Sunday, December 16, 2007

Calling all Traditions

Ok, here's the story:
I grew up with all the "traditional" Christmas trappings. We always had a great tree, loaded with presents, lights on the house, caroling, Christmas lists taped to the fridge, drawing names for who to buy gifts for- all that stuff.
I married a man from Romania. He grew up under the Communist regime in the Eastern block countries. When he came to the US he was amazed and sickened by the American excess of Christmas. Also, about this time he did a study on the symbols and meanings of the various traditions surrounding the holiday and- this is not my soapbox, I am not passing any kind of moral judgement- found that most of the traditions of Christmas are deeply rooted in Paganism. He vowed that he was never going to "celebrate Christmas."
I knew all of this when I decided to marry him and I deeply respected his conviction. I have even grown to agree with him on both points over the last 10 years.
Here's the problem:
Our children are growing up in a "Tradition Vacuum." I really miss the fun of the holidays- we also don't "celebrate" Easter or, obviously, Halloween. I miss the days being special and looking forward to them.
We don't put up a tree or lights or buy any presents. We also don't mark the days in any other significant ways.
Here's the question:
What kind of special traditions that focus on the Lord could we implement on these holidays? I am begging for your suggestions!


The Pace Posse said...

What about a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas day? I know it's not His "real" birthday, but it would be a way to mark the day without getting into all the hoopla.

You could make a birthday cake, read about Jesus' birth from the Bible and everyone in the family could do something to serve another family member that day.

Lee Ann said...

I've been thinking about what to comment for a long time. I think everything I say your husband would probably say no.

I'm really trying to keep Christ in Christmas. Our gifts are limited. Three to represent the three wisemen.

I have a friend who keeps her real tree in the backyard after Christmas until Easter. Then they take the dead branches and make a cross and explain all the symbolism to their kids.

I think making gifts for each other is a great idea and there's no commercialism there.

We are Christs hands and feet. I think a great gift to give Him would be to serve others. Make a hundred sugar cookies and take them to a shelter. Make a blanket together on Christmas Eve and take it to someone in need. I think there are lots of service projects that your kids could get excited about.

I know you knew what you were getting into, but I still feel a bit sorry for you. My girls and I had the best 20 minutes the other night when we turned off all the lights except the tree and sang carols. It was a great time of worship. Not that you can't do that without a tree, I just love the lights.

I hope you figure out something fun to do to keep your kids excited about our Saviors Birth. Keep us posted. I'd love to hear what you come with. I really enjoy your blog

andy said...

Well, Christmas is suppose to be about Christ's birth so I'd just have a special dinner and celebrate Him. Three gifts is a good thing since there was 3 wise men and they gave baby Jesus gifts. Going to church Christmas Eve is a nice way to for candlelight service. I could go on but I'm trying to be thinking of something you could do. :-) Although Easter is a huge celebration and why not just go to Church and have a special family get together. That's really all we do.(of course nana always has egg hunt.)But you don't have to do any of that! Candy is bad for you!!!!

Jeff said...

I agree with your husband. We do not do Christmas as it has pagan roots. As the pace posse said... Jesus was not born on Christmas. What do you think about celebrating Hanukkah?