Making Your Children Feel Included When You Don’t Celebrate Christmas
The Holidays are a wonderful time of the year for most families in the US and abroad, but not all of us celebrate them. For a family that is not Christian and does not celebrate Christmas, the holidays can be a very frustrating time.
Non-Christian children often feel left out, and do not understand why they should not be allowed to celebrate or participate in the festivities. During Christmas, the differences from their friends and fellow classmates, stand out significantly. Children may question why their friends get visits from Santa, exchange gifts and participate in other holiday events like Christmas plays, etc.
As a parent when your family does not celebrate Christmas, it is important to remember that while Christmas is a religious holiday, it has become more of a social tradition. With families who are not extremely religious or Christian often celebrating simply to allow their children to feel included. It is important to let your child know that your family traditions are equally important. It also helpful to surround them with other non observing children and community members at this time, so that they feel validated and accepted.
Make sure to celebrate your own holidays. Build your own traditions with them and when you can, celebrate with others of the same faith.
Encourage your child to invite a friend to join in their unique festivities when appropriate. Volunteer to to share information about unique cultural traditions at their school if possible. Your child will have a sense of pride getting to explain your traditions to someone who has not been involved in them before. Just like their friends explain their own Christmas traditions to your child.
Christmas can be a difficult time for families of a different faith, but make sure you let your child know their differences should be celebrated!