J: Oh, I really want one with my pets.
Mom: I think I'll do the Jewish one.
J: Why, Mom? We're not Jewish.
Mom: We're not Christian either; it doesn't matter. It's all in good fun.
J: Then why do we celebrate Christmas?
Mom: I resist it. That's why we don't have a tree and I don't decorate. I do it for presents for you.
J: But we're not Christian?
Mom: I'm not, at least. I don't believe in god, although I used to.
That was a whopper to him, kind of like someone proclaiming that they don't believe in Santa, the kindly grandfather figure. Him being 10, I never considered him thinking or assuming about religion, but I was wrong. He has a stronger identity and affiliation than I realized, which is fine, but it needs to be discussed. I think most of his religious imagery come from visits with ex's Fundamentalist mother, although half his school is Islamic and I figure that religious exposure must play into it, too.
Now what to do?
Hey! Let's be Jewish for a little while! The whole family!
Non-Crappy Starring You! eCards on JibJab
Why not celebrate Yule (all the trappings of Christmas with the actual Christianity)? Or the Solstice (which ties in nicely with Yule)? Or how about Festivus, the holiday for the rest of us?
Oro, pulling for Yule, which celebrates the turning of the solstice, family, food, and, um, drink. ;)
I long to go to Israel at this time of year to get away from this crap.
That question hit me hard when Jackson asked it a few years ago. How do I explain that while he gets lots of presents and grandma loves xmas, I believe in a different set of rules. It's a tough one.
The boy doesn't really ask me too much about religion. He goes to church with his grandparents and has since he was a baby. They also pay for him to go to a Christian private school. I'm not thrilled about that, but I love the fact that the most kids he's ever had in his class has been 10 and that's this year. (He's been there since pre-school) He knows that, technically, I'm Catholic (just baptised, no communion or anything) and he asks questions on occassion. Like at great grandpa's service at the funeral home. He sat through the entire Rosary and he had questions about it, which I expected he would. Thankfully, the rest of the family (you know, the ones that actually went through all that other stuff and know what the Roasry is and everything) answered his questions cuzz I'm clueless.
I consider myself agnostic, I guess. I'm not completely sure, really, and I haven't been since I was in high school. I suppose when the boy full out asks me what I believe, I'll try to explain it to him, but until then, I'm just gonna let it be.
Oro, I will research it.
Lala and brite - interesting more mother/child differences in religion - with different differences. Glad you wrote about it.
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