Teaching Children about Xmas…our way…

posted 2 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
Member
888 posts
Busy bee

Great idea! and growing up I LOVED hearing about different christmas traditions including Santa in every country (putting presents in clogs and shoes instead of stockings- mind blown). Its important to know what everyone celebrates and why. I love the real meaning of Father Christmas- and honestly I only learnt about him as an adult when I moved to the Netherlands and saw ‘zwarte piet’ and almost had a heart attack! But then they explained how sinterklaas had rescued a slave boy and I found out that Saint Nicolas was actually a real man in history (I honestly had no idea and just thought he was a story). I think the good v bad children was invented over time by parents trying to scare children into being good. But I think its great that you want to teach your children the real meanings behind all the religions and traditions! I will try to do the same when I have children too.

My only advice… make sure your children dont tell other children Santa isnt real-or you may have a few crying kids and annoyed parents at your door! 

Post # 3
Member
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

missjewels:  I really love this idea! My FI is a non-denominational Christian. I have no clue what I believe. We were both raised Catholic and neither of us believe in that anymore. We both really want to teach our kids about a bunch of different belief systems and this seems to be a good way to start. 🙂

Post # 4
Member
267 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I think this is wonderful! I teach cultural diversity to special education students and would love a book like that! Plus, I’m agnostic ( raised Lutheran) and dear fiance I’d Jewish. I’m in the process on buying my first menorah for the holy days.

Post # 5
Member
888 posts
Busy bee

wifetobee63:  You are so right! There should definitely be a book on all this- available to everyone haha. 

Post # 6
Member
9949 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

There are tons of other books you could use, too, to help them understand cultures around the world in a really authentic way.  I like the idea.  

At my school, teachers in third grade do a “traditions around the world” unit after Thanksgiving and before Winter break.  The students go from class to class with a passport and learn about different cultures around the world.  They’re a little basic in their treatment of them — it’s like, food, holidays, games, etc. — but it’s a great introduction.  Most of our students celebrate Christmas, but they celebrate it in the American way, so it’s neat for them to learn about, like, Sweden and St. Lucia, for example.  

Post # 7
Member
2332 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

My DH and I are Christians so celebrate Christmas from that perspective and, when we have children, we will also bring them up in the same way. 

I do love your idea of donating old/unwanted toys to needy children and I definitely would like to do something similar when the time comes.

Post # 9
Member
9533 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I love the sentiment behind this. I absolutely agree that it’s important to teach kids about lots of different religions. Honestly, I think we hear about this the most at Christmas, and I wish it were more incorporated throughout the year. But that’s another issue.

I think it’s a nice book. It might be a little beyond your kids for a few years, so be ready to talk about things on a simpler level when they’re little. But I like the idea. Also, you realize these three religions have the same origins? You might want to expand and include some other branches of religion like Buddism, Hinduism, Sikh, Shinto, Native American beliefes, etc.

Post # 10
Member
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

What a great idea! I think you should publish this so I can buy it for my kids someday.

Post # 11
Member
1164 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

This would be a great children’s book to read every year around Christmas!!

Post # 12
Member
2642 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think it’s awesome you want to expose your children to other religions and celebrations.  I have a couple of comments though.

1. What age are you planning to introduce this to your kids?  Be careful not to do it too early or they won’t fully understand and go blabbing to other children that Santa isn’t real.

2. Allah is usually what they call God in Islam – so I might change that.

3. I’d suggest adding a section about Native Americans and Winter Solstice and maybe something about Hindus and their festivles.  

4. Something about the section about what Mommy and Daddy believe doesn’t sit well with me.  You aren’t really explaining your beliefs, you’re explaining more that not everyone gets presents and what your kid have to do and doesn’t flow quite right IMO.  I think I might rewrite it to something more like:

“While some children celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or Ramadan, Mommy and Daddy believe in celebrating kindness and generosity and family.  We give each other presents to show that we love and care about each other.  However, some mommies and daddies don’t have enough money to buy their children presents and some children don’t even have a mom and dad!  We are very lucky to have new toys and warm clothes and a nice house with plenty of food and we want to share that with other children who are not as lucky.  That is why every year we go to the *instert orphanage/organization thing here* and donate our old toys/clothes/whatever we don’t use any more (or new ones you bought).  We want to help the other little children and show them they are loved.  That way they too can have a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah or Joyous Ramadan.”

Something like that – it isn’t perfect.  I changed all the “you’s” to “we’s” since they way you have it written it’s more what the child has to do as opposed to what you all, as a familiy, do.  It clarifies that you ALL give something and ALL celebrate and not just the children.  Make sense?  You can also make it a nice family tradition to go to the local orphanage/Salvation Army/Good Will/other charity and drop off the toys.  It might stick with them more if they actively give their toys away instead of just reading about it.

Post # 13
Member
6034 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Perhaps you could start by celebrating all of the religious holidays and holy days with your children, before they are even old enough to read or get much out of reading/being read to. Light a menorah for Hanukkah and include some small traditional gifts. Observe a Ramadan fast (even if you only fast a day of the whole month). Put up Diwali lights. Etc. 

Post # 15
Member
1878 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Valparaiso, IN

missjewels:  Most Christians who understand the history and timeline of the Bible don’t actually believe that Jesus was born on the 25th of December. It was more likely in early spring. December 25th is just the day we celebrate it because there is no specific date. So I would take out or change this sentence: “On what is believed by Christians to be December 25, Mary gave birth to a little boy named Jesus.” I would just change it to, “Mary gave birth to Jesus…” and then continue on with the rest…”who would grow up to help the poor and sick.”

 

I never liked the idea of Santa Clause either. DH and I are not going to do anything in regards to that tradition with our kids.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  MrsWoods47.
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