Navigating Christmas

So Dec.25 is just a few weeks away. The sights, sounds, smells of (Western) Christmas are all around us.  Now let’s not get in a funk about it. Seriously. I say this knowing full well that some of us do. Folks, it’s time to get over it.  If we don’t celebrate Xmas it’s critical that we know why. Explain your reasons to your children. In the meantime we still need to learn how to navigate the season. If possible do it with a smile. Let’s face it, there’s no sign that Xmas is going anywhere. We must have a plan for ourselves. If our children go to schools that acknowledge it what are we going to do? If you don’t want your child(ren) participating in plays, secret Santas and so on write a letter to the respective school(s) requesting that they be exempted.  Ideally this should be done by mid-October. Additionally remove your child(ren) from school on an as needed basis. When would that be? Think: Xmas parties…  We may want to avoid Xmas parades too. If possible avoid heading into stores with your little ones around this time of year.  Minimize radio/tv time. Otherwise it’s easy to find ourselves getting caught up in all the hype. Trust me.

Now when it comes to the 25th maybe your immediate family takes the avoidance approach. That’s always an option. If we decide to head to our extended family gathering  how about preparing some nutritious winter dishes? If we’re veg*n that’s a must. It’s always best to take our own food anyway. Some of us prefer to go after gifts have been given (if the heightened consumerism is something we’d like to avoid). Don’t be afraid to tell your family that you won’t be purchasing gifts (in a sweet way of course) AND that you don’t expect to receive any. If your family gives you/your children gifts don’t fight it. Consider giving them a “wish list” sometime in November. Focus on goods/services you and your children actually need.  Let relatives know that you’d prefer the gifts to be unwrapped. If they must wrap them suggest relatively  plain paper. Say “no” to Santa/Mrs.Claus and nativity scenes. Say “yes”  to snowflakes, stars, candles/lights, reindeer.  Think about unwrapping gifts in your own time/in your own home. Decide how/when you’ll give the gifts to your children.  If your children receive a large number of gifts consider giving them 1-2 at a time over a few weeks. Some parents choose to hand over the gifts to their children in January. That may be best especially if you celebrate Kwanzaa. The last thing we want is for our children to confuse Christmas with Kwanzaa.

Article about how non-Christians create new traditions:

http://www.examiner.com/article/local-non-christian-families-create-new-traditions

Interfaith families and how they celebrate the holidays:

http://fatherhood.about.com/od/christmasholidays/a/interfaith_hol.htm

How America’s non-Christian immigrants navigate Xmas:

www.csmonitor.com/2002/1218/p11s02-lihc.html

Article on Christmas for non-Christians:

http://www.examiner.com/article/christmas-for-non-christians

Movement to buy nothing for Christmas:

www.buynothingchristmas.org

 

wreath

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