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This is tricky for me. I have not told him the story of Christs birth being celebrated at Christmas. Not yet, anyway. He is only 4. Ive focused more on the charitable, do things for others aspect. I think its important to know, as I would like him to be familiar with many traditions and religions. Last year, he just wasnt old enough to comprehend, let alone pay attention As for my spirituality, its based in Christianity, but has evolved into a much broader non denominational path.
My in-laws are very devout Catholics so this is something that I want to do in the future, however I would really want them to know the stories behind all the celebrations that occur at this time of year, they are all so beautiful in their own ways and I am very big on religious diversity and understanding other people's practices.
Nevaeh really isn't old enough to understand any of it right now. She's still a little behind in speech and understanding so she doesn't even grasp Santa yet.
However... I was raised Christian, but I know that Christmas has nothing to do with Christ. So while I will teach her that the Christian's celebrate it as his birth, I will make sure she knows the proper story, but to have respect of EVERYONE'S religious choices. As well, I want to make sure she doesn't just view Christmas as the commercial gift-buying grossness it has become
My kids celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas (due to previous family traditions)...
Yes, I do tell them the basics of Christmas being a time to celebrate Jesus, (because that is what they know so far) and my dh leads the Hanukkah traditions, but also I am slowly incorporating Yule traditions into the mix... I want them to know a little bit of everything...and feel comfortable celebrating a wide variety so that they can decide for themselves what they want to follow.
(but, I must add, that since I've begun following Paganism, the information regarding Jesus/Christianity that I impart to my children has been more of the viewpoint of prophet rather than Saviour.)
My kids get the story of Christmas because they go to Sunday school (DH has them go to the Lutheran church we belong to) but I stress that it's Yule not CHRISTmas. Personally, I get tired of the "put CHRIST in CHRISTmas" stuff because I feel like it's forcing Christianity on people of other faiths...
We do celebrate Christmas. Even though my faith is in an odd place at the moment. I do believe that for my family, especially as my children go to catholic school, that it's important to celebrate Christ's birth and instill faith in miracles.
Though Christian, my parents did also bring us up with believing in Santa Claus when we were kids. They did also tell us about Christ's birth and also we heard it from Sunday schools. My daughter who's 5 years old is aware already of what Christmas means to us Christians, but she also does believe in Santa as well. No problem with that as long as the spirit of whether Yule or Christmas is there.
Raised Christian, however now. . . I'm very inter-denominational!
Phoenix is in a Christian school, and we live in the Bible belt, so yeah, he has gotten it since he was a baby. We celebrate Christmas everywhere. I don't think it's so much "put CHRIST in Christmas" with us as it is about Giving and Receiving love and kindness. Phoenix has a full understanding of Christ, who he is what he did, etc. But I have also been recently teaching him and telling him about other faiths and beliefs and to keep an open mind.
The holidays shouldn't be about Pagans, Christians, Jews, Muslims and the celebrations they have during this time, but about tolerance, and love and kindness.
Teaching your child about St. Nick, and showing them that giving is sometimes more rewarding than receiving. JMHO
I am Christian and we are teaching the boys the story of the birth of Jesus. When they are older and can understand, we will teach them that Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but that it isn't the actual day He was born, etc. We will also teach Santa in terms of St. Nicholas and in the joy of giving rather than receiving. FWIW, we are making Happy Birthday Jesus cupcakes on Christmas Eve
I LOVE that idea Heather (and it's very nice to see you about btw).
See this is why I love this board. Just look at all that diversity and wisdom that comes from different pov.
Just so people realise, I only titled the thread "putting Christ in Christmas" because it's a well-known turn of phrase. I wasn't intending to upset anyone.
I am an eclectic Neopagan, but I come from a Christian family. For me, I celebrate both Yule and Christmas. Christmas was my favourite time of year from a very early age because it's just so magical, and I'm talking about the spiritual feeling of Christmas - the love and kindness others have spoken of - as well as the more commercial aspects. And Jesus still means a lot to me as an ascended master, so I have no intention of stopping celebrating it. In my house, Yule is the day for magic, spellcasting and prayer. Christmas is the time for family and charity.
It's important for me that my children know the spiritual meanings of both Yule and Christmas. I told Daniel the story of the birth of Christ from a baby and will do the same for Michaela. After all, they may *feel* Christianity and want to choose that path. Certainly Daniel seems very interested in Jesus and Christianity already, at the age of six, and he's been exposed to both faiths very casually and broadly.
Whatever path they choose, I want to instil in them that the festive season is a spiritual time and not just a time to get presents and pig out.
Thanks for all your responses, ladies. I loved reading them!
We have not shared any stories about Christmas time with the kids and wont til they are a bit older. I plan on teaching them many stories about this time of year so they get diverse and cool stories.
They know this time is about winter and the earth changing seasons and beginning a stage of death and rebirth and that Santa(or Father Winter) brings gifts and that its good to give gifts and time as well....so they learn about service and that its more important than getting.