Thank you for your response! I completely agree. Just because the dominant culture participates in Christmas in a slightly (OK, maybe very) ridiculous way does not mean that the rest of us need to turn our backs on such a joyous holiday. My children get one (and only one), great gift each. And it's a gift that they will use for years. This year, my oldest son (who is 6) and I wrote and performed a 15 minute Christmas musical for my husband. The story was written almost entirely by my son. My son played the violin, I played the guitar, we both sang and acted out a story that my son wrote about a prince slaying the evil dragon with Princess Grace (we sang and played Amazing Grace when she was introduced, they had to search for the dragon in a Yellow Submarine - you get the idea, yes it was super corny and awesome). My son and I practiced for WEEKS. And we were both so excited to give this present to my husband. It was by far and away the best present my husband has ever received. There are so many things we can give to people that do not involve credit cards. Instead of just dissing the whole thing, why not take it as a creative challenge? Valentine's day is another example. I HATE valentine's day. I HATE that we are supposed to have our very young children make 20+ valentines for kids that don't care about them and then throw them away, and who is left with all fo this work? The parents (and this crafty stuff is NOT my cup of tea). Instead, I sit down with my son, and he tells me a Valentine's Day Story and I type it in. Then we print out however many copies. SO much better, easier, more creative and personal, and the other kids genuinely like hearing the stories (last year, the story was about a volcano exploding hearts). The point is that one does not have to turn their backs on traditions and rituals just because dominant culture has gone a little nutty. Just don't worry about expectations from dominant culture and do your own thing - but again, without having to get all scroogie. You CAN have a joyful and meaningful Christmas AND do it in such a way that adheres to your values.
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