What (if anything) will you be celebrating this season? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 12-20-2008, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Christmas, Solstice, Hannukah, Kwaanza, Diwali... etc.
Which holidays/ traditions are you celebrating at this time of year, and which cultural 'bits' do you generally keep up with in your family?

for me:
as background, I'm an australian, animist, raised secular christian. DP is Israeli.

We've never celebrated christmas, but this is the first year since dd was born that we've been in a western country at christmas time, and she recently found out about it. of course, the lure of tinsel and christmas lights and presents has her well fascinated, and from an unschooling perspective, I was okay with her getting a little plastic xmas tree (we live in a one-room cabin, so no space for anything more), and some tinsel. I bought her a christmas present too, though she doesn't know she will be getting one, doesn't even expect to get one and hasn't asked for anything.
but we wont be "celebrating" christmas as such.

we will be lighting Hannukah candles, and probably having a meal with some israeli neighbours.

we will be honouring the Summer Solstice (we live in Australia).

So I'm very curious to know what everyone does, and how they work with having several sets of holidays.

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#2 of 14 Old 12-20-2008, 01:11 PM
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We half-heartedly celebrated Eid al-Adha and Christmas is just another Thursday. We may do a New Year's gift exchange, haven't decided.
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#3 of 14 Old 12-20-2008, 05:57 PM
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Dh and I were both raised Christian, although our church practices and cultural stuff related to Christianity are differnt.
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#4 of 14 Old 12-20-2008, 10:09 PM
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well, today is solstice so we will be doing the proper thing and taking a bath with a citrus called yuzu to keep us healthy the coming year. then, on the 23rd we will have a mellow christmas feast with one friend and her daughter, as everyone else we know has plans, and on the 25th, when I have a long work day, dh and I will have our stockings. we are doing stockings for our foster daughter and for another little girl who spends her holidays with us, but they will get them late, as our dfd, who should have begun her move home tomorrow, is moving in late because of an outbreak of the flu in her childrens home. she is so in love with the little christmas tree they have there that I was really looking forward to decorating a tree here with her, but, I guess that will have to wait for next year.

once the christmas celebrations are done, we will start trying to fit the new years celebrations and preparations in between visits to dfd, with a rash of cleaning to start the new year with a shiny home, making sticky rice cakes with some neighbors and then on the night of the 31st, when I will be wanting nothing more to fall into bed after the cleaning orgy we will head off with another family to pay the first visit of the new year to a big ol' shinto shrine :::. also, I think SIL is coming to stay.
then, new years morning we eat soup at sunrise and eat lots of sticky rice cakes all day. finally, on the second, I have some sort of responsibilities towards the little shrine up on the hill above my house - I think I am to make tea and must, of course, drink my morning sake. that ought to mark the end of the festive season, and the start of my collapse in a state of nervous exhaustion. I have not yet gracefully pulled off a winter holiday season here, and this will be the first one with kids underfoot.

Sara, mama to a 3 yo dd since 2008 :
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#5 of 14 Old 12-22-2008, 05:35 PM
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We celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah. My father is Jewish and mother is Catholic, they chose to bring me up Humanist but we still celebrated both Christian and Jewish holidays, as well as the solstices and the equinox. Even though I've converted to Catholicism we will still celebrate Hanukkah with other family members who are Jewish.
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#6 of 14 Old 12-23-2008, 04:12 PM
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We celebrate xmas in a very socially-desirable/secular-holiday way. One of our traditions is to go to Kobe Japanese Steakhouse on xmas day. I love that place.
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#7 of 14 Old 12-24-2008, 01:03 AM
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I'm a Christian, but my dad's family is Jewish so we've been lighting candles in a menorah this week.

We'll go to a midnight service for Christmas & have people over for Christmas dinner on the 25th. It will be turkey and potatoes and lots of other western-style foods.

Boxing Day - we'll probably eat lots of left-overs and maybe take the kids to the beach (it's too cold to swim, but nice for building sand castles). If it rains, maybe a movie.

One of my s-i-l's will have the family over on the 3rd or 4th to celebrate Western New Year.

Then we'll have the run-up to Chinese New Year (starting on January 26th this year). We'll clean up and spruce up the house and prepare festive foods. On the night before, we'll take bath w/ the citrus leaves we call "heung yip".

Then we'll probably go to my m-i-l's for the first dat.
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#8 of 14 Old 12-24-2008, 01:46 AM
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Christmas. Just a small gift exchange with my parents, and attending a Christmas party ... nothing too major. Some years I put lights up or pick up one of the tiny little grocery store Christmas trees, but that has a lot more to do with my love of strings of lights and greenery than anything to do with the holiday itself.

January also brings the Islamic new year, but I've never really seen that celebrated ... a few days out from that is Ashura, though, which means different things to different people, but for us means a day of fasting and trying to make an effort towards charitable giving.
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#9 of 14 Old 12-24-2008, 04:43 AM
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Christmas, we go up to my Mom's for turkey and tamales. Keep DD up way past her bedtime but she gets to play with her cousins which is soooo cool! Then come back on the 25th for a quiet day at home!
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#10 of 14 Old 12-24-2008, 08:51 PM
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DH was brought up christian, and I was brought up catholic. We are both atheists (we have been for years) and this will be our first year not celebrating xmas (it's our 1st year not celebrating with our families). We didn't want to do away with the gift giving though, so we will be doing that in New Year's!
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#11 of 14 Old 12-24-2008, 09:53 PM
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christmas and then possibly on new years the kids(the older two) will wear hanboks and bow to their grandparents(my parents) and receive blessings.
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#12 of 14 Old 12-29-2008, 04:42 PM
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This is very interesting. I was raised Jewish and dh Lutheran. I was never religious and always questioned everything. dh became Buddhist in college, now we are interested in Pagan and Wiccan traditions as well.
My daughter and I did light Hanukah candles and we put up our traditional Christmas Tree but on the Winter Solstice, Dec 21st I asked myself and my family what exactly were we celebrating.
I think dh and I still havent completely answered that question but I think for now and in the future for the kids we will continue to celebrate Hanukah and participate in Christmas traditions as far as the tree and presents but will also find more meaningful ways to incorporate the Solstice.
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#13 of 14 Old 12-29-2008, 09:09 PM
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Very interesting indeed. My parents are Christians, and the kids and I are Hindu. We celebrate secular Christmas, as in visit with family, share meals, exchange gifts, but Diwali is our holiday, and we minorly celebrate Pancha Ganapathi (five days of Ganesha).

Vegetarian Hindu, mother to L,P and R. 
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#14 of 14 Old 12-29-2008, 09:56 PM
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Let's see in early December, we celebrated Eid. We put up Eid lights (twinkle lights shaped like stars that I found at Target)... and a giant Happy Eid sign on our house so that our neighbors would know which holiday we were celebrating.

We baked sheep cookies which looked like blobs, but tasted good.

We went to the mosque for Eid prayers... and the kids were so psyched to see an ice cream truck there. We haven't seen one since moving down from NYC where we saw them every day.

The kids all had gifts to unwrap... and then we cooked a traditional meal called fattah...which is basically a carb-fest... rice, and pita bread in a vinegary tomato sauce w/ meat on top.

Yesterday we celebrated Islamic New Year sort of half-heartedly. (Happy 1430 People!) We had ice cream sandwiches for dessert and then played with sparklers outside.

In early January, we'll celebrate Ashura... and I'll try try try to make this special dessert. We'll probably talk about Noah... and sharing the pudding with our neighbors... although I don't know if we will, because I'm afraid of how it will turn out.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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