Monday, December 7, 2015

Why I plan to give my son a traditional or "normal" Christmas

I want a black Christmas tree adorned with spiders, skulls and bats or even an all white one with black ornaments that I have seen circulating around Facebook. Instead, I have a green one that comes with all sorts of mixed-matched ornaments. Some are from Hallmark, some are handmade snowmen my mom made for me, some were from when I was a kid. I have a star on the top of my tree, not a bat or a skull or a Weeping Angel (Doctor Who reference). We have colorful lights outside the house, with a reindeer that lights up! We watch all the Christmas episodes on TV (which are all set to record on my PVR)  and I take my son to see Santa Claus at the mall. We sing carols together and bake cookies. I tell him that our cats run to the North Pole at night via hidden passageways to report his behavior to Santa!


We still find ways to add a little goth to our Holidays. We listen to Goth Christmas music (click here for an amazing playlist), I have tons of Jack Skellington Hallmark ornaments I have collected throughout the years hanging on my tree. Philip is convinced that Hargoyle, the giant bat from Voltaire's story "The Legend Of Candy Claws" will visit our home on Christmas eve while everyone sleeps.

The fact that me being goth isn't the only label I use to identify myself, there is some geek hidden in there too. We have tons of Star Wars ornaments on the tree and I have several Hello Kitty ones too. What can I say? There are many different facets to my personality!



It actually plays the Cantina music!

Philip is well aware that his folks are not normal. He sees it whenever he encounters other parents and he even spoke to us about it recently. Apparently, some of his friends from school mentioned it to him. I recently posted about taking him to see the Christmas train and how I used to be cynical over the Holiday. The thing is, it is NOT about me anymore and I can no longer be cynical. It is about Philip and we need to bend a little bit for his sake. We are not religious and are leaving it up to him to decide his faith (or lack of) later on. We do not celebrate the birth of Christ and I no longer consider myself Pagan so I won't be going there. For now, Christmas is just a fun Holiday. For the record, we have had some brief discussions about faith. His homework assignment this week is about Hanukkah! How cool is that? I never learned about other religions in French Catholic school!

We celebrate Christmas because it is an excuse to spoil the shit out of our kid! We don't really buy him lots of stuff during the year and it is fun watching his reactions on Christmas morning. It is also time we spend together, as a family. We want to make Christmas special for him so whenever he looks back at his childhood, he will know his folks tried their hardest to give him a semblance of a normal Christmas. While it may change later, let him have the Christmas that all his friends have. Let him live the life he chooses because if we alienate him and only choose one side, then we are stripping him of his own personal choice. As parents, the best thing you can give your child, is the confidence to be whoever they want to be. We do not wish to mold him into someone who we wish him to be. Children are not dolls. They are people.  When Philip is older, perhaps I will get the black tree but for now, it is Philip's Christmas and we don't have room for more than one tree. That is ok,  he adores our fake, plastic green one!

19 comments:

  1. Or you could have several trees :p That's what we do. My fella is a big ol' Nerd who is also into Star Wars, Science Fiction in general, and superheroes. When we lived in our own homes, he had his copper tree with a steam punk/ 1950s robots vibe while I have my wrought iron tree with a star topper AND a gothy black tree with a bat topper. I have a huge collection of Krampus ornaments from over the years but even more than that *gasp* I have a crazy collection of Hallmark churches and German handblown tradition ornaments. I also have a ton of birds because at a certain point I have no more room to hang so I have to use those clip on ones :D

    I think your decision works for your family and that's the most important part. If he's happy and you all are happy, awesome! I also love that his school is open to teaching a bit about religion just so that he's cultural aware and cultural sensitive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your fella sounds awesome! A copper tree with old skool robots! Coooool! I was thinking of eventually getting another tree but I am not sure if we have the space. I also have a cat who loves to climb the tree. Thankfully, this is the first year, she has left the tree alone! Where did you find Krampus ornaments? Here in Canada, our ornaments are so vanilla.

      I love that the school teaches about religious beliefs too and has a pretty intense curriculum. I love his school. Now I can see why so many parents camped out in the middle of winter last year (during deep freeze weather no less) to register their kids. We didn't do that and we just barely got in!

      Delete
    2. We hardly have the space now too but I stuff it in ha ha ha.

      I actually have a post scheduled later today about Krampus and my ornaments. They're actually very traditional. Most of my ornaments are made from the company Old World Christmas and I found them all at our local Christmas shop. If my fella's cat climbed our tree, I wouldn't hang a single ornament :p Luckily she has no interest in our trees (or bought toys for that matter). I used to have a Doberman and the article trees scared him (seriously). That was one of the bonuses to the wrought iron ornament tree-- one, you can see the ornaments and two, no howling :D

      I remember you talking about his school before. Sounds like a neat place. You didn't camp out but he still got in but it all worked out just the same!

      Oh, I also meant to post this research article I recently read about how non-religiously raised kids are more generous :D http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2015/11/nonreligious-children-are-more-generous

      Delete
    3. LOL I could try stuffing it in too! Hahaha!

      I am looking forward to reading your Krampus post! I have never seen them here! Last year, I came home to my tree on the floor. Once, I woke up and the whole tree was moving because my cat, Merry was climbing inside. I leave a spray bottle filled with water in front of the tree. The cat knows. Thanks for the link by the way. I remember reading about it a couple of weeks ago. It was an interesting read and makes me confident in my parenting choices :)

      Delete
    4. Ha ha ha you have a haunted cat tree! Oh my word, I would have had a heart attack :p Maybe you need a cage over the tree instead of another tree.

      Yep, I think you're rocking the mommy thing ;D

      Delete
  2. We have two trees! Molly loves Jack and Sally more than I do, nearly, so we have a mini tree in her toy room with our Nightmare ornaments :) She loves the family tree covered in mix-matched stuff too of course :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh you are so lucky! We dont really have much space for another one at the moment. I guess we could make some space for a new one but I had a problem with a cat trying to climb it. This is the first year she has left the tree alone....so far.

      Delete
  3. You could get a mini tree that you can sit on a table, shelf or desk. Then, decorate it to your own personal taste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I may just do that next year. My cat was notorious for climbing the tree last year but this year, she is leaving it alone. I think the spray bottle of water in front of the tree is helping :)

      Delete
  4. Your tree is awesome. I don't know how it feels like for kids to have goth parents. The other kids spot your difference, you don't mention they tease him so I guess he's fine about it. He will probably be more open minded, creative and genuine and maybe smarter having grown up with alternative folks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww thanks, I hope he does grow up to be more open-minded, creative and smart.

      Delete
  5. I think you're an awesome Mom, who is open minded and wants her child to make his own decisions about life. This post made me smile :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is such a nice way to think about it, I do agree with you that the best gift you can give them is the confidence to be themselves. I've had some difficulty working out how we will be celebrating with my daughter because I'm not religious either and feel that I want her to enjoy it as much as possible and obviously spoil her, but keep it meaningful at the same time. That said, I'm waiting for my skull baubles to come in the post... lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! I hope your baubles come in soon!

      Delete
  7. We have a couple of trees too - the traditional and the black creepmas tree. But I think your right in sticking to more traditional stuff while he's small - less explaining to the peers. I taught 4 years in a Jewish preschool which my daughter attended. I think exposure to lots of belief systems is a good thing - keeps one open minded and accepting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds awesome that you got to teach in a preschool. I maybe biased here but kids that age are soooooo cute!

      Delete
  8. Do you know what? Goth or not, At the end of the day every family does its own little version of Xmas, with all its own quirks and 'traditions', so why wouldn't you? I think so long as you know Xmas is for your kid while you have a kid,you're doing it right. You'll have the rest of your life when he's moved out/older to have any kinda tree you want ;-)but in the meantime having a 'normal' tree allows him to have a taste of what everyone else has and not feel alienated. I respect that. Thumbs up Sylvie, keep doing things your own way. X

    ReplyDelete
  9. Me as a pagan and my hushand as an atheist let the children have yule also. After all, yule is a pagan feast originally, and the tree resembles yggdrasil, well without the star :) They participate to schools christmas party but not to anything religious. We have chosen this path and will respect our own believes or lack of them but when kids grow up and if they choose to became religious it's ok too.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...