Anyone else out there who doesn't do Santa or the Easter Bunny or Halloween?

Heather - posted on 01/28/2010 ( 42 moms have responded )

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Our family has been trying very hard to emphasize holidays that celebrate Christ, and remove as much of the commercial/secular influence as possible. We are also careful not to judge what anyone else chooses for their family. We have chosen to remove Santa from our Christmas celebration, the Easter Bunny from Easter, and we do not participate in Halloween. This past year was especially difficult in that my 5 year old has a hard time answering questions from well-meaning people out in public (For example: What did you ask Santa for this year?). I would love to hear what has worked well for you - what you or your kids say to people when asked about the holidays, and what you incorporate into your various holidays to make them Christ-centered.

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Marvis - posted on 01/31/2010

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i am a mother of 2 grown boys,and a grandmother of 6 great-grandmother of 3,first of all when you know better you do better.as a child i stopped believing in all of that when i saw parents putting bikes and other toys under the tree at christmas time,easter with the easter bunny and eggs,halloween ghost and witches etc...as a christian we as parents have to tell our children the truth about these days christmas is christ birthday,easter is when christ rose from the dead,halloween is not a day to celebrated by christians GOD is not evil, he does not celebrate satanic things. i suggest you get storybooks on the birth of JESUS and a small bible so that you can read it to your children.we owe our children the honest truth,so that they will not grow up being deceived

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I don't believe that anyone adult actually believes that Santa comes to there house at night and drops off presents. Though, it is fun to use our imaginations, no more so that reading a fiction book or playing a game. St. Nicholas was a real person. I don't think that it is so much the truth of the story of Santa that people should be stressing to their children as much as his spirit. You see the Bible teaches us to strive to be more like Jesus and Santa is just a character of love and joy that spends his (fictional) life making toys for children. Children are Jesus' most precious beings, why not teach our kids that even though he is a character...his purpose is to spread joy to the children of the world. I believe people and parents use Santa to take the credit of the gift from them, I know that I would rather have my kids imagine someone else, fictional or not, cared enough to think of them on the day Jesus was born for us. there are times when I would like to save the credit for the good things that I do, not only for my kids but for others til I get to heaven...I will collect my credit there. Everyone can celebrate as they please....that is kinda the point in this beautiful country, America. But I agree with all of you parents that choose not to Convince your children that there is a Santa, but telling your kids a story of a man who wants to spread joy to all the children of the world is not any different than the story of Jesus. Though one is a fictional story and the other the truth of Our Great and Wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ, it inspires many to do the same and spead the joy. Beginning the Angel Tres and many other outlets for sharing and giving during Christmas! I don't at all believe that Santa, the Easter Bunny, or Holloween costums at all take away from Jesus and His sacrifice for us...I guess it is all in the way your present the information. I pray for all of you parents out there...continue doing what you think is best for those beautiful babies of yours. However you celebrate our Lord is all in honor of Him. You just have to remember to take Him with you! lol GOD BLESS!

Andrea - posted on 02/02/2010

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I've taught preschool and wee worship for years and there are lots of Christian resources out there you can use for the holidays. I have many books for children that explain the real meanings of them. There is even one (I don't have) called Why we don't celebrate Halloween. I use a book called the Pumpkin Patch Parable that talks about how a farmer takes picks a pumpkin from his patch cleans it up takes out all the bad stuff and makes it into something beautiful. It parallels that with how God Chooses us and cleans us up so we can shine for him. I think using books like these are a good teaching tool and it lets the kids do some of the fun things the other kids are doing so they don't feel left out.
We pretty much ignore the Easter Bunny but use Eggs since they represent new life and not the gods of fertility like the bunnies do. Resurrection Eggs are fun because the kids get to hunt for them and then they can tell the story of the resurrection. You can also color eggs and if you roll them before so the shells crack it makes a good object lesson about how what we do on the outside affects how we look on the inside.
At Christmas we don't have a tree but place our gifts around the nativity. We read about the birth of Christ and make that our focus. Santa is a fun thing that people do. I can't remember the title but I have a book that is about all the animals being excited about "getting" gifts from Santa and Santa corrects them and tells them the real reason they should celebrate. We had a Santa come to our Preschool celebration and do pretty much the same thing with our kids. He read the Birth story and explained that Christmas is about Jesus coming for us and giving to others like Jesus did. Then he read the real story of St Nicholas to them. A friend of mine has her kids and decorate a cake for Jesus every Christmas eve and then before they eat it on Christmas day they sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

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We've never done Santa, Easter bunny, et al. We've always told the kids that Santa & Rudolph, etc. are just "fun fairy tales" told at Christmas time. When someone asks my kids what Santa got them, we've told them to reply along the lines of, "We don't do Santa, but Grama (Mom & Dad, or whoever) got me...". That way the person isn't standing there embarrassed, but yet still gets their question answered. ;-)

As for our own Holidays (since we're Messianic), we center on the Biblical ones (Purim, Passover, Rosh Hashana, etc.) instead of traditional Christian ones, although Christmas does yet it's 15 mins in our house since most of my side of the family celebrates it. :-)

HTH~

Sheila - posted on 01/30/2010

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In our area, Day of the Dead, is celebrated in all public elementary schools, and is even publicized in the news paper. I'm sorry for all whose children are in public school, but as clearly stated in previous comments, each parent must decide for their family what is best for their family. Also I wanted to say, that we as Christians should never be embarrassed or apologize for our beliefs, whatever they may be. Thank you to all who posted.

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Cass - posted on 11/04/2012

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My husband and I have been discussing this, as we have our first 10 month old together. We will celebrate the holidays, but don't believe in lying about fairy tale creatures showing up in the middle of the night, or lying about anything for that matter. That's all. It has nothing to do with Christian ethics, therefore we don't see what's wrong with dressing up at Halloween and going trick or treating with the rest of the kids, and we don't believe this is "evil." My husband and I are the kind to just "say it as it is," if you will. If people want to judge you upon your decisions, then so be it, that behavior will always exist no matter where you go or what you do - and you wont see us hiding from that. Can't let judgement bring you down or feel uncomfortable with what you believe in, and that's how we will raise out children to be confident and speak their truth freely. Also we aren't against people who do the santa, easter bunny, tooth fairy thing, to each their own.

Paula - posted on 10/30/2012

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Were honest to our son, so we tell him when he hears about santa, about St. Nick and how it all started. That santa is not reall and Christmas is about Christ and his birth . He's 3 but, trust me they get it . I tell him we celebrate Jesus Birthday, and were gratefull for him. The easter bunny, we tell him its just sillyness bunnies don't lay eggs. And Easter is about Jesus saving us, that he took all our disobedience and our time outs, persay. So we look at the cross and remeber because of him on the cross we all are forgiven, but we have to love Jesus in our hearts to be forgivng. Halloween is harder so im researching in a not such harsh way to tell him its like celebrating SATAN's birthday party . Or a party for him. But, all he see's is costumes and candy. Everywhere it's Halloween , so i say spooky and mean people like monster are not nice and God was us to be nice . I haven't told him about satan - Devil yet, or death . Praying to see how to communicate it where i dont scare him. God Bless

Aileesha - posted on 02/04/2010

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Stay strong in what you believe and continue to teach your children the truth as well. I grew up with the false characters but I was never really into them and now that I am grown with children of my own it is up to me to teach them the true meaning of all Holidays. It is hard because of what they see on television and do in school but schools now and days are more understanding in beliefs and will work with you not against you. Good luck and continue to keep the faith!

Mindy May - posted on 02/03/2010

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in our family, I celebrate holidays and my husband does not. we take turns every other year on all holidays. one year I get all of the holidays and the next year he does. when it is his turn, its that we do not celebrate them with the easter bunny, santa claus or trick or treating. During Easter, we celebrate by setting up a little "Easter Tree" which is a cultural thing. our little tree is about 18'' tall, on it is a Red Egg for everyone in our family. that may sound smelly, however we poke little holes in the end of each egg then blow the yoke out of it. then paint it or color it or die it red. There is one for everyone in the family, then we also make one for another family. The color is red for the resurection of Christ. then there is one for every family member because to bless them with joy and happiness through out the year. The one for another family is to share tradition and to share the joy and happiness with them as well. in doing all this its a great way to spend some quality time together as a family. the first few time you do it you may go through a lot of eggs. oh yah after the yoke is all out its best to let the shell sit in some kind of dish soapy water for a bit and rinse it out afterwards and let it dry. that get rid of the possible smells.
then for Halloween, instead of taking the kids trick or treating we still let them dress up and then we go to a friend or family members house for a party or we may even host a party so that everyone still gets candy and toys. we also let our children pass out candy or small trinkets to children on the block. during the day the kids can either make up there own costume or we may buy them one and let them wear as dress up until it become to small.
and for christmas which was the hardest for me, since its my favorate traditional holiday. we will set up a string of lights for all of our troop who can not make it home to be with there families during the Christmas season. The week prior to christmas we purchase a toy or 2, a new out fit and pajama's, house slippers, and maybe some under clothes. on Christmas ever we will wrap them in paper and on christmas morning, they can open them. they are marked from mom and dad. They also open what ever else they received. Christmas morning, we get up early to start a nice dinner (it may be bbq or lobster tail or even chinese food, pretty much anything) . we also bake a cake that say "Happy Birthday Jesus". we make it an all day event. the kids get to wear there new clothes if they chose and we have a birthday party for Jesus. My oldest Daughter knows that Dec 25 is not the real birthday for Jesus, so she makes him a card that say's Happy belated Birthday, the 4 year old does not really understand so she draws pictures to go in the oldest ones card. the card normally ends up at church as a gift for the pastor or even to a local church to help the children understand the true meaning of Christmas.
I know you asked for some ideas on how to deal with not celebrating with all the costumes and santa and the easter bunny, I hope this can give you some ideas. I know that its hard for children who attend most public schools to not celebrate certian holidays, my husband and I just try to make them more of a family time event.
we have some friends who also do not celebrate holidays at all. what they do is, when a big holiday arrives to where kids are receiving gifts and treats. or even a holiday where there is time out of school they will go do something as a family. like on presidents day they will go visit the state capital. valentines day they hand make cards for there close friends for appreciation, easter they use the time to take a mini- vacation to a new place or for a day out. Christmas they will go skiing, or to a resort, or even to a relatives house. Halloween they will watch the day of the dead parade on T.V. or they may go out with the trick or treaters and hand out glow in the dark stuff to keep everyone safe while they are celebrating Halloween in there own way. then they go home and have a game night or watch movies.
Everyone does things a lot different, I hope that this helps you and your family!! Be joyous in what you do and God Bless!!

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I like the cookie idea! Very nice and Christ centered!

As for others asking your son about Santa. Don't worry. Santa is a big thing for a majority of people, so it's natural for them to ask. If people think you are weird, so what. Your husband is right, it is a chance to share your faith.

I, like you, feel strongly about lying to my children. There is a woman in our church who grew up believing in Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. One day she came home from school (having been told the truth about Santa) and said, "So, Mom, Santa isn't real, is he?" Her mother told her that no, he wasn't. She went thorough the other two characters and her mother told her that those, too, were fake. The girl responded with, "So, that means Jesus isn't real, either, right?" It took this child a long time to "recover" from that and to really put her trust in Jesus as she got older.

I'm not saying that will happen to every child. I know it won't. But, it's not a chance I am willing to take with my children. This isn't something petty...it's their relationship with Christ and their Salvation we're talking about!

Heather - posted on 02/01/2010

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I really appreciate all of your comments, support and encouragement. My husband and I also feel very strongly about not lying to our kids about anything in order that their belief and trust in what we teach them not be compromised. My son is only 5, but he can see double standards a mile away. He is not afraid to stand up for his beliefs around kids and adults he knows, but he gets a little unsure of himself around strangers. The hardest part for us is when other Christians ask him about Santa, the Easter Bunny or egg hunts, or about Halloween, because we don't want to pass judgement on them for the choices they have made. Also, we literally can't go anywhere from November through early January without someone asking something about Santa, and it gets really frustrating. My husband doesn't get as upset about it as I do, but he isn't taking the kids around with him as much as I do either. However, he sees it as an opportunity to share our faith with others and tries to be hopeful about people asking so that we have an opportunity to point to Christ. I know he is right and hopefully next year I will better be able to do that.

My thing is trying to find alternatives to the culture that we can do to make sure we are keeping the holidays fun and Christ centered. I really do appreciate all of your ideas, so keep them coming! I am sure we will be using some of these soon.

For Easter last year we made these Resurrection Cookies, I think they were. You make these cookies and put them in the oven (turned off) overnight and then eat one Easter morning. Each ingredient symbolized a part of the Easter story and had a bible reading to go with it. The cookies end up hollow on the inside to remind us the tomb was empty. Of course, getting to eat a cookie in the morning was a big hit too! My son still talks about that, so I know we will be keeping that. I like the resurrection egg ideas too.

Our goal is just to be intentional about everything we do and make sure that our actions back up what we say and teach our kids about our faith so they know we are for real, and that Christ is too. Thank you all for your love and support.

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My son is only 15-months-old, so we really haven't had to deal with it yet...but we won't be doing Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, or celebrating Halloween. My husband's family consists of many Christians, but as for me, I am the only one in my family who is (so far). My mother hasn't really said anything about this particular issue, but I know she thinks I'm nuts! lol.

What other people do is fine. Their choice. But my husband and I want to raise our children to follow Christ and to celebrate HIM not fictional characters.

Laura - posted on 02/01/2010

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I tell my children we don't believe in Santa. Jesus was born on Christmas and thats why we celebrate it. It's his birthday.

Cindy - posted on 02/01/2010

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Hi Heather. My name is Cindy. I now have 3 grown daughters, but I remember well when we made the decision to do the same thing you are now. The hardest person to try to explain to was my (at the time) unbelieving father-in-law who was as much of a kid at Christmas as the children were. I know what prompted our decision was my aerobics teacher telling us about her 6 year old finding out that there was no santa, easter bunny etc. all at the same time. Her response to her mother was," So you lied about everyone else does that mean there is no Jesus either?" I was devastated for her. I went home and told me husband immediately. I never wanted my children to think I had lied to them about something so important. We made the decision that night to tell them that weekend. Surprising they took it very well. They were 7, 5 and 2 at the time. We simply explained that Christmas and and Easter were to celebrate special events in our Saviors life and that the gifts came from us as a celebration of the love that Christ shared for us. Halloween we had not celebrated before then anyway because we were living in Europe and they don't celebrate that there. Once we were home we always went to our churches Fall festivals where there were always games and events for the family and you could dress up but of course it was always fall characters and we would turn off our porch lights during trick or treating hours.

Unfortunately because our world has fallen so far now we have to be sensitive to our young childrens friends beliefs. We told our children that just because they knew the truth it was up to their friends parents to tell them about these events. Be what was most important was that they knew the truth. Over the years it also help in the aspect that they knew if we were struggling with cash flow they understood Christmas would be small. I remember one year when my middle child was estatic about coloring books and underwear.

God blessed me greatly with my children though. To this day, they have never asked or been into name brand or high dollar anything. If they found something they liked it didn't matter if they found it at the dollar store what mattered was that they grew up in a home where they knew they were loved and didn't care about what other people thought of them because they had such a strong sense of self and there relationship with Christ.

If people ask them what they asked for let them reply as to what they asked for but let them reply as well that at our house we celebrate Jesus' birthday so we exchange gifts from each other instead of Santa.

Stay strong in your beliefs and remember what the Bible says..."Raise them up in the way they should go and when they are old they will return to those ways."

Best wishes and God bless your family.

Nene - posted on 02/01/2010

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I have found it helps if you have taught your child the same thing from day one. We never did Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny, nor have we ever celebrated Halloween. My son is now 8 years old and I have always explained to him why we celebrate Christ on Christmas and why we do not celebrate the others. I also explain to him that different people may believe different things and have explained to him how to answer the questions that will inevitably come as unoffensively as possible. My son is 8 years old and has never had an issue nor does he feel deprived of anything because it has been the same from the beginning so there isn't any confusion and he has been well prepared. Hope this helps.

Shannon - posted on 02/01/2010

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We are raising our children the same...my daughter is 3 and son is 5...it was a little more difficult this year because of their ages, but they understand that the reason we celebrate Christmas is because it is Jesus' Birthday...not a day for Santa to bring them stuff...etc...
We have not gone into details with people as to explain where we are coming from, but just say that we don't do the "santa thing" with them in a non judgmental way towards them and the same with Halloween and Easter...I think people might think we are weird but leave it alone : )
As Christian moms we just have to stand up for our beliefs so that our children see that in us and do the same as they grow up!!!

Valorie - posted on 02/01/2010

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We don't even do presents at Christmas to one another. We give to different charities for kids that are truly needy not like here in the states and truly 'wanty'. As far as being asked...if I am there I just state that we give to needy families instead of to ourselves as we are so very blessed everyday. If I am not there I am not really sure what the kids say...My kids are older (past Santa) or too small to be asked without me present. We don't celebrate Halloween at all (even so called church Harvest Festivals) no do we do any secular activities for any religious holidays. Keep me informed on how you guys handle this.

Heather - posted on 02/01/2010

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Paula- I was upset when I learned that they were learning about it. They sent home a note saying that they were against halloween because it was not accepted by some religions, and that they were going to celebrate the day of the dead instead. I was not happy. Then I found out that they had been studying it for two weeks! I had a long talk with the teacher, and filed a complaint with the principle. I also did a follow up lesson with my son about what the Bible says about the celebration aspects of the day of the dead.

Lindsey - posted on 02/01/2010

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We just had our first and we plan on not using Santa in our celebration and we've never celebrated Halloween. I don't have any first hand experience since she's only 3 weeks old, but I know a friend who is in the same boat as you. Her son just answers honestly if it's an adult "I don't believe in Santa" and just says what he'd like for Christmas if it's a child "I'm hoping for a truck". They've explained to him that some kids like to believe in Santa, but our family does not. He doesn't "spoil" it for other kids, but doesn't play along when adults are talking to him. Their son is five also.

DEBORAH - posted on 02/01/2010

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I agree with you, we don't do santa,halloween,or easter bunny. it's supposed to be about JESUS CHRIST NOT A BUNNY, SANTA OR HALLOWEEN. HALLOWEEN IS ANOTHER ANOTHER STORY ALTOGETHER. THAT'S WHEN WE SHOULD BE IN FASTING AND PRAYING.

Angela - posted on 01/31/2010

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Hello Heather,

Although when my now 13 year old was 5-9 years old we participated in the secular/commercial events for halloween, christmas & easter. However since accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior, things have changed.It certainly has helped being an active member at our church.Instead of celebrating halloween, we have a fall festival(which is usually not on the same evening as halloween) that includes, games, movies, food, candy & fun and it's all hosted by our church.One year on of our satelite church locations even had a "hunted house".This was sooo very unique in that, the participants walked through two rooms: one which gave a depiction of HELL and all of SATAN'S imps(admission is based on parental approval), the other depicted HEAVEN in all of its glory according to scripture.In preparation for the Christmas season we begin a"Meaning of "CHRIST"mas curriculum with our kids/teen bible study classes after thanksgiving and throughout the month of December which emphasizes the true meaning of the season which includes skits, plays, music & fun.We've held a Youth christmas party which is Christ-centered by playing games with a Christ focused twist...for example "Christian Pictionary","Name that Christmas Scripture".During the Easter season we focus on the Resurrection of Christ and providing visuals (skits, dance, video, etc.) to insure that no matter what age our believers are, they walk away with the true understanding of The Resurrection.

I hope this gives you some ideas that you can incorporate with your family. Be blessed.

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We don't celebrate any of those. The hardest thing for the kids is explaining to other kids why we don't do santa, and the teachers at school give my daughter a really hard time. I think they think we are depriving them so they really push the whole santa thing. I just keep encouraging and explaining to my daughter. We make Christmas extra special and include Jesus in it all. For Halloween we always do the Harvest Festival at church, it's really fun, the kids come home with tons of candy and sometimes a fish :-), and lots of good memories. We've also been very open with them about why we do what we do. We do buy the costumes after Halloween is over for dress-up. They love that! For Easter we do a resurrection basket to celebrate that Jesus has risen. I let the kids participate in the egg hunt at my parents house, but they know the history of the bunny and know we do it just for fun. Just find what works for you, It will be through trial and error. Enjoy and have fun! Oh and about what we say for holidays....when people ask what they want from santa they just say what i would like for Christmas. We also do a special gift from the Lord. The kids have been asking for ds's for about 3 years now, so this year we bought them each a ds, saved it for the end, and let them know that those gifts were from God. They had been praying for them, so we had told them that Jesus loves them, and He wanted them to know by answering their prayer! They've had a lot of answered prayers this year from big to little. If people ask, don't be afraid to tell them the truth. You never know, you might have planted a seed!

Wendy - posted on 01/31/2010

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I have not done any of those things with my children. First of all wanting to keep focus on God, second don't want to create any thoughts in my children at any time of thinking that I lied to them. With co-workers I made it known from early on that we did not celebrate and gave the reason. It went over well. With strangers, it's none of their business so don't even bother going into unless they would really force the issue. Family is a little more difficult, one thing to watch is the image you portray through each holiday make sure you aren't sending out mixed signals even with wrapping paper and such. After you have told the family hopefully they respect your wishes. I've taught my children just to state we don't believe that. That's all that's necessary for anyone. Hope this is helpful.

Rachel - posted on 01/31/2010

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We decided to tell our children that Father Christmas is someone who is made up because we didn't want to sow any seeds of untrust in our children over things that we say are true. We didn't want to put any barriers in the way of their Faith in God because of someone we encouraged them to believe in that turned out not to be real.

They have responded very well. We discuss the fact that some people like to pretend he is real and that children might think that he is and that they shouldn't ruin others "fun" in the season. My eldest is 6 and she has a great look when people ask her what Father Christmas is going to give her! A mixture of "poor you, don't you know?" and "are you part of the game too?" We allow her to participate in the things she wants regarding visiting "Father Christmas" and she enjoys leaving out reindeer food but we are always talking in the lead up to Christmas that we are celebrating Jesus birth and the hope that that brings. I think that the lead up and Advent have been a great opportunity to talk about what it all is really about. (Not sure I have made much sense, hope I have!)
Being in the UK we have less of an emphasis on Easter Bunnies and Halloween although Halloween is getting bigger and bigger. Our church has a SHine PArty on Halloween night to celebrate the light that Jesus puts in our hearts and the children dress up in bright clothing. This is becomming a highlight in our year and a great outreach event. As many non christians don't like the darkness of Halloween and want an alternative.

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We don't do Santa, or the Easter Bunny or Halloween either, but I think it is really a personal choice for each family. I think it's all about perspective. We have a very big responsibility as parents to teach our children the truth..for my husband he was very betrayed by learning that Santa wasn't real as a kid, he actually felt lied to and so doesn't want to have any thing to do with Santa for our kids. For me I never thought he was real, but yet we joked about him and just took it as a good story, a fairy tale...so to me it isn't as big deal to completely eliminate Santa..but just to make sure we never say he is true....My daughter is four and she also gives people weird looks when they ask "what did you get from Santa?" when we did attend a party with a Santa she was to afraid to go get the gift from him anyway...loll anyway we just told her that he was just a regular guy who dresses up like and pretends to be Santa Clause..I think next year we will need to explain it better and explain why some people "believe" he is real. More is caught than taught with our kids so if we handle these issues with a cool head...not making a big deal out of them either way, I think they will see the TRUTH shine through. As far as a Christ-centered Christmas we always read the Christmas story and sing a lot of Christmas songs before we ever open gifts, we do a mini family "program" .. We also hang our stockings, but open them on New Years Day..to spread put the gifting and also so the stocking aren' associated with Santa Clause I haven't done much to make Easter a meaningful time, other than services etc. but I have heard of something called resurrection eggs, which are set of 12 Easter Eggs that each have a little treasure inside that helps tell the story of Easter. As for Halloween there isn't really any way to redeem that in my opinion (of course some churches to harvest parties which are nice) I for one, hate how evil halloween is but I'm not a big fan of all that candy either.

Sheila - posted on 01/30/2010

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I have a few children's books that might be helpful. They are "The Legend of the Candy Cane" , "The Legend of the Christmas Tree" , and "The Legend of the Easter Egg", all of which explain how they became a tradition, and how they point to Christ. I purchased them from a Children's book club, when I was a teacher. Hope you can locate them. My husband and I have chosen also to not participate in Halloween and Easter Bunny. Santa is a little bit stickier for me in that I grew up without Santa, but He was opposite, and my mil is very pro- Santa. Here is what I've decided about that. There are more important battles to fight than the Santa Claus issue, so save the energy for those. Santa Claus is a "fairy tale", but his origin is actually a true story. There was a man many years ago, whose name was Nicholas (a devout Christian, at that) who went about his village anonymously giving gifts on Christmas Eve to children who were poor. His good deeds earned him the title "Saint Nicholas". In later years "Sinterklaus", who is now what we call "Santa Claus". Why not teach your children that, at one time he was a man who did good deeds, but is like every human being in that he eventually died. I think that instead of denying the existence of Santa Claus, we should be teaching them the truth about him manhood. This saves the energy for those other battles such as whether or not you should spank your children or how harsh you punish them for wrongdoing. Whatever you do choose to do, do it with much prayer and consideration, because our children's spiritual well being is the most important thing for us to be concerned with. Good luck. By the way, my response to the participation in Halloween is simply that we don't celebrate it, because it was originated as an attempt to "scare" Christians from celebrating All Saints Day, which is November 1. I usually don't get any flack either. People should respect your personal preference, since you respect theirs.

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Heather H., Your 1st grader learned about "Day of the DeaD" at school??? WOW! :( I know I don't have the whole story, but I think that would have made me angry!

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My husband is a pastor and we do the St. Nick thing and every year I go over again, who St. Nick was (and say that some people call him Santa) but I talk about (and have books) that explain who he was minus the stuff they can't handle at their age- if you know what I mean since some of the history is sexual and shady. (Google St. Nick origin and you will get it all.) We have also told our kids we celebrate St. Nick for the good person he was (only do stuff in stockings- nothing huge) and that he is not real- that no on really come in to our house while we are sleeping. We talk about and celebrate that Christmas is Jesus' birthday and the presents are a reminder of that birthday. Weeks before Christmas we read the Bible (Luke) talking all about Jesus coming and then being born so we are "waiting" for Him. Every single night those kids get books on the real Christmas story, or a devotion. When people ask what Santa brought or whatever like strangers do, I often butt in b/c my kids are so shy they don't even speak to anyone half the time anyway... I butt in with, "St. Nick brought them a few goodies but mom and dad got them- fill in the blank." Or I have taken over with, "What did you get for baby Jesus' birthday girls? Which was your favorite gift?" That helps too. Also, my kids have always known that I am the "Easter bunny" and there is no such thing. In all honesty, even as a child I didn't believe he was real! And he looks creepy at the mall so my kids have never ever even wanted to go near him! LOL! Maybe my kids are wimpy? LOL! We do dye eggs- and we often give them to a few senior citizen friends we have at church and even make a basket full for my brother and my mom- the kids LOVE to do that. But we also do the infamous Easter egg carton devotion- soooo many times we do that before Easter b/c they all love it! (Google that if you don't know what that is either.) As far as Halloween goes, we do allow them to go trick-or-treating b/c in our opinion, it's just a dumb American tradition- too far evolved from the beliefs it came from. We do have rules though, no one is allowed to dress up in anything that is evil (or unpleasing to God) the world has enough real evil, we don't need to pretend it too. But as far as having fun dressing up, IMO, I think it's good to be playful and dress up and who doesn't want to get free candy? LOL! Our family choices- may not be for everyone. I can't stand it though when people say that it's wrong for us to keep our kids from Santa b/c it's mean to say that. I don't dislike anyone who celebrates Santa- to each is own! Also, my oldest is 11 and the only one in real school right now- thru the years, I have told the teachers that she knows there is no Santa and had talks with her never to tell the other children, explaining that not everybody believes the same things. She has NEVER told! At her age though, all the kids know now, found that out a few years ago. Also, I will do the same thing when our 2nd daughter starts kindergarten next year. They go to a Christian school anyways- and it's still brought up- but I want to make sure we don't wreck it for others.

Beth - posted on 01/30/2010

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My boys now 14 were the ONLY boys in kindergarten who did not believe in Santa etc

I have never condemned any one who has done such celebretions However I have always felt The Lord really wanted MY family to not participate. We have had our difficulties but the Positive through this whole thing is how close to the Lord My boys are as Teens.. God is Real no dissapointment of finding out of other beings in their life Not being Real We felt a little Lie is still a lie. The Spirit if Christmas is Christ and Easter is the ressurection of Jesus as far as Halloween My children requested we not participate they did not like the Evil and the scary involved we as a family have always watched movies but next year I am handing out candy because what a wonderful witnessing opprotunity I have families coming to my house I can shine the light of Jesus!

Your not alone sometimes I know I feel that way too

Hugs

Beth

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We don't "do" any of the holiday make-believe either. When I was pregnant with my first child, I prayed that God would show me what His will was for our family. I had been growing more and more uneasy about the way the holidays are celebrated. I was learning about the pagan/satanic origins of some of the holidays and just thinking about how so many of the things we do at the holidays DISTRACT from rather than POINT TO Jesus. Soon after I asked the Lord what He wanted us to do, I read an article where a woman was saying that she never told her kids that their gifts came from Santa Claus. She felt that if she told her kids that there was an invisible person who brought them gifts and then they found out later that it was not true, what would they think when she told them there was an invisible Person who saves them from their sins? Is that a lie too? Even though I grew up with Santa Claus and I didn't have a problem believing in Jesus, it really made me think. We made it our policy to emphasize ONLY Jesus on Easter and Christmas and to avoid Halloween entirely. We do exchange gifts but we do not have a tree or any other "Christmassy" stuff. We talk about it as "Jesus' birthday" and since He gave us the gift of Himself, we give ourselves and our gifts to each other at that season. We told the kids that Santa was a real historic person (who is of course dead) but people like to pretend that he still brings gifts. It is not our job to ruin their "game", we just don't participate in it. They were under strict orders NOT to inform other kids of the non-existence of Santa Claus. When people ask them "What is Santa going to bring them?" we tell them to just list what they hope WE are going to get them for Christmas and not argue. That has worked out fine. My kids are now 7, 10, 13 and 16 and the older ones all had one or two years each (usually around 8 or 9) where it's really hard for them not to do what everyone else is doing. Before and after that, they enjoy the traditions that we've set up. We always spend time with family at Christmas, out of state, so it's special and fun. We go out on Halloween night to a restaurant or a movie. It's never crowded so it's a great time to go out! The day after Halloween we raid all the candy sales, so they still get candy. On Easter we do the "buy a new outfit and shoes to wear to church on Easter morning" thing. Since 3 of my kids are girls, this is a BIG DEAL. For each holiday we go to church (if applicable) and discuss the spiritual aspects of the holiday and spend family time together. It's still special without all the popular trappings.

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We don't do Santa or the Easter Bunny. We do go out on Halloween though. I'm not ok w/ 'creepy' costumes, but my girls have been princesses (or gymnasts) for the past 3 years and last year my son was a cowboy. :)



Not quite sure how to handle it as far as other people are concerned. My friends have asked me why I don't and I just say it isn't something I'm comfortable with. My girls are 8 now, so they just kind of blow off the questions or say there is no Santa (as long as other kids aren't around).



This probably didn't help much....

Tametria - posted on 01/30/2010

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I can definately understand where you're coming from. My daughter is now 9 & she know's that Helloween is absolutely OUT. We do not condone or celebrate anything that's not edifying. You can search where helloween originated from and share it with them. As far as Easter I don't even know where the idea of the Easter bunny came from, but to each is own. We celebrate in church & we still do the egg hunts and so forth because it's fun, but she's aware of why Easter is. Lastly Christmas, my daughter does not believe in Santa, she says Jesus is Santa and He gives her everything she needs. She understand that it was the day of the birth of Christ, but everyday is Christmas! We go to church on that day as well ( we attend regularly not just on holiday's). It's ok to give gifts because they showered Jesus with gifts, but we don't overdue it. I hope this helps a little. Basically it's okay to have fun because they're kids, but we must always remind them the reason's for each season...take care & be blessed!

Megan - posted on 01/30/2010

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This is an encouraging thread. I have a 6 month old son, and clearly he won't be understanding much of holidays for a little while. It is quite difficult though attempting to explain our reasons for avoiding the 'traditional-secular' characters to our Christian family members. It sounds ironic, but obviously people are convicted on different levels. I appreciate the ideas and suggestions that everyone has shared. I know it will become more difficult as he grows older and begins to see other children 'celebrate.' I feel as if people think we are killjoys because of it. But we are learning to simply revel in Christ's love and relationship with us instead. :-D I think we might incorporate dressing up/costumes at birthday parties. I look forward to playing dress-up myself!! :-D

Cheryl - posted on 01/29/2010

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We don't either and ditto to most of what was already said. You're not alone :-)

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Well, my kids and I do Santa and the Easter Bunny and Holloween. Though my kids know that Jesus is the reason that we celebrate not only on these holidays but everyday! We have read about the real St. Nickolas and I explained to the kids that Santa was a person who did good for the children around him and Santa helps remind us at Christmas that we can be like St. Nickolas and take care of the people just as he did and more so how Jesus did and still does. I think it is fun for the kids to have something to get excited about that they can see and touch. Though, when Santa comes to our house every Christmas, he tells the kids that Jesus is the reason for the season and that he loves us so much that he sends His people to give presents to ALL the children for His birthday! So that they can all rejoice with Him That is why we pick kids from the angel tree so that we can help Jesus get emough presents for all the children of the world. I believe that nothing is more precious to the LORD than the laughter of a child and if it takes a man in a red suit or a bunny or candy and costums....I am all for it! I believe that it is the spirit for which you do things that determines GOD's approval. His approval is all I seek after. GOD bless all of you !

Heather - posted on 01/29/2010

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We also do not do Santa or the Easter Bunny. We tell our children that Christmas is the day that we celebrate Jesus' birthday, therefore we have a birthday cake and a party. Family comes from out of town to celebrate with us. We get gifts because Jesus lives inside of us, and give gifts to others because Jesus wants to share his love with everyone. When people ask about what they got from santa our kids kind of look at them like they are silly. Then say that santa isn't real.

Likewise we keep Easter focused on the death and resurrection of Christ. There is no Easter bunny or egg hung. We share about what Christ did for us, and why it is so important. We celebrate it with our church family and have a special meal or feast because of what he did for us.

As for Halloween, we do not go trick-or-treating, but we do hand out candy. We put it in bags with simple Scriptures on it and also put in a thank you note that the children can color and give to their parents. We leave part of the candy un-bagged for our children to eat while THEY pass out the candy to other children. We do this to share the love of Christ with others. I know some people that pass out tracks, but I have not found any tracks that were really appropriate to hand out to children that are young enough to trick-or-treat. But they can color, and we are showing them God's love and sharing His Word with them. Our kids know why we don't celebrate it. We had a big controversy last year because my 1st grader learned about the day of the dead at school. So they know it's origins and what God's Word says about it. They are happy not to celebrate it.

Victoria - posted on 01/29/2010

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We tell our Kids that we don't celebrate santa & that's how they respond to questions, "We don't celebrate santa, we celebrate Christ at Christmas, but I asked Mummy & Daddy (my Nanny or whomever) if I could please have ......." We don't celebrate the easter bunny either and my kids are learning to call it "Resurrection Sunday" as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ and as for halloween, we don't celebrate that either, but we do hand out scripture tracts taped to chips, so when asked what they are wearing they just say, we don't celebrate halloween. If we explain without feeling uncomfortable, our kids pick up on that & it will become second nature to them and they will have no problem answering questions themselves, my oldest is now 8 and has no problem what-so-ever, she can be a little blunt, but that's the age. She's been known to tell people, "my parents don't lie to me about such things and so I don't celebrate santa......" Like I said she's 8. But she is comfortable telling people when asked, and if not asked it's not something she talks about. We have to be comfortable in our choice and then they will be too.

Helen - posted on 01/29/2010

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My son is only 14 months old so we haven't yet come up against these issues, although I know how we will approach them. As you said, everyone is different but it is important to do what you believe is right. We certainly won't celebrate Halloween. Our church always does some sort of function for the children to avoid them missing out when their friends are attending parties or going trick or treating, I think this year they had a 'Light' party. So we will go to that when my son is old enough. We tell neighbours that we don't celebrate Halloween as we are Christians, but I think most of them still don't understand why it should bother us. It is hard to get into a conversation with a jolly neighbour about why celebrating witches and the occult is evil and dangerous! I'm still working out how best to approach that one... We won't use the Easter Bunny either although we will talk about bunnies as being an example of new life and beginnings, which incorporate the Easter message. Personally we will let our children believe in Father Christmas, although we will concentrate mostly on teaching them the real meaning of Christmas. So long as Santa doesn't become the sole reason for celebrating Christmas I don't think there is any harm in children having fun believing in a fairy tale while they are little, it didn't affect my Christian beliefs as a child. But I do appreciate that as with many things, we all have a different take on what we believe is right and need to do what we are comfortable with.

Vickie - posted on 01/29/2010

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I have a 7 yr old daughter who does not believe in santa. I told her from the beginning that Jesus is the reason for Christmas and santa has no part of it. When people ask her what she wants from santa she tells them: "My mommy is buying me....". She does, however, LOVE to take pictures. Although she says she doesn't believe in santa she likes to take pics with him. I allow it if the pic is FREE. She knows I will not pay for something we do not believe in. As for halloween...as another mom has said - we go to the store and get candy and other treats for her, but we do not buy candy to pass out. We also buy costumes, but we do it AFTER halloween for the dress-up trunk. She does not go trick-or -treating. We usually go to a museum,community, or church function. This past year we stayed home, watched movies, and made brownies. I try to make things as fun as possible so she won't feel deprived. That way when she goes to school and everyone is talking about their carnal celebrations she can tell them what fun her and her mom had on that day doing certain activities..

Evanna - posted on 01/28/2010

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We chose from the very start to teach our children the real meanings of these special days. It is a bit awkward when people ask our children about santa or other characters, but our kids tell them that they don't believe in santa, the easter bunny,etc. Like you, we try not to judge others and our kids know that others do believe. As for halloween, this past year, we bought costumes, mostly for their dressup box and did not go trick or treating. Instead, I took them to the store and let them pick out their own candy. I think that we will do that again. My oldest daughter and I researched the history of halloween too.

Shelley - posted on 01/28/2010

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Being someone who grew up in the Kingdom Hall, we didnt celebrate Holidays. My older children celebrated because my ex-husband did, but I never allowed my children to believe in the false characters as I called them. I agree with you in the fact if you celebrate Holidays it is fine but keep the real meaning behind them. I am married now and have a one year old and a two year old and my teens and my husband celebrates everything and it has been a big adjustment because he tells them things like Santa and stuff but I guess it is kinda hard. But we recently converted to Baptist and I have been Learning the meaning behind them. I thank God for every thing he has brought fourth to me. Good luck and just stick to your beliefs.

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