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Dallas Brights Family Meetup Message Board › How to have Bright Xmas with kids?

How to have Bright Xmas with kids?

A former member
Post #: 87
We used to basically ignore xmas, but I'm not satisfied with that approach now that we have a small child - doesn't serve our needs for fun, celebration, belonging & understanding. I'm curious & would like to hear how other Bright parents handle xmas... I'm dreaming of a Bright Christmas... confused
Shannon C.
Dallas, TX
Post #: 4
I'm so glad you asked this, because I'm always curious how other atheists celebrate as well. For the last 4-5 years at our house we have transitioned from celebrating Christmas, to HumanLight which is celebrated Dec. 23.­

This is a secular winter holiday and we celebrated it pretty much the same way we would Christmas. The kids still get gifts, but they are from their parents, not Santa. For HumanLight we also have a tradition in our family of decorating or making a candle. The last few years we have had a few of our atheist friends over to celebrate with us and have had a book exchange.

This transition was not easy for me at first because I have many happy Christmas memories and I did not want to ruin that for my kids. At first we celebrated both days. Each year we did a little more on HumanLight and a little less on Christmas. The last 2 years we pretty much did nothing for Christmas (except go to the movies). I was worried about how the kids felt, but they say they don't care about the difference and actually like it that they get to open presents 2 days early. They get as excited about HumanLight as I used to get about Christmas.
A former member
Post #: 10
Our kids are only two, so this year will be only their 3rd Christmas season (and they were only tiny babies for their first Christmas). So far, we've still had "Christmas" complete with tree and presents from Santa, mainly because my husband and I were both raised in nominally Christian households, so it's mostly tradition for us and I just can't see fighting the grandparents on this issue.

Personally, I love the story of the historical figure of Saint Nicholas and find the lessons of his generosity and charity to be great values that I would like to empart to our kids. I believe that as the kids get older we will likely continue to have some sort of celebration resembling Christmas, but we intend to teach them about all of the origins of the celebration (including the pagan origin of the Christmas tree, the ideas around celebrating the winter solstice, and the historical stories of Saint Nicholas and how and why the Christians pre-empted that time of year as "the birth of Jesus").

My optimistic side hopes that we can really emphasize the spirit of "giving" and minimize the consumerism and the focus on "receiving" that seems to have overwhelmed the entire month of December in today's society.
Paula O.
Carrollton, TX
Post #: 2
My family always celebrated Christmas when I was growing up, even though we were ... well, what were we? Agnostic is the best fit, but mostly we just weren't involved in religion... that's the best way I can describe it. We had Santa and gifts and got together with family (who were mostly christian, though many were "non-practicing", I suppose you'd call it). And, while there was no religious backdrop to our Christmas celebration - mostly about family, food and presents! - I did learn lots of traditional Christmas songs on the piano, some of which that are purely christian, like Silent Night, We Three Kings, etc... but lots of Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, Jingle Bells, Rudolf, etc, too.

In the time between my growing up and starting my own family (I got a bit of a late start on the whole marriage and family affair), my mom got involved in a church and decided she was a christian. There were many years of her trying to convince me that it was something I should do, too (those were looong, tough years...), but she's now pretty much accepted that's not going to happen.

When my daughter was born, I didn't even think that we wouldn't have Christmas at our house (my husband and I had already been celebrating with stockings for the dogs and cat). Both our families celebrate Christmas (even my dad, the atheist... who has his own "Bob-Humbug" Santa hat - yes, his name is Robert...), so we just continue. We don't have anything religious in the house, just Santas and Snowmen (I know, they're not really Christmas, but I like them) and stockings and a tree.

We go to each of our families' houses to celebrate with them: opening presents and eating and playing.

It works for us.

I, too, like the idea of giving that Santa embodies and this year, I'm looking for a good place for us to volunteer now that my daughter is old enough to understand. This year, I'm going to have her pick the gifts for the Toys for Tots (she did last year, too, but I'm not sure that she really got it), but I'd also like to see if we could find a way to have her help with the passing of them out... not sure how that would work, though.

We limit tv as it is, to keep the commercials from playing too much of a role in their lives and starting the "gimmes" (now, if I could only convince my mom to stop bringing them things *every* time she visits!).
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