Wiccan Parenting in December
Article ID: 15291
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Jessica Marie Baumgartner [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: December 16th. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,725
Raising young Wiccans is a journey that takes parents through a series of complex emotions. When my first daughter was born I wanted her to grow up with the freedom to choose her own path but have the knowledge and traditions of my own faith. Now that I have two young girls, the importance of teaching them both the female and male aspects of the Gods and nature is so important to my husband and me. We struggled with Christian family members in the beginning, but after much discussion and perseverance the faith embraced within my household is accepted.
Luckily, being that my husband and I work very hard to have the lifestyle that we do. Our children are being raised with the knowledge that our family is a bit different from others. I try to emphasize that although we may seem quite a bit different, that everybody is different in his or her own way and each family has their own traditions. As I survive another December holiday season though, I canít help but become a bit more protective. Children are so impressionable and the commercialism of Christianity seems to consume the entire country.
It has been a long set plan that my husband and I would limit material possessions, a wonderful concept that is easy to put into play except when family and friends of other faiths want to shower your children with gifts one month out of the year. I see so many children who complain about not having this or that and parents who just give in constantly. Yes, it is positive to allow children toys and games and a certain amount of appropriate belongings, and yes, of course, my husband and I appreciate the thought that comes along with each gift. But when people go out and buy a gift for someone just because there is a holiday sale, is it really that thoughtful?
I canít blame most people. I myself get a little shopping brainwashed just watching the evening news. There are so many ads. I just remind myself that I donít want my daughters growing up to be spoiled brats who buy into a faith or a holiday because some television corporation tells them to. This is why although I do not celebrate Jesusí birth, I respect the Christians who buy a cake and sing Happy Birthday instead of showering each other with expenditures.
The line between materialism and commercialism is a hard one to walk. My husband and I are constantly trying to find a balance wherein our daughters can enjoy toys like Disney princesses and not be obsessed. We do our best to mix educational toys with a few of the more mainstream ones in addition to toys that I make myself. It is amazing what yarn and a crochet hook can make or some wood and carving tools. These handmade toys are ones that my daughters treasure and feel a special bond to.
Toys are not the only December excess that often puts a damper on my Yule celebration due to an over Christianization of society, but there are also all of those television specials. Limiting a childís TV time seems imperative nowadays but it is fun to do some co viewing of an appropriate program with a child. After having my first child, I understood why my Jewish friends always said that they hated Christmas. In years past, I would wake up Thanksgiving morning and make food for the big family celebrations while watching Macyís Thanksgiving Day parade. I wasnít too keen on all the Christmas stuff but took it with a grain of salt.
Unfortunately, children do not have the knowledge to filter out many of the message pushed in such a display. During my daughterís first holiday season I was watching the parade with her and realized that not only was the entire parade a giant commercial, it was also one big Santa Claus celebration. I have nothing against Christmas parades, but why does Christmas have to take over Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is a holiday that has no religious bounds; everyone in America celebrates it.
I myself was raised Catholic so finding my own way has been quite a journey. Part of my family tradition was watching Christmas specials, something that I do miss. I donít miss the specific specials themselves, but the feeling associated with them. After being a Wiccan for over a decade and becoming a mom, I have been lucky enough to understand that my daughters enjoy the entire wheel of the year equally instead of waiting all year for one holiday. That makes me feel like I am doing something right; in addition to that, I did find a couple of really sweet solstice cartoons.
My sister came upon the ďLittle Bear Winter SolsticeĒ episode from Nickelodeon; itís a beautiful celebration of Yule and even available on amazon.com. I stumbled across Kung Fu Panda Holiday last year and am happy to have it. These specials mean so much to my family and I, not because we need to watch a show involving our faith to be validated, but because they are inclusive. So much of the month of December is centered on excluding people who donít celebrate Christmas or Hanukah due to either lack of knowledge or lack of understanding, and I, for one, donít feel that it is right to celebrate a holiday that I donít necessarily believe in. I respect othersí right to their celebrations and faiths, but it is nice to be able to celebrate my faith alongside others and to pass that faith onto my children.
My daughters enjoy December just like many other children, without a mountain of presents, a giant fat man who breaks into their house, or commercials on parade. Even at their young ages, they understand that family is the most important element of a celebration and that as long as we are together we can celebrate life and all of its gifts. I love being a Wiccan and I love raising my daughters as such. It is a more difficult road with very little direction, but in following my heart, I have found the warmest season can be every season.
Jessica Marie Baumgartner
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
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