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.