Pumpkins in July

My girls check books about snow in March, pumpkins in July, and a summer adventure in winter...LITTLE BEAN was singing Jingle Bells last Sunday. On occasion a topic will fly around their heads and they will find things about that everywhere: books, words, objects, all related to that topic but I'm not a nifty seasonal mom, we are not a seasonal family.

We don't celebrate many of the holidays either (they are either materialistic, pagan, or celebrations with religious connotations that have their foundation in man traditions and do not need to be kept). There are moments when this is a bit of a struggle, I sometimes feel as if the children were missing on something when others around are engaged in so many different activities all which end up including lots of candy, presents, costumes, decorations, sweets, things you need to spend money on, even if it's just some. I believe I'm the one with that feeling, not them, it's sort of the little girl in me. But every year it proves to us how liberating it is not to have to buy anything special in December, not to have to attend parties as crazy, and going against the flow is anyway our nature. We are not of this world anyway, we don't feel displaced at all. On the contrary, our home has less clutter, and everyone gets rid of old things to buy new, and we accept those hand me downs with the same joy as we pass ours to others. We still have some more expenses around November-December because we share meals with others, but our budget doesn't hurt that much from buying presents that will end up in a good will store. Even our cards don't have to be sent in December any more. As the girls grow and I photograph them, two or three times a year I print some pictures to share with our loved ones.


We have wonderful family traditions, friends with whom we share play dates, meals, and activities that are, as the commercial says, priceless, and for everything else, we have The Lord! My husband has started to read the Thanksgiving Declaration by Washington on that day. He also took the girls to our Veteran Memorial Cemetery, and read some of the Declaration of Independence before the meal. Those times we remember the history and sacrifices behind the holidays. By choice my girls know that Santa is fiction, but that doesn't stop us from enjoying a wholesome winter story, and they don't seem to be the least disenchanted with life and their imagination lacks nothing, I can tell you.

Our family doings vary with the season. We enjoy pumpkins in the fall too, but just in case I can't get my hands on this book, How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin, during the autumn months when everyone checks the seasonal books in a rampage, we've already enjoyed it, and we'll remember the curious facts about pumpkins we read in the book along with the math in it. BLUE HEART is a tinny girl, this book hides a special meaning for her too.

One of the best lessons we can teach our children is to not to raise their expectations with these artificial, superficial, plastic wrapped, material FUN, but to teach them and live the true JOY of life.

6 opinion(s):

No Ordinary Me said...

Nice post. I see how this is very liberating. We have a mix of things. We do celebrate Christmas, but over the years have become very family focused, nowhere near the glam and gifts that once was. This past year we decided to not celebrate the Easter Bunny, baskets, and all that jazz. We did focus on Christ and had some special traditions we created for that. No gifts, and candy!!

I admire this!

Silvia said...

We see children who are very entitled, but we, the grown ups, are the ones to blame for this. Priorities and focus are shown with our actions, not just with our intentions. There is always a great private accomplishment to me when we make our life simpler, and I think there is a lot of gain for the children.

No Ordinary Me, you show that simplicity too and appreciation for all you have been given as well. I still have to take the librarians a token, I don't forget...next week for sure.

Kim said...

It's interesting that you mention being able to find certain books at different times of the year when they are more readily available - we've been finding a lot of the books we want to read now during the summer when they are always being requested during the school year. We're getting lots of reading done!

As for holidays, the realization that assigning one day for a specific celebration like Easter is not truly necessary was real for me this past year. I tried to explain to my son what Easter is about - people celebrate that Christ is risen but then I thought we celebrate everyday that Christ is risen! So we don't celebrate Easter but do have difficulty explaining this to relatives who are not Christian.

Also, it has been difficult for us to explain to our son that Christmas is not a time of receiving - he receives many gifts from grandparents, relatives, etc. at this time. He does know that Christmas is about Jesus but also enjoys the gifts. It's always a thin line we're walking on by explaining to relatives who are not believers that he doesn't need these gifts. We are going to try again this year. I do like to do fun wintry activities and crafts during December and January - The Snowy Day is the perfect book!

Silvia said...

Me too, Kim, I usually have a hard time at these holidays with the pressure of not corresponding, relatives who don't know why we don't go to this ornament exchange party, or that children exchange party. Or that they think we are doing injustice to the children by telling them Santa doesn't exist. Anyway, nobody said this would be easier, so frankly, I better deal with the difficulties of carrying with our believes and doing what's right.
All these holidays have become mainstream and very popular. As for Christmas being about Jesus, even that is a convention, something some people started celebrating after the first christians who didn't, there is nothing in the Bible that indicates His birthday was the 25th of December, or to be celebrated with special religious rituals (I've always wondered who or what Scriptures people turn to find out how to conduct a 'different' worship other than the worship we are explained how to conduct every Sunday...as a matter of fact, the only thing we celebrate as you say is precisely that Christ is risen, and we do that every Lord's day as we see christians do since the day of Pentecost and the Bible mentions the apostles doing when they took the bread from home to home every Sunday. But I agree with you that to us those times should have a spirit of giving if anything at all (any month should be really focused on giving and serving). And as you, we too like to orient the winter months to winter activities. After all, God gave us different seasons with different fruits, weather (not so much in Texas, he he he), animals we can see. Thanks for the tip on the book, and I'm very GLAD you are finding the books you want now in the summer when school is over, ENJOY WHILE YOU CAN :) Don't you love homeschooling?

Silvia said...

Me too, Kim, I usually have a hard time at these holidays with the pressure of not corresponding, relatives who don't know why we don't go to this ornament exchange party, or that children exchange party. Or that they think we are doing injustice to the children by telling them Santa doesn't exist. Anyway, nobody said this would be easier, so frankly, I better deal with the difficulties of carrying with our believes and doing what's right.
All these holidays have become mainstream and very popular. As for Christmas being about Jesus, even that is a convention, something some people started celebrating after the first christians who didn't, there is nothing in the Bible that indicates His birthday was the 25th of December, or to be celebrated with special religious rituals (I've always wondered who or what Scriptures people turn to find out how to conduct a 'different' worship other than the worship we are explained how to conduct every Sunday...as a matter of fact, the only thing we celebrate as you say is precisely that Christ is risen, and we do that every Lord's day as we see christians do since the day of Pentecost and the Bible mentions the apostles doing when they took the bread from home to home every Sunday. But I agree with you that to us those times should have a spirit of giving if anything at all (any month should be really focused on giving and serving). And as you, we too like to orient the winter months to winter activities. After all, God gave us different seasons with different fruits, weather (not so much in Texas, he he he), animals we can see. Thanks for the tip on the book, and I'm very GLAD you are finding the books you want now in the summer when school is over, ENJOY WHILE YOU CAN :) Don't you love homeschooling?

Kim said...

It's interesting that you mention being able to find certain books at different times of the year when they are more readily available - we've been finding a lot of the books we want to read now during the summer when they are always being requested during the school year. We're getting lots of reading done!

As for holidays, the realization that assigning one day for a specific celebration like Easter is not truly necessary was real for me this past year. I tried to explain to my son what Easter is about - people celebrate that Christ is risen but then I thought we celebrate everyday that Christ is risen! So we don't celebrate Easter but do have difficulty explaining this to relatives who are not Christian.

Also, it has been difficult for us to explain to our son that Christmas is not a time of receiving - he receives many gifts from grandparents, relatives, etc. at this time. He does know that Christmas is about Jesus but also enjoys the gifts. It's always a thin line we're walking on by explaining to relatives who are not believers that he doesn't need these gifts. We are going to try again this year. I do like to do fun wintry activities and crafts during December and January - The Snowy Day is the perfect book!

 

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