Help! I'm done with Christmas. - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-05-2002, 04:49 AM
 
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I'm not religious and dh is not practicing but we love to celebrate holidays! Just tonight he got down our Halloween decorations - we all had so much fun putting them up. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and Xmas.
I understand trying to downplay the consumerism (especially pink, plastic, made by Mattel stuff! ugh!) aspect. Good idea someone had to request stuff like:
books
cds
computer games
zoo, kid museum, etc. membership
kid theater tickets
book or music store gift certificates
art supplies
gardening supplies
gross motor stuff like jump ropes, hula hoops, balls, etc.
I have found lots of good stuff in two catalogs - Hearthsong and Chinaberry. They have websites - their names with www. before and .com after. I just got a Hearthsong order (early for Xmas) with the NEATEST book - it is called The Apple Cake. Check it out! Also ordered some neat stuff like named above.
We like to focus on decorating, seeing family and friends, volunteering, choosing gifts for others, music, fun activities like caroling, making gingerbread houses and cookies, writing cards to our friends and family, taking family photos, donating toys/food to needy families.
Good luck figuring out what will work for your family!
Kirsten
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Old 10-06-2002, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for bumping this up, guys!

All of you have such good suggestions. We've dropped the bomb on everyone. They were all really great about it, and understand our reasonings. We ARE the freaks in the family, so none of this comes as much of a surprise to them LOL!
The in'laws that usually come to our xmas eve party were excited about our decision to change it to a Solstice celebration, since that comes earlier, and won't interfere so much with other xmas obligations they have with other relatives and work related parties.
We told them this is our practice run year, so to bear with us.

I will be checking out this thread as the holidays draw closer, and letting you know how it all is going. Wish I had more time to thank you all individually, but I am taking it all to heart, the links, the song suggestions, etc...

Thank you so much!
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Old 10-06-2002, 02:02 AM
 
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After reading all of these posts I really have to think about the way my family does Christmas every year. Christmas season always makes me happy. I want it to be filled with joy and family. Not materalistic, stress and unhappiness. Every year dh and I spend one day with my family. I love being with all of my brothers and thier 4 kids. But every year it seems to be way out of hand. We finally started drawing names between my brothers and I. I think this year I want to do something entirely different. All of you really effected my way of thinking. I think I have decisions to make. Thanks for enlightning me
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Old 10-06-2002, 02:39 PM
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I wish that I enjoyed Christmas, but every year it gets more and more out-of-hand.

Dh has five siblings, numerous nieces and nephews. He used to have two sets of parents, untill Dad passed away.

Due to leading and pressure, they still exchange with everyone. Dh won't stand up to them, nor will he help with making presents. I make almost all of the presents, because I am an artist, and we have a VERY limited budget.

This year I started early, and I am nearly done. I refuse to be up at 3 am this year, tired and worn out, ragged from trying to meet expectations. I did more for special people on my side this time around, because I resent that I am expected to provide a gift for Jims' nephews' live in, who I've never met, or Jims neices' boyfreinds' daughter, and not for my beloved cousin.

Most of the folks on Jims side have more money and less kids, and a whole lot of judgement for the choices we made--stay at home mom, ect. Jim feels put down by them, always has, and I haven't completely "unplugged the Christmas machine" yet because of his sense of pride. But last Christmas my sister-in-law, who bragged about how much MONEY her grown son spent on the holidays, turned my hand made gift face down and scowled. Merry effin' Christmas, peace on earth, I guess...

I wish that I had the guts to just put an end to it all, and I admire you guys, Sunmountain. At this point, we have 16 years of habit behind us, and my compromise is to start early, so I can preserve the time in December for stuff that means something to me...like making "bouquet vouchers" for people in the community to turn in for flowers next summer.

Good luck on your celebration, it sounds so fun!

dlb
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Old 10-06-2002, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One thing my two SILs do is get the same gift for everyone, or make up fun baskets for each family. One year we all got lamps the SIL got at Sam's club--cheap!
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Old 10-13-2002, 01:23 AM
 
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.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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Old 11-07-2002, 06:12 AM
 
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Okay folks the season is upon us so I thought this thread could use a little kick in the pants! As I said before I am really trying to steer far from the commercial side of the holidays this year (for spiritual as well as financial reasons) so I told my kids that rather than by gifts for each other and grandmas and grandpas, etc. we would be making gifts. They are 8,5 and 2 and 7mos. and they were thrilled with the idea.
I told them i would help them and if they had ideas of what they wanted to do for each other they should let me know.
My 8 year old immediately came up with the idea of recording herself reading some of her little sis's favorite books so she could have her own personal books on tape to listen to. I though that was such a great idea for her to come up with!
We'll work on ideas for the rest of the family and someone earlier made a good point that this will help them appreciate more what goes into giving a gift. Now, to start making these gifts and follow through with the goal! Oh yeah, and I better start planning the Solstice celebration.....
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Old 11-07-2002, 12:31 PM
 
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I'm sick of the 'isms!

We have tried so hard over the years to downplay the commercialism side of Christmas, but it keeps creeping in again and again each year. So, once again I feel like I am fighting againest all of society to make our family holidays meaningful and stress-free.

When the children were small, we began having an annual name drawing on Thanksgiving each year. We wanted to make it a tradition so that when they were grown they would not go broke buying gifts for everyone. Now that some of them are grown, with families of their own, we are grateful that for this established tradition in our home. The little ones are already excited about the upcoming drawing and wondering who's name they will get this year.

We have already started making gifts, some of which we will offer for sale at our Church Christmas Craft fair. Over the years the extended family has come to expect small homemade gifts from us, and mil has even taken to doing the same.

We have been having midsummer's night parties for many years now, and I'd love to celebrate the winter solstice this year. How do some of you celebrate the solstice in the midst of the other holiday mania?

b.
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Old 11-08-2002, 12:48 AM
 
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We do the name drawing thing with extended family too (for the grown-ups), but MIL thinks she should still by gifts for everyone besides. : At least everyone else pretty much sticks to it. Gotta put kiddos in the bath-I'll touch on the Solstice celebration later...
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Old 11-08-2002, 01:20 AM
 
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DeAnna, I refuse to be the one to buy gifts/send cards to dh's family (they are all overseas). If he's not going to do it, then it doesn't get done. I've also made sure that his family know that (in a nice way!).

I've also stopped sending Christmas cards. The stress of having to buy them, write them and mail them was too much. Not to mention the $1.05 postage per card, plus the cost of the card!!!
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Old 11-08-2002, 02:30 AM
 
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we celebrate solstice. we have a white artificial tree which is our "goddess tree" and the kids have little plastic "halloween" cauldrons which they use in place of stockings, for all 8 sabbats. we try to talk about symbols a lot, why there are lights on the tree and why the goodies are in a cauldron. dh and i try to wake and watch the sunrise solstice morning.

this year i want to try making more of the gifts, and encouraging ds to make something too. paganism can sometimes be just as tangled up with consummerism, so i want to focus at least one of the sabbats on making or bartering.

one tradition the group i someties practice with has - we do a giveaway blanket for solstice. people will bring small unwrapped gifts - crystals, books, candles, whatever. everyone puts their stuff on the blanket or table and then takes the same number of things they brought. sometimes the gifts will have symbolic meanings, either to the giver or the one who chooses them, and sometimes they're just neat stuff, like trinkets from the dollar store. the focus is one sharing more than giving or recieving.

the biggest source of holiday stress for me is my father, who is not-so-secretly-as-he-thinks-he's-being trying to convert my son to christianity. and for all the wrong reasons! he's trying to get him to think that theirs is the "real" holiday because they have more stuff, fancier decorations, permanent churches rather than self-created sacred circles, and more followers. he complains loudlt about acknowledging father winter or the holly king, right in front of my son. he makes me nuts.

blessings
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Old 12-13-2002, 04:50 PM
 
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bumping for the great alternative ideas here!!
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Old 12-13-2002, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to say that, frodo, that sucks about your dad.

Well, I finally got Circle Round, and have been devouring it for two days. I am so excited to celebrate this Solstice, and the kids are all whacked on it too!

We are making beeswax candles (rolling up the sheets) and even my 2 1/2yo can do it! I am baking cookies and I made candied orange peels, still experimenting with some other recipes, but I think everyone will love what we made, especially the candles, they are so cool, we made all sizes, even 'birthday-cake" sized ones!.

As far as the commercialism goes, I hope my ILs don't fall into the non-commercialism thing, this year we are getting a chest freezer!

Thanks for the bump Arduinna. You are my inspiration!

Still looking to hear from all you other pagan mamas...anyone else have rituals to share?
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