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Subject:holy days and children
Time:09:05 am
MySpace comment:

Merry meet everyone! I am thinking about starting a family with my husband and was wondering how I'd bring up my child in a familiy with diverse beliefs. On my side of the family, they are strict catholics, on my husbands side, you have methodist. I dont want to force my beliefs onto the child, but I definately want to introduce them, without confusing him or her. For example, how would I combine wiccan holidays which are important to me to non pagan holidays. Celebrating Ostara and Easter might be fun for them, but would they understand why both are being celebrated. Another example, when your child realizes that you are a witch/wiccan, how would they even begin to explain it to their friends without getting criticized?

My response:

As the mother of a 23-yr-old and 10-yr-old, from my own experience, it's best to just let each person be who they are, and allow the children to observe. Feel NO need to "combine" holidays; they are separate unto themselves and should be observed as such. Otherwise, you just give them a hodge-podge which dilutes the spiritual impact of each.

Give them practical information about Wicca, but allow them to participate in Christian events if you are sure the relatives will respect your rule of "don't speak badly about their parents' faith" in relation to it. If the relatives don't respect that, they cannot share their faith with the children, period. Make certain the children understand that it's not Christianity, but the individuals, that you have issue with. Respect is a two-way street, and that's what your children will emulate.
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feste_sylvain
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-04-16 07:51 am (UTC)
The problem with not combining holidays is that too many holidays have already been combined for us. Ask most kids about Easter, and you'll get the bunny before you get the martyr.

Distinguishing the holidays is the hard part. (Call it a "Yule tree" all you want; it's still fairly well combined with the "Christmas season".)
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seshen
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Time:2006-04-17 05:30 am (UTC)
"Combine" as in actively teach that they're all the same thing.
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srain
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Time:2006-04-16 09:57 am (UTC)
I agree that it's probably best to not combine things so that they are indistiguishable from each other. As pointed out above, I don't know how easy that will be in all cases. Right now, we are doing holidays on an individual basis. But my son is young enough that he doesn't understand and doesn't really care. :) All he knows is that we're going to go see grandpa and auntie today. As for her last sentece, I don't see how this would be a problem. Your children will know what they have been exposed to and if they are comfortable with things it's not going to be a problem. Or am I being painfully naive?
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sirenewitch
Subject:In my own personal experience...
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-04-19 10:53 am (UTC)
My own experience with the mix is this:
In our immediate family, we celebrate pagan holidays. The boys' father takes them for Christmas and we visit family at Christmas but we dont actually do Christmas stuff at our house. We dont have Easter at our house but my mother still gets them chocolate. I have had to say things like "the easter bunny doesnt stop at our house" when they were very little.....but now the older ones understand a bit better. They feel sorry for Christians actually, our holidays are Way more fun!! They dont get Beltane!! (Actual quote from my 8 yr old)
We feel it is important to show them that different families celebrate different holidays. OUR family celebrates our faith and other families celebrate theirs. We also encourage them to send cards to people of other religions and backgrounds on their holidays, such as Hannukah, Ramadan and Chinese New Year.

Enjoy!
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