Now, before I go any further, I should point out that we’re not religious in our family. I’m fairly sure I don’t believe in the Christian god any more, though I was brought up C of E, and both the older children have come to the conclusion that they don’t believe either.
Despite this, Christmas is an important time culturally in our society and wider families, and as such, I think it’s really important that the children understand the wider story, and also know to respect other ppl’s beliefs about it all.
(We’re still working on the respectful bit tbh.)
5 years ago, when 3 children were only 2, I brought the children to a home ed christmas camp in Okehampton. This week we’re revisiting it, baby in tow. It’s run slightly differently this week to how it did last time, but we still did the nativity at Pennywell again, despite Small having an argument with me as to whether Jesus existed. (I maintain there probably was a man named Jesus, whether you believe in God or not, and that he’s very important to lots of ppl so it’s important to understand that.)
[As an aside, it turns out that sending Big off with someone else to travel and giving Small an extra hour to get ready slowly works really well. It was a completely unstressful departure from the hostel, apart from my mild panic when I couldn’t find my camera. (In my bag already, obviously.)]
As well as nativity, the children put on a play. Seemed to me that they’d got the essence of Christmas in it pretty well. And we’ve had Christmas dinner and secret santa (thank you, whoever knitted soa a gorgeous purple hat, and many many thank yous to whoever knitted me a gorgeous poncho complete with second hole for baby wearing :D). When we go home, we’ll arrange to go to the local church carol service, as we did last year and really enjoyed it, and those will be the start of our family traditions, now that we’ve found a home that suits us and started putting down roots.
It’s a mix and match bundle of traditions, but that’s pretty much how I chuck everything together, so it’ll have to do. And I daresay it will grow and evolve over the years – I don’t know how long we’ll manage Christmas camps for, but this week has been a great way to kick off Christmas.
Although I’m not looking forward to driving home tomorrow. If you’re between Devon and Suffolk, do wave to me along the way.
(Post written at least in part for the Friday Club Advent edition. Although I’d have written it anyway tbh 🙂 )
Here are the other entries in this Advent carnival:
Maria at Fab Mums has posted about her homemade advent calendar and even find a way to use it to teach a bit of Maths.
Cass at Frugal Family has posted about making a video from Santa to each of her children.
Sally has posted her plans for her Advent calender where she has planned something seasonal to do with her children each day.
Chris at Thinly Spread has posted about the many Advent Activities in her household including her activity Advent calendar.
Jen at The Mad House has posted about her pause in Advent to think about the non-commercial aspect of Christmas.
Ella at Notes From Home has posted about her Advent readings by candlelight.