*disclaimer- I'm sacrilegious and very aware of this. If you're religious, please do not take my dark sense of humour as disrespect to your faith.*
I'm a Grinch and hate Christmas. I'm not religious, so am not into that side of things, nor do I like the consumerism/social obligations of presents. I'm not close to my family (dead father, estranged sister and mother who doesn't understand sarcasm), so that aspect hasn't ever worked either. Christmas is too hot, makes everywhere you go too crowded and just perpetuates selfishness and expectations.
This year is my first as a mum though. I don't know how to balance my complete distaste for all this 'merry' with my desire to give Eevee a fulfilling childhood. I know she's too young to remember anything this year, but is it really so wrong of me to not want to shove all that Santa crap on her?
We're trying to think of stuff we can do to make our own family traditions. Stuff that I can tolerate. So far my ideas have been hilarious, but probably not very practical- like filling a baby Jesus pinata with her gifts and having to whack it to get them out. It would go well with the adult Jesus full of chocolate at Easter. If we have a tree (if), I'd want a Staryu on top. That's the only real sensible one I have so far.
I'm coming to you, good people of ck, for suggestions. What non-religious, preferably non-omgyaychristmas, preferably nerdy traditions do you suggest for my new little family?
Christmas has been celebrated long before Christ was born, so if you see it from that point of view, you could explain the tradition being celebrated in your no-religious family with this. In the end, it's a bunch of pagan traditions mixed together that just recently adopted the name of religion. You could include in your family the signs of christmas that don't have to do with religion, but that do have another meaning and you can bond together under that.
As far for ideas, it's hard for me to come up with that hahaha, in my family we celebrate christmas eve with a nice homemade dinner and spending the night together, we give gifts that same night and then the next day, on the actual christmas day, we don't really do much. I think doing that, with nice decoration that would mix nerdy and seasonal vibes and just spending the time together, play board games and such, would be nice. In the end, the tradition for us all is kinda similar. Some people move the baby jesus to the manger... we don't have that. Some people listen to christmas songs that talk about jesus... we don't do that. It's more like a chill night in family together. You can give homemade gifts to don't support the consumer part of the holiday and to still give something memorable to your family member though.
I think that Christmas is something that most of us hold dear to us for the memories and traditions it gives to us, something that year after year we live in family and that's the soul of it... so no matter what you decide to do, I'm sure that if you remember this, you'll make great memories for Eevee.
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What about food? Regardless of liking Christmas for materialism and omgyay there is always good food to look forward to. Begin a habit of baking together. Does not have to be Snowmen rice krispies or reindeer pretzels but you can make memories in the kitchen. Some of my favorite memories growing up was baking chocolate chip cookies with my Mom. Or no-bake oatmeal coco bites. As Eevee gets older she can help more in the kitchen, prepping veg for a turkey or chicken meal. Mashing potatoes. Making cheese/meat/snack platters. It is the bonding part that makes the memories and the time of year a special one.
Or crafts. Again does not have to be Christmas ornaments but it can become a crafty time of year making decor for the house.
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I basically do the same as @(you need an account to see links). We don't really have any religious traditions for Christmas, we just use this as an excuse to spend time with our family. In my family, we usually gather all together on the 24th. We spend a part of the day cooking while listening to non-religious christmas music, then we eat dinner while talking, joking and having fun and then we play board games or cards! I see Christmas as an opportunity to keep your mind away from work and chores, and just focus on spending time with your loved ones and having fun.
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Honestly my family isnt very holly jolly. My girls are 4 and 2 and despite going through hard times for the last, like 2 christmases it actually helped bring out some of the most memorable experiences and holiday feels that I want to bring back and evoke again and again.
We always had bunnies in our yard and a group of deer that would move through the yard every night when we lived up north. We're not religious but we do observe the winter solstice and decorate a tree in the back yard. I cut the pumpkin from halloween into stars and store them in the freezer to use them for this. The deer used to eat the pumpkin right off of our porch frozen solid so this way is better. The girls also make bird seed ornaments to hang in the tree, ice wreaths are a hit, we throw rose hips, branches and pinecones in a bundt pan and let it freeze. We watch the deer and buns from our window all year so this is a special gift to them and the girls whispering and watching them from the window to me is christmas magic.
Sledding is a big deal in our family in the winter. It started out when I was depressed and my oldest was really little... I'd go for walks at the same time every day as the sun is setting through the trees and she'd be bundled up in her blankets and with her teddy. She loved that so much. Later on when I had two toddlers my partner was working out of town but I still had to get around, pick up parcels etc ....so I'd do it all with the girls on their sled. We upgraded to a bigger sled. LOL. When we talk about winter and christmas coming this is what they remember and are excited for.
Letting them help in the kitchen. We bake cookies and my oldest loves helping make apple cider. I always make sure there are lots of pomegranates enjoyed during that time of year, ninja breadmen, and that we make and decorate a gingerbread house.
When I was a kid my mom was the best stocking stuffer!! I still suck at wrapping presents but I'm sure by the time the girls are old enough to care I'll be okay at it. My favorite thing is the stockings. I'm proud to say that every year that I've been a mom I've kiiillled it.
Traditions that havent really developed organically but I want to force them lol:
Our friends down here (since we recently moved back down to Vancouver area) do this amazing advent calendar that I haven't quite got the hang of yet. It's where little gifts are tied to (in our friend's case very old tree quilt thats hung on a wall) and you get a stocking stuffer every day until Christmas.
There were things I liked and didn't like about elf on the shelf. I've adopted a few things and will likely discard alot. This year I got these needle felted 'kindness elves' on etsy and they are cute. I'm going to tell our girls that santa's elves scout our homes looking for good deeds and acts of kindness to report back to Santa. I'm going to use them basically to challenge myself to do stuff that freaks me out for the kids benefit, like bake cookies for our neighbors, give out flowers on the street, visit a senior home etc.
oh yeah! and there is ALWAYS a cherry cheesecake, my mom and I have always found a way. I guess most of my traditions have developed out of hardship? lol how boring. Alright so the cheesecake thing started when I was a teen. My mom worked at a lumber mill and invited all of the young people she worked with that didnt have family to be with for christmas dinner. The pilot light went out and our oven wasnt working, so together my mom and I managed to rig the bbq to get the perfect temperature and we made the best cherry cheesecake we were so proud.
Last edited by Oryx; 11-15-2016 at 03:11 PM.
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Ah I'm dumb! Your location says Australia and everything.
Trying to think back to especially when they were really young some stuff that might be more helpful.
Crafts! Especially snowflakes I'm a geek so I'll pull up templates of all my favorite fandoms and we make as many snowflakes as we can throughout december, depending on age I'll have a kid on glitter glue dab duty "helping" and we hang them all from the ceiling. We make everything from paper poinsettias to wreaths and salt dough ornaments which can be as geeky as you want them to be. I like "winter" themed stuff but alot of christmas crafts are cheesy AF.
My 4 year old loves everything spooky, it's cool, but it kills me because it wasnt something we tried to encourage at all. She just always gravitates to stuff like Scooby Doo on netflix. One of my favorite memories of christmas last year was her coloring and humming the soundtrack to the nightmare before christmas. We've got like all the scooby doo christmas specials too.
Every summer I make alot of frozen yogurt / fruit pops which the girls have loved and enjoyed since they were super little. If we ever had a summer christmas those would definitely be a staple, and christmas punch/sangria, other frozen or no bake treats.
SPARKLERS! pretty much any excuse to go out in the dark and watch sparklers makes them happy, so that and we also do picnic dinners outside with string lights for holidays like mothers day.
I know what you mean about christmas consumerism and the themes. I steer away from it alot, some of which cant be avoided in our case because family gifts. I'm nice about most of it, but then you get wtf things like this: