Wednesday, December 14, 2011

pagan art journaling {week 46}

This week's prompt: family

As the holiday season starts to overtake our lives, and we contemplate the rebirth of the light, I find myself wondering a lot about family and spirituality. How many of us are "out" with our families? How many of us celebrate 2 holidays at this time of year, 2 traditions? How many of us try to merge the 2 together? And if so, do we do it successfully? 

Don't get me wrong, I think that Yule and Christmas overlap well, but it's in the little details that sometimes we find ourselves most challenged. Like, if you have children, what do you do with Santa Claus? Or most Christmas songs?

I don't necessarily think these things need to become huge issues, but as I contemplate having a child, my husband and I spend a fair amount of conversation time discussing (or sometimes avoiding, I'll be honest) these types of questions because we are an interfaith family, which makes finding an answer to many of these question all the more challenging.

How do you share your spirituality with your children? Your family? How do you navigate family events while staying true to your own ideals?


1 comment:

  1. I too live in an interfaith home, and I joined with my husband when my children were 2 and 4 years old. I am invited to speak every year on an interfaith panel in our area called "the December Dilemma".
    In short, my choice was to build our spirituality all year, and our holiday family traditions around interior decorating choices that my husband and I discussed, but since I was doing the "work", I asked him to hold his comments until later in January when I would sit down with him and say: "so, how was that wreath for you? Did you miss anything from your childhood that we could add for our children?"
    That way, he felt honored and respected and our holiday traditions could evolve. No on the spot conflict if I hung icicles and 5 pointed stars all over the dining room ceiling.
    When it came to other families- relatives or not- I fielded a lot of questions. My answer was always the same: No, my kids know what our beliefs are, seeing your practices (house, tree, egg nog, menorah) will not confuse them. & This is no different than my birthday, which is December 23. I open presents whether they have no paper or Christmas paper or birthday paper. It doesn't change the giving. We graciously show interest and participate in anything anyone wants to invite us to or wants to share with us, we offer to share with others- the color of the paper does not measure your spirituality. In my opinion, Spirituality has to do with your family's habits most of the year, little to do with the holidays.
    I should note that the families I meet at the December Dilemma talk who have to worst trouble are controlling people themselves or have controlling visitors and families. the Jewish child who's Christian grandmother gives her a gold crucifix, the critical mother who gives ornaments to her non-tree raising daughter. I advise acting gracious, but not compromising one's beliefs as far as having a child wear jewelry not appropriate for them. I wouldn't let my daughter wear lacy lingerie as a princess dress if she were 5, no matter how pretty she though it was, but I wouldn't make a fuss at the family dinner. I would just say how thoughtful and put it in the car. Donate the jewelry to a convent and change your plans next year.
    Hope your new family grows crookedly but happy. Be willing to do it wrong sometimes and you will have fun. the 4 year old is now 24 and she is lovely.
    regards, Cozy
    ps: I ran across this site looking for Pagan Art Journal topics, the prompts are wonderful. Too bad there is only 2 weeks left, but I will explore them, I am sure.


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