Wednesday, May 26, 2010


SpecialK and I have tried over the years of our married life to come up with traditions that we feel are worthy ones. Traditions what will help our children in their futures, ones that will strengthen them and bring them closer to the Savior.

You would think that this would be a fairly easy task. We have found that isn't always the case. You see if we decide on a tradition that others don't agree with or decide to give up a tradition that others enjoy then we find ourselves under pressure and scrutiny. It's as if our decisions personally offend others. As if we are saying we are right and they are wrong. When really we are saying that it is simply right for us. What you and yours decide is right for you, is your own personal decision and honestly we respect that. We also desperately wish others would respect ours.

Have you ever noticed that if you do something 'different' then you come under fire? You don't drink coffee, you must think you are better than those that do. You decide to have a natural birth, you think you're better than those that don't have natural birth. Oh, you homeschool, you must think you are a better mother, and so on. I hope you get what I'm trying to explain. There is this sense of my choice means yours is wrong or I'm better mindset.

Parenting, for us has comes in stages, it develops over time. When we learn more we (try to) change and adapt. During a LDS General Conference I heard this talk on righteous traditions. It hit me, and made me start thinking about the traditions SpecialK and I were instilling in our children. Then I read this fantastic book titled What the Scriptures Teach Us about Raising a Child by S. Michael Wilcox. In it he talked about not knowing how our decisions will influence our posterity. That a small casualness about something for us could become catastrophic for our children. For example, our lack of strictness in keeping the Sabbath day holy could cause our children to become inactive all together.

Recently, SpecialK and I have made a few waves with our most recent decision when it comes to Christmas and Easter. You see it all started with a discussion SpecialK and I had about Santa Clause. It was Popsicle's second Christmas, he was 18 months old and actually starting to grasp what was going on. And I just couldn't bring myself to tell him that there was this man that was going to come down our nonexistent chimney and bring him presents galore. So, we didn't. Then the next Christmas we explained to him who Santa really was and that for our family Daddy was Santa. But that still did feel completely right. The next year we explained again who Santa was, the game parents play and our choice not to participate. We told him and his younger sister that Christmas was about Jesus' birth, He is the gift. We talked in length about the Nativity, St. Nick, Santa Clause, commercialization of Christmas and so on. Then we explained that we had prayed about it and decided we didn't want anything to overshadow the real reason for celebrating Christmas, Christ.

Well, this was all fine and dandy. We were happy with our decision and felt good about it, really good. We even explained to the kids that other kids don't know that Santa isn't real and it isn't our responsibility to tell them otherwise. If their parents want to play the Santa game then that's their choice. Of course that is easily said, but harder to do. I mean they were only 5 and 3 at the time. Then we came to what we will do this year. Three presents. Christ got three, they can have three. One from each set of grandparents and one from us. Which honestly I'm not sure I'm completely happy with. I personally would rather see our family serving food to the less forunate on Christmas than opening endless presents. To me that is the real spirit of Christmas, doing what the Savior would be doing. Maybe in a year or two when the kids are old enough, we'll do just that. We just don't see a need to overindulge our kids with made up characters and toys. They have birthdays for that. I mean really what better day to celebrate you than on your birthday.

Oh, we are going to have the kids give each other gifts. But not the kind of gifts most would think of. They can give each other gifts of service or kindness. For example Popsicle could make Sweet-tart's bed for her for a week. And as they get older they can dig even deeper.

For Easter we decided not to do egg hunts or make believe rabbits. Our hope was to do a modified Passover, but with the move and the new baby we didn't get the prep time to pull it off. Next year though, next year. This year we just came for the family dinners. Spent time with loved ones and reflected on our Savior's resurrection.

What traditions are you making, changing or letting go of??

1 comment:

apesjam said...

My dentist actually asked my advice about Easter eggs and such and I told her it's what you make of it. I totally agree, even though we don't had kids yet, we talk constantly about what kind of examples we want to be for them. I've heard of awesome traditions of reacting the natvity for Christmas, the passover dinner, a testimony meeting with just the family looking over the past year... My favorite tradition is each person gets to get an ornament every year so that when you put up the Christmas tree you can pick up all these ornaments which have been stored for a year and remember.