My wife and I have a different outlook on holidays and the role they play in childhood. I believe they are crucial for forging bonds and memories. She thinks they are unnecessary and misguided. Funny thing is, she's a person of faith and I am a person that thinks "Faith" was a catchy George Michael song.
The religion that she was raised in does not observe holidays, and while I was raised in one that did, I was only going through the motions. But the motions were a lot of fun and I recall the holidays as some of my most cherished moments.
Basically, I celebrate Christmas to celebrate my loved ones, peace and my fellow man. I celebrate it for every reason a religious person might, except for the actual religion. I tend to lean towards Santa Claus and Bing Crosby.
She never celebrated a holiday when she was a child, and as such she doesn't have that patchwork quilt of so many memories keeping her warm every winter. But she does think they are fun, and she can't deny how much they mean to our children. To that end she agreed to celebrate them since religion was off the table, and only family, friends and love remained. Also, candy.
We made a deal, she wouldn't tell them there isn't a Santa and I would give the same respect to God. It has worked out swimmingly.
Our children celebrate every holiday and the good of each season. They love stories, songs, endless sheets of cookies, and their fellow man. It is all the fun and none of the religions trappings. They don't know how good they have it.
Do you have to work with holiday differences in your family?
Image via Whit Honea