Redefining December

Redefining December

As December approaches, those of us who are Torah keepers often find it uncomfortable to navigate through the month. This is due to a couple of reasons: firstly, we might have previously enjoyed the holiday, making it difficult to leave behind treasured traditions. Secondly, we have children whom we don't want to expose to something sparkly and appealing that they cannot partake in. This year marks my first fully committed '0 Christmas' experience. Last year, we significantly reduced our Christmas activities, but this year, we're going all in. Although it's been challenging, especially missing the music and movies we usually watch together, I'm excited to start new traditions that honor Yah. I'm also looking forward to saving money by not spending hundreds on presents and Christmas cards.

Here are some ideas I've gathered, and some of my own, to make December enjoyable without the pagan, materialistic frenzy:

  1. End of the Year Party or Feast: Choose a day in December for an annual dinner with singing, food, and worship. We can pick a subject to read and discuss. The kids could perform a Bible story play, or we could play games like charades based on scripture or biblical characters.

  2. End of the Year Gifts: Instead of traditional Christmas gifts, give each child one gift to celebrate the end of the year, perhaps with a different theme each year.

  3. Local Nativity Scenes or Plays: While some don't believe Jesus was born on Christmas, I don't see an issue with embracing the story of His birth. We can lay the groundwork before or after with our children if there are aspects that don't align with our beliefs. These events are usually closely aligned with the scriptures, and it's the easiest time of year to find them. There's a fantastic drive-through scene in Georgia that we've enjoyed for years.

  4. Annual Movie Marathon: Choose a week in December to watch a biblical-themed movie each night. This could include making popcorn, cookies, or ordering food, and cozying up for the movie. After each film, we can read scripture related to it. Our family loves watching 'The Ten Commandments' over two nights.

  5. Annual Trip: Since we're saving money by not doing Christmas, planning an annual trip could be fun. It could be a visit to a biblical site (like the Noah's Ark construction in Kentucky) or a warm getaway to escape the cold weather. It's something exciting to plan for and look forward to all year, offering a distraction from Christmas festivities.

In conclusion, I've always loved tradition. I dream that when my kids grow up and have their own families, we'll have rich traditions to gather around and cherish. We don't have to dread this time of year; we can make it exciting while honoring Yah and distancing ourselves from the pagan traditions of the world! I'd love to hear about any traditions you've started during this holiday time.

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