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Moms Council Question of the Week: Explained the Other Holidays to Kids?

December isn't just about Christmas. Have you shared details on other cultural holy days?

In this space every week, the La Mesa Patch Moms Council poses a question and invites your wisdom—and chimes in themselves.

The council is captained by Mommin’ Around columnist Genevieve Suzuki. Other members of the Moms Council are Deena While, Linda Byerline and Tony Lawrence.

Now the question:

Have you explained the different holiday celebrations in December to your children? How have you done so?

Tony Lawrence December 01, 2011 at 12:11 AM
I go through the whole year explaining what different people do - not just holidays. The great thing about the age we live in and the age of my kids is when they ask a question, I tell them to get some information and get back to me. The search for whatever Holiday and read a bit, then we talk about it. Kwanzaa was a tough one as it is kind of a made up Holiday, but when we read the tenets - it seems like a pretty good idea to remind ourselves of them. We don't celebrate Kwanzaa per se, but each year we try to learn and discuss what other folks celebrate. This year I am hosting the 2nd annual Festivus party! Last year we pushed 150 people and hope to top that this year! (Before anyone gets their panties in a twist - it is not in lieu of anything or part of the so-called "war on Christmas" - it is just a silly reason to get together play some music and hang out with friends and neighbors. Dec. 9th if you don't have plans!
Elizabeth December 01, 2011 at 12:34 AM
A friend that my older made in the infant room at her first daycare has remained a friend to this day. He and his family are Jewish and we are Catholic, so we've had plenty of opportunities to discuss our similarities (Christian bible contains the Hebrew scriptures, for instance) and our differences. Recently, we had the pleasure of attending her friend's bar mitzvah. We've exchanged Hanukkah gifts a few times and have attended a Passover Seder. Of course, there was a rough patch when they were about 7 or 8 and he tried to tell her that there's no Santa Claus. My response, "Why are you taking a Jewish kid's word about Santa? Of course Santa's never been to his house, but that doesn't mean he won't come to ours." We haven't really discussed other holidays, like Kwanzaa. Our daughter is studying Muslim cultures in Social Studies this semester, so we'll be more aware of their holidays for the next few months at least. My school had a great display each year of winter holidays, featuring foods associated with those feasts -- lots of dates, candy canes, egg rolls, oh my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Tony, I like your Festivus tradition. One of my professors had a festivus pole in his office. And I like that you explain things the whole year through.
Elizabeth December 01, 2011 at 12:35 AM
Um, that should start out "A friend that my older daughter made...." Not sure what happened to the word "daughter."
Deena While December 01, 2011 at 02:17 AM
ummm...hello...Christmas In The Village? Sorry, I won't be able to attend, darn it! Maybe next time =D
Linda Byerline December 02, 2011 at 04:51 PM
I'm with Deena on this one. Since my kids have entered school in kindergarten they have learned about several different holiday traditions. It is fun when I pick them up and they can teach me about the holiday tradition they have learned. My children taught me how to play the dreidel game and I know they end up feeling a little "too smart" when they are able to tech myself or their daddy something new. When they do have questions about certain religious practices thankfully they have access to the world wide web and after they answer their own question once again they have the chance to educate their parents. One other thing I have pounded into their heads is no question is ever too dumb to ask and 99.99% of the time people prefer to be asked questions vs. being stared at or having others assume something. This relates not only to holidays & religions but also to disabilities. Tony, we are looking forward to this years festivus. It is a wonderful time to hang out with neighbors, catch up with families we don't see daily, and to amaze ourselves in the amount of growing all of our children have done over the last year.

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