The pressure is on. The holiday season is upon us and this year will be my family's first traditional pagan Yule. As a "Green" Witch, both in practice and development, I have my hands full making decisions about how to make "traditional" work for us. You see, we are a mixed, multi-faith, family, so we have come to accept that our version of traditional, will undoubtedly be very non-traditional to most.
Here's the thing: I have 4 children - 2 boys and 2 girls. At the moment, my oldest son is 11 (12 in February), my oldest daughter is 9 (10 next month), and the little ones are both 4 (no, they are not twins - but they are just 2 days shy of 10 months apart), and my son will be 5 the day after Christmas. Neither of my children's dads are pagan.
My older monkeys are from my previous marriage and their biological dad is a Christian. He has been, for the most part, out of the picture for more than 9 years - but he has been around just enough to have his religious/spiritual beliefs be of concern when deciding how to fairly raise our children. As far as he is concerned, my acceptance of witchcraft is one-way ticket to Hell, and he doesn't want his kids following me there. To be fair, however, I should say that my feelings about him raising my children in the ways of Christianity, are almost as severe. In the past we have managed this conflict by eliminating spiritual influence on the children, from either party, all together - a compromise that I have often regretted allowing myself to make. This year I offered them a choice and they both leapt at the opportunity to learn the ways of the craeft. I couldn't be more excited.
On Yule this year, I will have been married to the father of my younger monkeys for 5 years. We have been together for almost 7. He is not a Christian, but he is not a pagan either. He is at worst an atheist, at best agnostic. He is open minded and supportive of me and the craeft. He is encouraging and wants me to pass my spirituality on to our children - as long as I do it in an open and embracing way, introducing the children to other paths as well, and allowing them to choose their own sacred paths when they have reached an appropriate age to do so. When it comes to holiday traditions however, we tend to have very different ideas on how they should be approached. (Welcome to married life, right?)
Anyway, add to all this built-in emotional/spiritual chaos, the facts that both my husband and I were raised in very dramatically different Christian homes, my extended family (very large but close) is also entirely Christian, and that all of our combined family is opinionated and vocal about how their grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and so on, should be raised - and you just might get an idea of what I am going through while trying to land on practical, lasting traditions that our entire family can share over the holidays. I'm in over my head, right?
The good news is, compromise is coming along, and our children are ecstatic about creating new traditions together. Yule is about family afterall, so I guess that's all that really matters anyway, right? I hope so.
So I was just wondering, for those of you passing by - what kind of traditions do you and your families celebrate this time of year?
Namaste and Blessed Be