Christmas – Our Way

Christmas has always been an interesting time in our home. And in the homeschool circles you come across many families who no longer celebrate this holiday. I have always been so grateful that during our first years of marriage we lived in a town far from family so that we could work through some tough thought processes and decisions. On our return to living amongst the family we had managed to establish our own traditions, beliefs and who we were.

The most obvious of these was Christmas. We came to realise that this season has so many roots and evokes huge emotion within people. We could spend hours discussing the different world views and the pros and cons to various views. Instead I’ll simply share how we as a family spend this special season. We have spent a great deal of time learning about the different Jewish festivals and how these link to Christianity. From this study we have begun to celebrate Hanukkah which celebrates the miracle of light. This we find is an awesome introduction to Christmas as it keeps us focused on Jesus, the Light of the world. The 6 December then finds us celebrating St Nicolas Day. This we found fundamental as all the cousins have father Christmas arrive on Christmas day and whilst we chose to move away from this we found it important to honour them and not teach our children to be filled with pride by saying “we right and they are wrong,” – we simply do things differently. So by us celebrating a ST Nicolas day we could simply explain they celebrate St Nicolas day on Christmas day.

The the decision as to whether we should celebrate Christmas at all… After much deliberation we decided to continue celebrating it, for a number of reasons. Firstly the rest of our family does – many of whom are not saved so we saw this as an excellent chance to witness to them. We found it was an entire month of celebrating our savior and focusing on him. Christ himself recognised and celebrated Hanukkah which was not a God ordained holiday but rather a man made one. Therefore if our hearts are right we too are free to celebrate man made holidays and traditions.

So as a family Christmas is an exciting, much anticipated time of year. It does require much preparation and heart searching but that is what makes this time so special to us all.

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Mommy on Leave

reading

Image by madelinetosh via Flickr

It never occurred to me that Mommy could take leave. Well not till my hubby presented me with a gift of a trip to visit a friend for 5 days. I was to leave the next week and travel by bus and spend the weekend lazing on the beach and drinking red wine. It took me a while to absorb and accept this gift and then a bit longer to stop worrying about the logistics. Hubby had it all sorted.

With much trepidation and apprehension I set off on my first lone venture. The trip there was long and a 2 hour wait for a tire to be repaired didn’t help. But I read a novel – cover to cover! My mind however had still not truly left home. What were the children doing now? Was granny coping? Did they like the gifts I had left for them to open each morning? And the faces they were busy building: adding the hair one day, eyes the next and so on until they were to add the smile the day I would return – was this working? Did they understand how long I would be gone for? Was my sweet, gentle hearted, middle boy ok? I had left my stuffed hedgehog in his care. Hope that cuddly comfort would help him sleep at night….

However somewhere between arriving at my friend after 9pm and chatting till well after 1am I shed a few layers of Mommyhood. Just for a while I could stop thinking about other people and what we’d have for breakfast. Just for a while I could not worry about my 3yr old’s fever my hubby had reported earlier in the evening. Just for a while I could sit and think about nothing but me.

As the days faded into swimming pools, ice-cream, beaches, red wine and late nights, flickers of: “wish my boy could see this” or “the kids would so love this beach” flashed across my mind – on the whole however I was entirely self indulgent and self absorbed. One could therefore concluded that for the first time in a decade this Mommy was officially on leave.

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