As a word of caution, this blog contains my opinions. Shocker. Every now and then, I may post something that many will disagree with. Another shocker. Please feel free to leave a comment if you want. But remember, it's MY blog so can I delete those comments that I don't like. ;)
Every year during the holidays, I encounter people of many different belief systems. I'm fine with that. I love that! I don't believe I shouldn't be allowed to say Merry Christmas, or celebrate Christmas in the way that I want. Nor do I believe people should be forced not to say Happy Hanukkah or Season's Greetings or celebrate THEIR holiday in the way they want. I say Merry Christmas. That's the holiday I celebrate. But that doesn't mean that I don't respect those that do not.
Why do I celebrate Christmas? Because I am a Christian. No, I don't go to church. To be perfectly honest, and I'm sure this will piss people off, we simply have not found one that isn't full of hypocrites. Church should be about worship, not cliques and social standings within the church. Church should be full of people who live by their faith EVERY day of the week, not just on Sundays. But that's a whole different rant...
I'm sure that surprises people who thought we were weird heathens (we are really...there's just a teensy bit of good in us, lol *wink*). I don't know a lot about my faith. I was raised in a Christian household, but I don't think I truly found my faith until I was an adult. I pick and choose parts of my faith that I live by. I know that's wrong, but that's how I roll.
I don't judge. Or at least I try not to. Yeah, yeah, there are lifestyles and actions that many have interpreted the Bible as saying are wrong. I'm not saying that those things are wrong or right, I'm saying that they have been interpreted as such. If in fact they are wrong, then that's something that each person, at the right time, will address with God. Why do we feel it's our place to place criticism upon them now? I'm not saying you have condone or accept that which you think is wrong. But if you truly feel that they are going to hell, then why they can't at least have a nice time while they’re here, lol?
I also participate in what many Christians consider pagan practices. My kids dress up and go trick-or-treating, so I guess that means we “celebrate” Halloween. Does that mean we celebrate paganism or the devil or whatever by sacrificing animals and casting spells? Well of course it does, but that’s beside the point.
Really, I had to google why Christians were even opposed to Halloween. My entire life, I thought the only meaning it had was playing dress-up and getting candy. For reals.
Does that mean that I scoff at Christians who hold “trunk-or-treats” at their churches, rather than go trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods? Absolutely not. I respect the differences in everyone’s beliefs. I do wish that those same “trunk-or-treaters” wouldn’t scoff at me for letting my boys
worship the devil trick-or-treat.
I understand more about Easter and Christmas. Those days have significant meaning for Christians. Do I think those holidays should be about, and only about, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus? That depends on what they bring me.
Of course I don’t! My boys participate in both heathenistic (is that even a real word?) practices, but they can still tell you what those holidays are about and why we celebrate them. My boys can come up with a wish list a mile long for Christmas, but they will tell you why it is that we exchange gifts on Christmas.
Why can’t our children experience a little fantasy and wonder in their holiday? People say “well if my kids found out I lied about Santa, then they will wonder if I’m lying about God.” Really? I guess I can respect that argument. I disagree, but I can respect that.
However, when I found out that there was no Santa, I did not immediately think “well that’s just great…if there’s no Santa then there most certainly isn’t a God.” My parents were responsible enough (yes I’m being mean and that’s a dig at people) to explain to me about the Santa thing. They made sure I knew Santa was not, nor should he be, compared to Jesus. Santa’s a thing of fantasy and excitement during the holidays. It’s also a fabulous bribing/blackmailing tool for kids… “If you do that, I will tell Santa.” Oh wait…was I not supposed to admit that?
For as long as we “believed” in Santa, we never got a gift from my parents, or at least not much of one. You know that look on your child’s face when they opened or received a gift that they had been wanting for SO long? That feeling of sheer happiness when they looked at everything around the tree and you could tell that, at least until next year, this was THE best Christmas ever?? Yeah, well my parents sacrificed that for our wonder and joy.
When I found out that there was no Santa, I was not heartbroken or sad. I was grateful and appreciative. My parents could have shared in some of that gift giving glory, but they didn’t.
I am not as good of a parent as mine were. I’m selfish. That ONE thing, that one big gift that my boys have been wanting? That comes from us, lol. Santa gets to bring a lot of stuff, but that “best Christmas EVAR” moment? That’s all ours.
Back to the “if you lie about Santa, you lie about God”thing…
Is the big fat man with a magic sack full of presents real? Well, no. But he is BASED on a real person. Yes, we’ve changed him around a bit. Ok, a lot. But that fact is, there is history and truth behind St. Nick. He’s based on a real individual. There’s no belief there. There’s fact.
What about God? Well, if you ask me, I see God every time I look at my boys’ faces. There’s my fact. But truthfully, there isn’t any “proof” is there? The whole point behind your faith..is…well, it’s faith. Faith means believing in something regardless of whether or not there’s proof.
I know this kinda went all over the place. I’m not sure what I’m trying to say, I just needed to get this off my chest. I guess I’m tired of people professing to be true (insert my awe at their perfectness *ahem*) Christians, then turning around and judging or criticizing the actions of those us they deem not Christian enough.
My participation in the Santa thing does not make you a better Christian than me. It does not mean you love God more than I love God. It doesn't mean your kids are better than my kids, or smarter than my kids, or that they will grown up to better individuals than my kids.
My boys are good boys. We are teaching them to be respectful and kind. We are teaching them that they need to treat others as they want to be treated. We are teaching them that there are consequences for their actions. We are doing the best we can.
As I’ve stated before...even if I disagree with them, I still respect those who have different belief systems than I do. I respect their opinions for choosing to take part in, or choosing not to take part in, certain traditions/celebrations. I don’t scoff at you and your family. Or at least I don’t scoff within your earshot. ;)
All I’m asking is for people to have the same respect for myself and for my family.