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We started this about years ago. We do "Advent". We read these books, there are 3 in the series, 1 each season. It is a cliff hanger type story that surrounds the 4 weeks preceeding the birth of Christ. The central character is about 10 years old. So, we read our chapter, pray together, and sing Jesus Christmas songs (not Rudolph or Santa stuff). We try to do it every night. It helps to make it a priority so we don't get swallowed up in going and doing everything. It really helps us focus our hearts on what we are commemorating. They all know we just took over this holiday and attached our own significance to it, that Dec 25 is not really, as far as we know, Jesus' birthday. Then there are a few things we go to to punctuate our sentiments. Last night we went to a local church's recreation of Bethlehem. They had townspeople, a tax collector, and even camels! You walk through and see the Biblical scenes reenacted. Then go have cocoa and cookies. It is really sweet.
They all know we just took over this holiday and attached our own significance to it, that Dec 25 is not really, as far as we know, Jesus' birthday.
That's awesome. Having been raised by a Pagan and my sister is a Wiccan I am well aware of the origin and Yule so I think it's great that we can talk about how we all share the season and celebrate in different ways.
My husband and I are agnostic so we have no religious traditions, although we do like learning about all different ways different religions celebrate this time of year. You can't deny the fact that there is something spiritual for all of us in this time of year, whatever holiday you celebrate.
We're celebrating Advent right now. We light the candles in our Advent wreath at dinner and pray prayers specific to each week of Advent. Yesterday was also the feast of St. Nicholas (the real one, not north pole Santa) - so the children found candy in their shoes when they woke up as a fun way to remember his life story. We attend Mass on Sundays, but we do that all year. On Christmas Eve we'll be attending Midnight Mass. It's one of my favorite Masses of the entire year.
We do the Christmas gift thing a little different, we go to church on Christmas morning, plus I really like to keep the toys and Jesus' birthday seperate. A few days before Christmas (however it works out) we have our own Christmas party, we open gifts and then we have Jesus' birthday cake, an angel food cake in a round pan (the circle means that God has no beginning and end) with white icing and red and green smarties, the red signifying that Jesus died on the cross for us, the green that he is eternal and the white that we're washed white as snow. We sing happy birthday and the kids seem to really like it and connect with it.
I am going to get a round pan! I love that. I usually make a chocolate cake because I believe that is what the Creator of everything would acknowledge as the most perfect dessert. I wasn't sure what the other dessert would be this year. Now I know! Thank you!
i try not to include santa as much as possible. it's kinda hard when so many others do. the kids learn a great deal from church and every year my mom has the kids do a play of the birth of christ and the "real" reason for christmas. and on years we can afford it we help others in need. my mom and i used to pick out a family every year and help them out. this year i can barely afford my family! i'm totally bummed that i can't help.
Kelsie: Mom to Ryen (9) Emelia (8) Wyatt (7) Lucy (5) Oliver (4) Poppy (2) Briar Rose 10.5.13