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Amemphis
July 20th, 2002, 12:50 PM
I'm young to be thinking of my kids, but I do think of them. I plan on bringing them up in a pagan home, with rituals and magick and No christmas tree. I wondered how I would explain it. (I always hated Christmas, so I had no trouble giving it up) What would I tell them when we didn't leave presents under the tree, because Yule, to me, isn't a real time for greedy presenting. And what about other kids and their parents?

If any parents have had trouble with prejudice towards pagan kids or anything like that, I want to know what happened and how you dealt with it.

Please share your experiences.

Haedis
July 20th, 2002, 01:03 PM
why no tree? isnt that a pagan symbol originally? Personally I think gift giving is a wonderful as long as it doesnt get too or greedy (as you said). If it were me, I'd give them maybe one or two little gifts...maybe one thing that they could just be satisfied playing with and something else with a much deeper meaning (for example a little drum so they can join into a ritual and get the feel for it).

ChelleOfShadows
July 20th, 2002, 11:09 PM
I'm not sure if I should put my 2 cents in but here goes. I have in the past couple of years allowed my children to watch my rituals. My oldest child has recently chosen the path for this time and regularly takes part in almost every ritual I do. My younger children usually fall aslepp during them which (as I have three kids 8, 5 and 3) is a GOOD thing. They are all very focused and I have seen changes in them as far as relaxing and calmness for the most part when they watch. As for the Yule, it is a very special day. One which you should choose to follow in whatever way you wish, HOWEVER, do not let your dislike of the Yule ruin the beautiful thing it can be. I put up a tree and we only put home made ornaments on it. We also put real candles on it which have been inscribed. As a single mom there aren't a lot of presents but we do have a wonderful day. I also take them with me to the local shelter and we take cookies (which we baked together) and other things which gives them a real appreciation for what they have. I don't know if this is what you were looking for but that is how I spend December 25th with my kids!

Amemphis
July 21st, 2002, 02:20 AM
Yule is Not Christmas.

Phoenix Blue
July 21st, 2002, 10:04 AM
It's close enough that a two-year-old isn't going to care. These are kids you're talking about raising, not clones--let 'em have some fun.

So eventually they'll get old enough to ask why they get to open their presents a few days early. That's as good a time as any to explain it. Before then, the only one who's going to care is you; don't take that out on the kids.

Chibi-Fallon
July 21st, 2002, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by ChelleOfShadows
We also put real candles on it which have been inscribed.

Do you light them? My parents used to put candles (real ones with fire now) on the tree. Then on year the tree burned down.... Now theres a Christmas you dont forget. :) I was only 4 and thats pretty much my only memory from that year.

Phoenix Blue
July 21st, 2002, 12:56 PM
:eek: Criminy, Chibi! I hope everyone survived that ordeal! Obviously, the tree was toast, but hopefully everyone else was okay. . .

Some adults do things so ridiculously dumb that even most kids would know better. I kinda think putting lit candles on a dried-out pine tree would be one of those things. . .

Myst
July 21st, 2002, 03:34 PM
Actually, if you look into the symbolism Yule *is* similar to Christmas.

For instance, holly and mistletoe represent the goddess' menstrual blood and the god's semen. Yule represents a celebration of the birth of a divine king, and included decorating with branches of trees, and burning a 'yule log'. Yule was also a celebration of the turn of the wheel - the changing of seasons, and the death of the old king so that a new one might reign - and you can see this reflected in decorative wreaths. A feast would be had to remind people that even in the darkest of winters the spring and Goddess' fertile lands would return. Bells would be rung to celebrate as well. Trees were decorated at this holiday and were a symbol of the God. Gifts were even given at Yule to break up the monotony of winter and celebrate the new king's 'birth' (or the start of his reign).

ChelleOfShadows
July 21st, 2002, 11:27 PM
A few greats back, someone in my grandmothers family bought glass jars attached to these clip things. They were to put your candles in when you put them on the tree. They are very thin and narrow tubes about 8-9 inches tall. The base is metal to which the clip seems to be welded. Of the original 100's, every girl child in the family has about 30. When my grandmother's sister died childless she left hers to my mother as well. My mother gave them all to me.

I only light them for a little while each of the 12 nights. So I am a VERY RESPONSIBLE and thinking adult when it comes to this. It is a family tradition. We have never lost a tree yet to fire BEFORE we intended to for all of these generations.

Not that any of this matters, my original point was that I have tried to make the holiday into something to celebrate not a fight amongst the wrapping paper.:confused:

Yvonne Belisle
July 22nd, 2002, 11:27 AM
We have Yule Christma and Chanuka. I don't think it would be nice of me to take the joy of those holidays away from my grandparents. We just celibrate Christmas as the spirit of giving and that means we give during that time. We do chanuka for those that have gone before and respect for thier ways and yule is for us. The kids like it.

MidnightSun
July 22nd, 2002, 03:37 PM
MM,

Correct me if i'm wrong..but I thought the tree was part of the pagan celebrations as well? You save some of the trunk to burn at the next yule and can use the rest to have as a Maypole for Beltane..or atleast thats what I was taught. Me and my sisters exchanged gifts on Yule. I don't really see the problem with gifts and having a tree or any of that. If you wanna paganize it, fine..but don't take that fun away from your kids. That's not very fair.

Flar's Freyja
July 24th, 2002, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by Myst
Actually, if you look into the symbolism Yule *is* similar to Christmas.

For instance, holly and mistletoe represent the goddess' menstrual blood and the god's semen. Yule represents a celebration of the birth of a divine king, and included decorating with branches of trees, and burning a 'yule log'. Yule was also a celebration of the turn of the wheel - the changing of seasons, and the death of the old king so that a new one might reign - and you can see this reflected in decorative wreaths. A feast would be had to remind people that even in the darkest of winters the spring and Goddess' fertile lands would return. Bells would be rung to celebrate as well. Trees were decorated at this holiday and were a symbol of the God. Gifts were even given at Yule to break up the monotony of winter and celebrate the new king's 'birth' (or the start of his reign).

Exactly. My kids are adults now and last year I shared a Yule ritual with them. In the process of researching so that I could explain it to them accurately, I also found out that the Christian church had done away with Yule and then reclaimed it as Christmas because they were losing people who were attracted to the pretty lights and gifts!

We still had our tree but with a few little twists. We tied wish/prayer ribbons to it during our ritual and I burned them in a ritual fire on New Year's Eve.

Chibi-Fallon
July 24th, 2002, 09:03 PM
Originally posted by Phoenix_Blue
:eek: Criminy, Chibi! I hope everyone survived that ordeal! Obviously, the tree was toast, but hopefully everyone else was okay. . .


Yeah they have a Christmas party every year and only lite them for that, and (thankfully) kept a bucket of water by the tree. It was cool tho. I wouldn't mind just lighting one out in the snow every year. But considering they had a Christmas party with lite candles for 15 years and the tree only caught on fire once that's not to bad. But for the record, my parents smoked a lot of pot in college. :D

Faery-Wings
July 24th, 2002, 09:19 PM
I guess even when I was a kid in a Catholic home, I never thought of Christmas as a Christian holiday. It was always secular to me. So in many ways it is more religious for me to celebrate Yule and Christmas together than Christmas on its own.

IMHO, many of the Yule traditions are very similar in nature to Christmas ones, as Myst stated. For other holdays, I tend to blend the Pagan and traditional activies and customs. So far so good, but my children are too young to know much of a difference.

As far as wondering about prejudice against Pagan kids...umm..I personally don't know of any. However, if someone doesn't want to like you, they will find a reason. I am sure there will be some prejudice/negatvity depending on where you live and what the predominant thought is there. I wouldn't be in the closet if there weren't. Sad, but true. :(

And Chibi~ Yikes is right!!

Brujaverde
July 28th, 2002, 09:45 AM
We don't do the tree thing(I can't bring myself to pay to have a tree murdered), we have replaced it by making strings of yummy things for natures creatures & we hang them on trees outside(at a local nature area). We also make wreaths of things for our yard. My kids don't feel deprived of christmas any more than they feel deprived of chanaka. We get them each one thing for solstice. It is not about getting stuff! We celebrate the 21st together placing our animal goodies & we also have a nice meal of things from the previous years garden harvest & something sweet. It has always been fun & they don't miss anything. We also go on the 25th to their grandparents house to see them & get "christmas" gifts there but it is not religious at all the grandparents aren't religious. We just celebrate the day as family gathering time.
Mirsora

Yvonne Belisle
July 28th, 2002, 10:19 AM
Have you thought of getting a living potted tree as an alternitive if you like them

Burning Goddess
July 30th, 2002, 08:24 AM
for the first time I celebrated Yule instead of Christmas last year :D. I moved in with my now husband in September and he doesn't celebrate Christmas, but Yule. My mother, niece, husband and son were all there and mom brought the presents for the kids. We had bought some small teddy bears (about 100!) and took them to the childrens hospital to give to the poor little sick kids there. My son (barely 2 yo) thought it was great fun but my niece (8 yo) didn't like the idea of giving away perfectly good toys till I told her that those kids couldn't go home for christmas and then she was all sad for them. I think she learned a LOT that day... I have a feeling this is going to become a family tradition as well. :boing::loveduv:

LadyJ0713
August 13th, 2002, 07:47 PM
Christmas for me and my family was very bad. I have memories of my father being very drunk from Thanksgiving thru to New Years. I HATED the holidaies.

Now I have a son. My partner and I have invented new traditions for our family. It's taken a very long time, but now I'm enjoying the Yule time. We do many different things and my son is involved. Last year we adopted a family and collected donations for them. We were able to bring them enough food to get through the holidays. My son saw the relief and gratitude in the single mom of 4. He may only be 3 but he understood that this was very important to her. She cried and thanked him for his help. He was proud to help.

This is a new tradition that we will continue. Make your holiday/Yule anything you want. Make it fun for the children. Release the anger. Do something together.
You'll be happier too.

Amemphis
August 14th, 2002, 01:33 AM
I wasn't trying to sound like a Scrooge. I just meant that I would teach my kids the pagan way. Presents aren't what holidays are all about anyways.

And My whole thought was kids getting picked on about being pagan or different, not the holiday--Oh never mind.

Flar's Freyja
August 14th, 2002, 01:41 AM
Originally posted by Amemphis
And My whole thought was kids getting picked on about being pagan or different, not the holiday--Oh never mind.

:) Sometimes misunderstandings happen. My kids are grown now and I wasn't pagan when they were growing up, so I can't be of much help. Lots of people here are raising their kids the way you want to raise yours and I'm sure that some of them can give you some advice.

Amemphis
August 14th, 2002, 02:10 AM
Thanks. I kinda felt like I was being attacked.

LadyJ0713
August 14th, 2002, 02:11 AM
Hi
I went back to the first post and realized that I read maybe more into it than I needed to.

Sorry. My son is only 3. We haven't had much experience with this type of discrimination.
I'll keep following this thread to see how others handle it. I'll need to know soon enough.

Faery-Wings
August 14th, 2002, 07:55 AM
I am sorry that you felt attacked. I read over your post again, and I am going to try to answer more of what you are asking. :)

As you want to separate Yule from Christmas completely, I understand you want to do little if nothing in the way of presents. While your children are still little, or not involved in school, that shouldn't be a probelm. They'll not know any different. However, it will most likely become more difficult as the kids are in school, and even as they watch tv. I try to be as uncommercial as possible, but there my kid are, watching tv saying "I want that."

To get away from that area, I like the idea of adopting a family or donating time or gifts or food to a shelter, children's hospital etc. I think many non Pagan family do similar things. It teaches more about giving than receiving, obviously.

See it is difficult for me to separate that in such a complete way. My kids were brought up with Santa, and at this point I don't want to take that away. And I see Yule as the Sun God's Birthday, so for Yule, we throw Him a little b-day party. Birthdays mean gifts too. :)

I touched on being seen as "different" in my last post. I think, unfortunately, if your kids are open about being Pagan, they are going to be seen as "different" whether or not they celebrate Yule without Santa. Maybe I am pessimistic on this, I honestly hope I am. I worry about my own kids for this reason.

I still am not sure if I answered your question...

Anyway, maybe I can toss a question back to you? In what ways do you think your kids will get picked on? How do you think you will teach them to handle it?

I truly don't know those answers yet for myself. I wish I did. :)

Blessings, Chris

Old Witch
August 14th, 2002, 03:20 PM
Amemphis, what if you marry a Christian? Are you gonna throw away all his beliefs? I've been pagan for 38 yrs. and married to a Christian for 30 yrs. Our 3 grown kids were raised to know both religions and have been allowed to find their own paths......... This is not to say that my path is the only way, just to suggest that we all grow in our Spirituality and your way today may not be the same in say 3yrs.. Stay open to everything........As to the Christmas Tree......Decided last year to have a little live tree in a pot on my "stealth" altar in the living room window........3 grown, sorta pagan men nearly stroked out!! Needless to say, big Yule Tree..all the trimmings.......BTW, secular decorations except for the angels .........I believe in angels big time.............And about the kids, there is a lot of prejudice against Pagans out there.....If you choose to be "out there" with your beliefs, you may be strong enough to stand up to it........but kids can be real monsters to kids who are "different".....I would read long and hard all the books on the subject......and use your own good judgement to decide what is right for them........Now on the bright side, you have a loooong time to think about this and decide!!! At any rate, I wish you happiness and joy on your journey.......

Flar's Freyja
August 14th, 2002, 07:06 PM
:) Last year, I noticed that a lot of the Christmas decorations could serve double-duty.......for instance, the symbolism of the evergreen is very important and lots of evergreen swags and whatnot around the house could symbolize that part of your faith. I found Christmas potholders and dish towels with stars and moons on them! And I used candleholders with Suns on them to symbolize the return of the sun. There are lots of non-traditional Santas now. I bought a beautiful all-white one last year that looked very Norse, complete with a staff and lantern.

In one of the little $1 Shops, a friend of ours found these little ceramic Santa figurines that had a pentagram on their little drums! He bought all 13 of them and gave them to some of us as gifts.

It's amazing what you can find when you learn and recognize all of the symbolism. You can celebrate your sabbats without being too in-your-face about it.

Amemphis
August 16th, 2002, 12:09 AM
Forget the whole christmas/yule thing, please.

Ehh. I was trying to ask about being a mostly pagan parent and having your children picked on. Like say 'Joe' 's parents are extremely christian and find out your child is paga--boom--now Joe can't play with your child and he doesnt understand why.
Or he's a little older and other kids are telling him he's going to hell.

Flar's Freyja
August 16th, 2002, 12:45 AM
Actually, when we moved to this part of the country we got a bit of culture shock. We moved to Oklahoma from New York and I was not yet on this path. We were Catholic......in this part of the country we may as well be Satanists according to the Baptists and Pentecostals because we worship idols, etc. They like to say that Catholics are going to hell because they're not "saved" and are not really Christians.

I don't recall it being that big of a deal. We discussed respecting other beliefs and moved on. The only reason that the subject came up at all was because I allowed my kids to make choices when it came to going to church and they would ask questions when they came home. There was only one occasion where it actually came up with another child directly. It was discussed and there were no further problems. They remained friends. Kids just don't get into discussing religion much with each other outside of a church setting.

While your kids are small, you might be careful about your choice of words. It might be a good idea to stay away from terms like "witch," etc. If you teach your children about your beliefs and path within the home without making a big deal out of it, I see no reason for it to become a major issue outside of the home. It will probably come up at some point but I just don't see your kids running up and down the street hollering that mom's a witch unless someone encourages it.

Flar's Freyja
August 20th, 2002, 03:28 PM
Received an e-mail that included this site and it looks like it has a lot of helpful info, including lots of neat things to do with your kids:

http://www.musicforthegoddess.com/parent/

Magickmooneyes2
August 29th, 2002, 03:54 PM
hello

I am an ansestor of the Magyars. If you have anymore infomation on them can you please send it to me at Luckypuppygirl7@aol.com. I am most interested in the family line and their involvement with paganisism and magick. I am also trying to locate a member of the Magyars who was a woman who lived in Hungary and died in 1768. I have found no information on her yet but i am led to believe that she might have been burned to death. And any info and any leads to where i might find this information who be VERY VERY helpful.

Thank You!

OceanEyes
August 12th, 2003, 06:01 AM
I'm not sure that I'll be much help, but I'll share what I know.

My children are 7 and 3 (almost 4), and my 7 y/o is very interested in parts of what I do. She loves stones, of course (what kid doesn't?!), but more than that is starting to ask more specific questions.

I let her know I am a witch, and honestly I'm not so sure that was such a good idea. This was during the summer, and with school coming I am a bit nervous about what she may say to her friends. Not concerned for myself (I could care less what anyone thinks) but more for her. I am worried that if she outs me to friends or her friends' parents that she will be ostracized for my choices.

I have been considering having a heart-to-heart with her, and explaining that many people have prejudiced ideas about witches, but I don't want to make it a bigger issue than it already is. I also don't want to give her the impression that I am ashamed (or she should be!) of who and what I am.

I'll keep you posted, if you like, as the school year begins and progresses, on how things turn out.

Ultimately, it's important to know that every child is different (the lil buggers refuse to be pigeonholed!) and will therefore react completely differently from one another.

I'm not sure I helped *at all*, but I feel better, getting that off my chest, LOL!

Faery-Wings
August 12th, 2003, 07:03 AM
I let her know I am a witch, and honestly I'm not so sure that was such a good idea. This was during the summer, and with school coming I am a bit nervous about what she may say to her friends. Not concerned for myself (I could care less what anyone thinks) but more for her. I am worried that if she outs me to friends or her friends' parents that she will be ostracized for my choices.

This is why I haven't said anything yet to my 7 yo son. he has enough issues at school being shy and fitting in. I can't add to it. But it is hard- I use to not worry about reading any of my books in front of him. Now he can read and I have to be a bit more cautious.


I have been considering having a heart-to-heart with her, and explaining that many people have prejudiced ideas about witches, but I don't want to make it a bigger issue than it already is. I also don't want to give her the impression that I am ashamed (or she should be!) of who and what I am.


And that is so important for her self esteem as well. I feel that as long as I feel like it should be kept a secret, I need to keep it from him. I don't want to pass along any hang ups or secrecy even if they are unfounded. Even as we celebrate the holidays as a family (not ritual, that I do alone) I worry how much he'll say to his friends, and how much it will go over.

Please keep me posted on how your daughter does in school. I know it will help me a lot.

Equinox
August 12th, 2003, 08:48 AM
Hi Amemphis-

It is important that the kids learn about different paths, and that they know their parents are honest with them that they arent lied to. I also feel strongly that we shouldnt hide who we are that is the same as allowing ourselves to be demoted to second class citizens. :sadeyes:

At the same time, there is an awful lot of nastiness out there directed at non Christians. Im only somewhat out of the closet Ive made it clear to everyone for years that Im not Christian, but havent told everyone Im a Pagan Humanist yet. Even just for being a non-Christian Ive taken a lot of heat. :bastard:

And its certainly true that kids can be very cruel I think much more cruel than adults. I remember a bunch of us in junior high teasing a kid with downs syndrome. :bastard: Wed tease him, and after a while hed say oh no. and cover his face. He would soon jump up, wave his hands and roar, saying david banner turn hulk!!!!. Other kids would still tease him, but I was so mean that I tried to get the other kids to act like he was really the hulk, so that he might really believe it, and do that to adults and be worse off. It was so cruel that I still feel bad about it (luckily almost everyone was too short-sighted to do it, and just kept teasing him). Kids can be cruel.

So I plan to raise my kids with my religion, and to teach them about all the world's religions (Im a Unitarian, so sunday school will do that). I also plan to strongly emphasize the society we live in, with all it's meanness, so they can expect it, avoid it, or be ready for it. If they hide me until they are 18, (or 24), Im fine with that, but theyll know who I am.

-Equinox

OceanEyes
August 12th, 2003, 08:57 AM
So I plan to raise my kids with my religion, and to teach them about all the world's religions (Im a Unitarian, so sunday school will do that). I also plan to strongly emphasize the society we live in, with all it's meanness, so they can expect it, avoid it, or be ready for it. If they hide me until they are 18, (or 24), Im fine with that, but theyll know who I am.

-Equinox

You know, this is something I've thought a lot about, off and on -- joining our local unitarian church, that is. My line of thought was that they would get all the benefits from a spiritual environment with their peers, and also be able to tell their school friends "I go to church too!"... fitting in is really so crucial at those early ages -- as you pointed out, kids will go above and beyond to point out any difference.

Thanks for this, gave me more to think about.

;)

Autumn
August 26th, 2003, 12:33 AM
I did join my UU chrch for just that reason and it is almost time to start dragging my fanny out each sunday morning with my girls...

Ben Trismegistus
August 29th, 2003, 12:14 PM
OK, I realize this is a very old thread, and I notice that the original poster hasn't even visited MW for 6 months. But that's no reason not to respond, is it? ;)

Christmas is not a holiday - not anymore. It's basically the American Winter Gift-Giving Day. And I don't see anything wrong with that. Kids love presents, and if their friends are getting presents and they're not, they're gonna be pissed.

I was raised Jewish, and my mother tells this story about me: When I was about 5, I asked my mother why we don't get presents on Christmas. Her answer was, "We're Jewish - we don't celebrate Christmas." And I proceeded to sing for her the entire song of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town", and then pointed out to her that there's nothing in the lyrics that says anything about being Christian or Jewish.

She thought that was a pretty good argument, so from then on, we got presents on Christmas.

beautifuldisaster
September 7th, 2003, 01:22 AM
HI! Okay i wasnt raised in a pagan household..sry...sadly i was raised in a somewhat Catholic one. People for the most part have lost all sense of what Christmas is about. For most people its a happy happy day of presents, cider, and sitting around playing with your presents. I didn't always have the best Christmas' and i was jealous of other people. Your kids will be too. Since you obviously wont be celebrating the purpose of the holiday...give it your own meaning.Make it a day of living and loving. My friend was raised in a Wiccan household and she still hates not having Christmas so have Christmas and a tree for grins, give the day your own meaning.

beautifuldisaster
September 7th, 2003, 01:26 AM
Waht does Unitarian mean?....sry...

9-2-2
September 17th, 2003, 06:42 PM
My memories of being a Pagan high schooler are still fresh, as it's only been a couple of years.

I had kids constantly telling calling me "Satan!" and "Devil girl" as I walked from class to class.
I reacted differently from beating them up - I remained rather stoic about it.

I know others wouldn't react the same way, but I grew up in a more hostile environment, and I've seen far worse than name calling. But I shouldn't be so stodgy about it... just lend an open ear and an open heart, and look online for other pagan kids to connect with.

CajunLady
September 17th, 2003, 09:53 PM
I am Wiccan, my husband is not. We've decided to raise our daughter in both ways. Whatever path she takes is her choice. I think kids will pick on other kids no matter what.

As far as the holidays go, this will be our first year celebrating both traditions. But I am not going to not celebrate Christmas in the old ways I am used to. My husband is a Christian and celebrates in the Christian ways. Besides, I'm not out of the broom closet as far as my family goes...

~~Rowan

Proserpina
September 17th, 2003, 10:51 PM
In my opinion,if you let your children experience your religion,customs,etc. while they are young they will grow to appreciate them and will think of them as holidays or whatever,similar to x-mas

aliceastraea
May 18th, 2004, 11:45 AM
Does it matter if you have a tree or not? I, personally, don't find the idea of cutting down a tree just to throw it out very appealing. Also, my husband has asthma, so its hard for him to breathe with a live tree in the house. We have to be careful about things like that. Going to be a new mother this October, I have some ideas already how I want to handle things like this. I don't think its a necessarily bad thing to give presents for Yule or Christmas. The very best thing you can do, I think, is to make presents with your own two hands. I love that time of year because I love to give presents. I love listening to people and getting inside their minds and giving them what they really want or what they never knew they really wanted. I am really into the sentimental side of things, so thats why I don't have a problem with giving presents. But, children should be taught at the same time that they are not getting these presents because its a free day. And I don't want my children to expect something for nothing. It is hard sometimes to teach these things without confusing children, but anyway that you want to express it to them will be just wonderful. Just remember that it's not about being greedy or having a tree in your living room with lights on it. Make it have special meaning for you. Just getting together with my family for their christmas things (being really the only pagan in the family) and giving them presents they'll cherish forever and seeing the smiles on their faces is whats its all about to me.

Brighid's Seeker
March 15th, 2005, 04:09 AM
We are a free spiritual household. (for lack of anything else to call it).

I was raised Baptist, by a ::gasp:: Preacher. It was my daddy that taught me that we each have to find our own path. That a name is just a name. Power and spirit will answer to and embody that form which you give it.

My kids are infinitly curious. They ask so many questions. We have bibles of all translations, The Torah, Tao di Ching (probably misspelled sorry). We have visited monastaries, Buddhist and Catholic. We have books on Islam. You name it its probably here.

My children participate in ritual with me when they want to. They create their own rituals. My fiance is a "closet Taoist" but he participates as well from time to time. My altar is not hidden, but there are tiny altars everywhere in our home.

My kids stay home from school when we have a big ritual. So far its been no problem.

Ceres
March 15th, 2005, 09:40 AM
This thread is VERY old lol! But I will throw my two cents in anyway. The tree is a symbol of life and when the woirld is at its darkest (at least in our hemisphere), bringing a symbol of life into your home is a way of connecting the cycle of the year. I also think gift giving is appropriate because as practitioners of magick, it shouldnt be hard to see that being generous brings generosity back to you. To give at the darkest most difficult time of the year is a sign of faith that you will aslo receive from the gods over the long dark winter ahead.

jetzige
June 24th, 2005, 08:12 PM
I'll tackle the lighter of the two topics first.

In our home we celebrate Yule and we do have a tree. We have presents (very few) that we open on Yule. Then on Xmas we visit the rest on our family. My boyfriend is a recovering JW and he wasn't raised with Xmas or birthdays. Seeing how that affected him I choose to celebrate. We don't have a nativity scene or a Santa. We do have a Father Winter though.

As far as the discrimination against Pagans goes, I have told my son that it is his choice whether or not to tell people he is Pagan. I've also told him that some people think their way is the only way and that some people think a witch is something to be afraid of. I went into more detail while trying not to bad mouth Christians, but you get my drift... I hope. He shares some views with other children. I've heard him say that all life is precious and tell other children that they need to respect Nature, but as far as I know he hasn't mentioned being Pagan.

I work at his school and I have told two people that we are Pagan. One I regretted telling because I felt her attitude and the attitudes of her circle of friends change immediately. The other I feel safe with and that's all okay.

However, there is another student in that school who is openly Pagan. She calls herself a witch and tells others that she can talk to spirits and what she's been in her past lives. She is not received well by the staff. She is feared by some and disliked by the rest. I do make a point to tell people that she has more to fear from them than they do from her.

Hellenic_Witch
June 25th, 2005, 12:20 AM
I have 3 kids: ages 9, 7 and 2.

I am absolutely Pagan and so is my hubby, but my family is Baptist, his is Catholic. We DO have a Christmas tree. Why? Well, we celebrated Christmas all of our lives, and have only been Pagan for a couple of years or so. For us, it's just fun. We aren't celebrating the birth of Christ, rather we are celebrating family and time together, it's the end of the year and there is nothing more magical than the look on my kids faces when they wake up at the crack of dawn to see what Santa brought. . . honestly, stuffing the stockings is just as much fun for us as it is for the kids. It seems celebrating Christmas has morphed into something more commercial thatn the Christian ascpect anyway.

We do include the kids in rituals, etc. If we visit my parents or his parents over the weekends, we do attend church with them out of respect because they are our hosts. We feel it helps to teach our kids tolerance for the beliefs of others and helps them recognize that not eveyone has to be on the same path.

I like showing my children how I grew up, the beliefs I was raised with and that when I reached a certain age I questioned those beliefs and found my own path. Just as I hope they will question their own beliefs. . . I don't want them to believe something simply because I told them. . . I want them to be strong of heart and mind. They should question everything and find their path just as I did.

farm girl
June 25th, 2005, 01:50 AM
Well, I am lazy and dislike the thought of cleaning up pine needles for 6 months after the holidays. (anyone who has had a real tree can testify for finding needles in April & May) So... we have a fake tree. It looks pretty real, but with half the hassle. :frosty:

I grew up Jewish & Christian, so the winter traditions mean a lot to me and we honor a little bit of everything. Even back when I was a teenager though, I realized that most of the grandest Christmas traditions were adopted once pagan customs. Just listen to all the Yuleish themes in carols. It always made me feel in touch with my roots even though I had no idea what Yule or being Pagan meant at that point.

As for kids getting made fun of.... Kids are just mean. There is always SOMETHING. If not religion, they look at race right down to the brand of shoes you have. I do know of Pagan moms in my children's school and I have only encountered one ignorant parent towards them.

In high school, I knew plenty of cool out of the closet Pagans. I also knew ones that got made fun of. From what I noticed, it was all in how they presented themselves. The kids that took a more natural approach, or didn't dress too differently when they became Pagan fit in just fine. However, there was also the kids who started wearing giant Pagan bling bling, wearing all black, and generally giving off a glum attitude. It was almost liked they tried too hard. Kids saw it as a weakness, and pow. Easy way to hurt them.

So those are just my experiences. I am *hoping* that the world is becoming more tolerant to faiths that are not mainstream.

StarCraftLia
July 4th, 2005, 04:08 PM
I often thought about this, too. I want to raise any children I have with unbiased nature knowledge, letting them know that we celebrate what we do when we do because its natures cycles we are promoting, not a new video game or doll house.