Friday, December 09, 2011
THOUGHTS ABOUT HOLIDAYS
Posted by marisa
Ethan and I have been really starting to think about whether we should raise Forest with religion. This has become pretty challenging for me to think about because I'm not religious and Ethan isn't either. I wasn't brought up with it, other than just celebrating holidays. According to Jewish law, I'm considered Jewish since my mother is. My dad on the other hand is Italian Catholic. So I always felt I was half and half since really that's what makes sense. But, again it was just that we celebrated Christmas and also lit a menorah for Hanukkah. Did I know what these holidays stood for? No. Do I now? Kinda, sorta.
Now we're faced with whether we should blindly continue to do this or actually start to educate ourselves and therefore Forest about the meaning behind these holidays. I'm a bit in a bind. For one, I think as an American, Christmas is a huge part of our culture. This is even without the religious parts. It's everywhere—the lights, the music, decorations, trees, presents, etc. I really liked Christmas as a kid. I loved the magic of it. I would always wake up during the night to scope out the gifts from Santa with the tree lights twinkling and everyone sleeping and felt so happy. It was my favorite holiday as I'm sure it is for most kids.
But I do consider myself Agnostic. So when it comes to believing what Christmas stands for, I'm not sure I actually believe in that. I feel pretty phony introducing this holiday to my child with this thought about it. However, I'm also not sure if I want to take a holiday away from him that most people celebrate. Also, a holiday which I have a bunch of fond memories around.
What do you do? This is a tough one. Ethan is leaning towards getting into Judaism as a family. He thinks it'll give Forest a nice sense of community to be part of something that neither of us had. I see his point but I'm really not ready to commit.
Until then, Forest will celebrate his first Christmas this year since it's what our families celebrate and I just need to document his first one ;)...maybe I'll even sneak in some potato pancakes!
at 9:45 AM