What are you getting me?” Ah, the joys of Christmas. NOT!

I know that I did it out of tradition, and following the crowd, but I am so happy to have stopped all the non-sense. Why do we ever think it is right to lie to our children? I have a video of my oldest son on  Christmas morning when he was about 2 years old, and we are asking him who came last night. What used to make me smile, now makes me feel sick. I love the video for the cute memories of my son as a toddler, but I feel like trashing it at the same time.

My youngest child, will never celebrate Christmas with us, and that’s ok. I can still make adorable videos of him getting a gift from us and watching his reactions, but it will never be for Christmas pretending that someone else brought it for him. One of the best gifts we can give our children is honesty. When they do discover the lie of Santa, they will wonder what else we have been lying about, and not trust us.

When you really sit down and ask yourself why you do what you do this time of year, do you have a better answer than “It’s tradition”, “We always have”, “It’s fun”, “It’s pretty” or “I don’t know”? I could not think of a better reason, even when we focused on Jesus more. We still had the tree, decorations, presents and stress, but with a nativity set too. We’d watch the nativity story to make us feel better about how we celebrated, but it was still a time focused on us.

God will never be our focus if we are so worried about the perfect gift, decorations, meal etc.. Being Christians we would put a spin on what we did to make it seem like we were honoring God, trying to justify how we were doing worldly things in His name. A Christ follower should really be standing out this time of year, by not following the crowd, but by going down the narrow path. I know my family stands out as different. I hope that by not blending in with the crowd we can lead more people to Christ.

If you are reading this post as a Christian, and thinking I am crazy for not celebrating Christ’s birth with all of the other Christians this time of year, know that there is no need to choose a specific time of year to remember Christ’s birth. We can be thankful that he came and died for us every day, and we should be.

Here is a link to a post written by my husband that you might appreciate if you liked this one.

https://understandinggodsword.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/keep-christ-in-christmas-why-this-holiday-is-all-about-us-not-jesus-how-about-this-year-we-say-no-christmas-just-christ/