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post #31 of 151 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 07:14 PM
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Re: Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

Ok, this is an easy one. OP, tell your husband he is being what we in the UK call, a Knobhead.

Jesus, come on, prematurely bursting the kids' bubble and ruining his family life because he's in a huff because he's realised HIS religion is a sham? Sorry, but its no time for compromise. You need to cut off all his priveleges until he sees sense.

Yes, all the major Christian festivals are stolen from earlier pagan belief systems (incidentally, check the definition of 'pagan', it is not as most believe, a pagan is someone who believes other than the state endorsed or widely accepted belief system. A Christian is a pagan in a muslim country or example).

Christmas: Check out Mythras. Also note winter solstice. Christmas is celebrated at different dates in different countries, reflecting the different date on which the sun first re-emerges over the horizon after the winter darkness in the far northern parts.

Easter: The christians didn't even got to the effort of changing the name on this one. Easter happens on the first full moon following the spring equinox. In ancient Norse beliefs, the goddess of fertility was called Oestre, and she manifested as the full moon, bringing life back to the world after the 'death' of winter.

Lent, this is what is called in horticulture/aggriculture, 'the hungry gap'. The preserves and winter stockpiles are running low, Oestre hasn't reawoken the world yet to bring more food.

Halloween. Read up on Samhain.

All totally irrelevant. What we have here is a man who is being horrible to his family, just because HE is upset. This is no time for tact and diplomacy. If I was that horrible, I would fully expect my wife to cross her legs and keep them crossed until I came to my senses. That's if I was lucky enough that she didn't simply take the kids and go to her mother's until I'd seen sense.

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post #32 of 151 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 08:11 PM
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Re: Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

Wow...so, ShyEnglishman, you are saying she needs to tell him "no sex until you allow me to put up a tree, lie to the kids about Santa, the Easter Bunny, etc." Wow... yea, totally not even in the same ballpark.

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post #33 of 151 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 09:27 PM
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Re: Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

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Originally Posted by MtnMomma View Post
They still had their gifts at Christmas, I'd told them however it went, they would have their presents. We don't believe the date of Christmas actually is the birth date of Jesus, so for our family, Christmas has been secular anyway, so that is why I didn't see the harm in the tree, Santa, etc.
We don't always celebrate birthdays on the date of a person's birth. Nothing unusual about that. No one even knows the exact date on which Jesus was born. What's important to most Christians is celebrating the birth, not what day that celebration falls on.

When it comes to things like trees, decorations, Easter eggs, bunnies, etc., Santa, etc, yes they are secular trappings. We do not worship these things. They are not what the holidays (holy days) are about. But there is thing that precludes Christians from having some fun after worship on those holy days.

Christmas has become very commercial and secular for some. But no one has to make it just about the commercial/secular things.

In raising my kids, we did things like the tree. But I taught them the difference between was religious observance/worship and what was just for fun.
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post #34 of 151 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 03:38 AM
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Re: Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

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Wow...so, ShyEnglishman, you are saying she needs to tell him "no sex until you allow me to put up a tree, lie to the kids about Santa, the Easter Bunny, etc." Wow... yea, totally not even in the same ballpark.
Yes. If she and the kids want a christmas tree and want to celebrate easter and he is being a nasty spiteful man about it, then yes, that's exactly what I suggest.

As for lying to the kids, two things there.
1) Apart from the Santa and Easter Bunny parts, is it lying? When I was little, we didn't meed to believe any of the church imposed rubbish, we just enjoyed the traditions and celebration.

2) Even if it is lying, so what? There is enough unpleasant truth in the world and the kids will have to learn that soon enough. Why make them grow up prematurely? Especially if its for no other reason than the spite of a man that disregards the feelings of his own wife and kids?

I'd be tempted to ask Mr Scrooge, if he is so devout christian, surely he must be able to direct us to the passage in the bible that says something like "and lo, though shalt forbid thy children from having fun".
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post #35 of 151 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 04:00 AM
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Re: Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

I don't think it's fair for your husband to try and suddenly change things which have been wonderful and enjoyable to you and your children.

When you married I imagine that you both were in agreeance about these traditions, and now your children are going to have those taken away because your husband has suddenly changed his views.

No I don't think that's fair at all.

I would definitely stand my ground if I were you.
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post #36 of 151 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 04:07 AM
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Re: Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

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Originally Posted by *LittleDeer* View Post
I don't think it's fair for your husband to try and suddenly change things which have been wonderful and enjoyable to you and your children.

When you married I imagine that you both were in agreeance about these traditions, and now your children are going to have those taken away because your husband has suddenly changed his views.

No I don't think that's fair at all.

I would definitely stand my ground if I were you.
I agree with this.

Another thing that bothers me is that her husband apparently resorted to yelling and angry outbursts to try to get his way on this. That is not a 'Christian' thing to do.
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post #37 of 151 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 11:02 AM
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Re: Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

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Yes. If she and the kids want a christmas tree and want to celebrate easter and he is being a nasty spiteful man about it, then yes, that's exactly what I suggest.

As for lying to the kids, two things there.
1) Apart from the Santa and Easter Bunny parts, is it lying? When I was little, we didn't meed to believe any of the church imposed rubbish, we just enjoyed the traditions and celebration.

2) Even if it is lying, so what? There is enough unpleasant truth in the world and the kids will have to learn that soon enough. Why make them grow up prematurely? Especially if its for no other reason than the spite of a man that disregards the feelings of his own wife and kids?

I'd be tempted to ask Mr Scrooge, if he is so devout christian, surely he must be able to direct us to the passage in the bible that says something like "and lo, though shalt forbid thy children from having fun".
As I said, I see nothing wrong with telling the kids the truth about all of those make believe icons surrounding the holidays. And, your feelings regarding the church teachings are noted in your statement that it is "rubbish". You believe it to be "rubbish". The OP, as a Christian, does not view these things as "rubbish". And withholding sex is a stupid suggestion for this issue.

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I agree with this.

Another thing that bothers me is that her husband apparently resorted to yelling and angry outbursts to try to get his way on this. That is not a 'Christian' thing to do.
Everyone gets angry, even Christians... and even Jesus. I'm not saying outbursts are good, or even right. I'm saying it's not a good idea to say someone is "not very Christian" if he gets angry and yells.

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post #38 of 151 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 11:17 AM
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Re: Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

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Everyone gets angry, even Christians... and even Jesus. I'm not saying outbursts are good, or even right. I'm saying it's not a good idea to say someone is "not very Christian" if he gets angry and yells.
I understand this. However this is a man who is forcing huge changes on his family, against their wishes, and using Christianity to justify it. This is not a normal situation.
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post #39 of 151 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 11:24 AM
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Re: Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

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I understand this. However this is a man who is forcing huge changes on his family, against their wishes, and using Christianity to justify it. This is not a normal situation.
I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one. I, myself, see nothing wrong with what he has done, wrt the tree and Santa, etc. I can understand the OP, and even the kids, balking at the idea... but really, I just don't see anything wrong with what he has said and done... based solely on what the OP has said. These things he has said to cut out are only an extension of things she has known about him, and his beliefs, all along.

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post #40 of 151 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 11:27 AM
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Re: Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

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And, your feelings regarding the church teachings are noted in your statement that it is "rubbish". You believe it to be "rubbish". The OP, as a Christian, does not view these things as "rubbish".
Yes he does. Read it again. The whole problem is that he's realised that his religion is based on earlier pagan beliefs. He's found out that when he brings a christmas tree into the house over the dark period of winter, he is enacting the ancient custom of bringing evergreens in to serve as a reminder that life can survive the darkness. He's realised that when he celebrates easter, an event that the church teaches is the anniversary of the resurrection of Christ, isn't an anniversary of anything because it happens on a different date every year, because it all depends on when the first full moon after spring equinox is, ie when, according to Norse beliefs, the goddess Oestre manifests as the moon and reawaken the land.

Its right there in the OPs original post. He has banned 'christian' festivals because he's realised they are pagan, and while HIS own teachings tell him to 'Love thy neighbour', clearly he can't reconcile that idea, which really ought to transcend all belief systems, with his realisation that Christianity is a rip off.

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post #41 of 151 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 11:59 AM
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Re: Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

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Yes he does. Read it again. The whole problem is that he's realised that his religion is based on earlier pagan beliefs. He's found out that when he brings a christmas tree into the house over the dark period of winter, he is enacting the ancient custom of bringing evergreens in to serve as a reminder that life can survive the darkness. He's realised that when he celebrates easter, an event that the church teaches is the anniversary of the resurrection of Christ, isn't an anniversary of anything because it happens on a different date every year, because it all depends on when the first full moon after spring equinox is, ie when, according to Norse beliefs, the goddess Oestre manifests as the moon and reawaken the land.

Its right there in the OPs original post. He has banned 'christian' festivals because he's realised they are pagan, and while HIS own teachings tell him to 'Love thy neighbour', clearly he can't reconcile that idea, which really ought to transcend all belief systems, with his realisation that Christianity is a rip off.
You are confusing Christianity with stuff like trees used as decorations. The tree has never been a required part of Christmas holy day. It is not used by Christians all over the world. It was not used by early Christians. When I was a child I lived in countries where the Christians had never even heard of a Christmas tree, Santa, etc. One of these was the Coptic Christians community it Ethiopia. Others were the Orthodox and Malachite Christians in North Africa and the middle east.

There is nothing in Christian theology/doctrine that requires or even mentions decorated trees, Santa Clause, Halloween, carved pumpkins, colored eggs, Easter bunnies and candy.

He is not questioning Christianity. He has only recently realized that none of those things are required to be a Christian.


What the OP's husband is trying to do is to strip away everything but the bare bones of what he considers to be Christian theology.
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post #42 of 151 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 12:01 PM
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Re: Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

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Yes he does. Read it again. The whole problem is that he's realised that his religion is based on earlier pagan beliefs. He's found out that when he brings a christmas tree into the house over the dark period of winter, he is enacting the ancient custom of bringing evergreens in to serve as a reminder that life can survive the darkness. He's realised that when he celebrates easter, an event that the church teaches is the anniversary of the resurrection of Christ, isn't an anniversary of anything because it happens on a different date every year, because it all depends on when the first full moon after spring equinox is, ie when, according to Norse beliefs, the goddess Oestre manifests as the moon and reawaken the land.

Its right there in the OPs original post. He has banned 'christian' festivals because he's realised they are pagan, and while HIS own teachings tell him to 'Love thy neighbour', clearly he can't reconcile that idea, which really ought to transcend all belief systems, with his realisation that Christianity is a rip off.
No, what he has done is banish the traditional SECULAR things related to these holidays. Again, I see nothing wrong with taking the secular things out and focusing on the Christian parts...since they are all Christians (meaning the OP and the family). And, withholding sex (per your suggestion, ShyEnglishman) because he removed those things IS stupid.

You can use the 2x4 without adding nails to it.
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post #43 of 151 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 12:35 PM
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Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

Not so sure the OP is reading any more.

All modern day religions are simply an amalgamation of previous customs, practices and beliefs. So it seems complicated to take a pure hardline stance on any customary practice and assume it does not follow principles set out in some ancient writings. If one really wanted to point to events on the brith of true Christianity it happened post Jesus anyway, Book of Acts. Therefore taking a hardline stance to follow true Christianity, then living in a commune would be the way to purity. Private ownership would be tantamount to greed and thus would not be pure Christianity.

I still think (if the OP is reading) to take a more positive spin on this and encourage using some old Jewish practices spelled out in both the New and Old Testament and Christianize it. Hunting for Easter eggs may seem pagan but at the Seder dinner (Celebrated at Passover), an piece of flat bread put into colored cloth, Afikomen, could be hidden. It could symbolize all kinds of things, the buried body of Christ found and when returned the child gets a prize. There are many other ways to take every American Holiday apply Jewish traditions found in the bible and put a Christian tone and lesson. If one really wants to teach their children to embrace their belief system one need to use some form of binding and symbolic practices in place. All religions tend to follow some traditional practices as to bind people together. We embrace when we can celebrate and feast together.

I don't know if the OP could make these suggestions, but why not spend the time to open up your bible and list out what could be done and make new and exciting and fun customs for your family. I really hope you are still listening.

Last edited by Ikaika; 08-31-2013 at 12:45 PM.
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post #44 of 151 (permalink) Old 09-01-2013, 09:44 AM
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Re: Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

I feel compelled to repost my comments from another thread Now, in particular this has to do with Christmas, but the thought remains. (The OP in the other thread was the husband.)

First, let me say that a lot of things might have "pagan" origins, but - in the modern day and age they have completely lost that meaning. Just to play Devil's advocate for a moment - does she call the days of the week something else, given that for example, Thursday is named after Thor and Friday is named after Frigga? (Norse pagan gods.)

As for a discussion about the origins of the Christmas tree, like anything of folkloric tradition, its origin is up for debate, and historians have a variety of theories as to the original purpose behind the practice.

Open warning - I'm a Master's level History major graduate, so - this might get boring, boggy, and technical.

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Yes - there is a commonly held belief that the Christmas tree began as some unknown "pre-Christian" ceremony of unknown purpose, however, evidence for the practice of a Christmas tree as we know it (AKA decorating it, and putting it out specifically for Christmas time) doesn't show up in historical writings into well into the Middle Ages. None of the accounts of pre-Christian times (AKA writings from Romans or Greeks about Celts or Germanics peoples) specifically mention decorating a tree, particularly an evergreen as a celebration, as most of the focus is the native interest in oak trees. Popular Victorian-era psuedo-historical books like "The Golden Bough" over-emphasized the importance of tree worship to Druid-led Celtic groups, so it's not a big leap that the two things have been linked together - Christmas trees and "pagans", even if there's little to no historical evidence to support that theory.

Instead, the Christmas tree was thought to have been a practice began by a shipping Guild, who used the tree as a way to store prizes (quite often food) for their annual holiday party. Concurrently, trees were also used for medieval mystery plays (theatrical representations of Biblical stories) to represent the tree in the Garden of Eden, and as such were decorated with apples, and wafers. These plays were performed on Christmas Eve, to remind parishioners on why Christ's coming was neccessary - the Fall of Man, and sin, and so - the tree, covered in apples served as a reminder. Over time, the apples gave way to shiny red ornaments and the wafers into homemade cookies, and candles (which sounds really dangerous) were added to represent the Light Christ brought to a dark world.

Christmas trees for home decoration were most popular in German Lutheran areas, where Christmas trees were used to decorate the home and show denomination allegiance, as Catholic homes preferred to decorate with a creche (AKA a manger scene) instead. Hessian soldiers brought to Canada and America by the British introduced the practice to North America.

Ultimately, the practice became worldwide, and was adopted by cultures and people the world over. Each country/culture has its own symbols as to what generally goes on the tree, when the tree should be put up or taken down, etc. Ultimately, these days the Christmas tree serves a purpose even in families that are not Christian, or are non-practicing - it serves as a family ceremony of yearly remembrance, decorating with ornaments passed down over the generations, and purchased over a life time.

As for how to compromise with her on this, perhaps you should explain that last part - assuming that is the reason you enjoy the practice, that it reminds you of family, that it brings up good memories, that it is a family tradition. Explain that you are willing to also decorate with more religious symbology as well ( a manger scene?) but you are hoping she can understand why this is important to you.
This whole Christmas tree as pagan thing is off, there's 0% historical evidence that "pagans" even utilized, decorated, or had "Yule trees" in the sense we imagine. Also the whole "Christmas trees as secular" thing is off too, as noted above.

As to the Halloween thing, yes, that's inherently pagan, and inherently commercial. So is Valentine's Day if you want to get into it.

I do think that if the OP's husband feels so strongly about it, he should put his money where his mouth is, and send the kids to religious school. But expecting them to ostracize themselves and make themselves out for ridicule because of what makes him uncomfortable while attending public school is unfair on them. School is hard enough socially without having to constantly say "My dad doesn't like it."

And what's the fine line here about how much his beliefs can dictate his family's life before it's gone overboard? I mean, if he sets up the red tent in the backyard, and starts expecting his wife to sleep out there during her period, is that okay too?
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post #45 of 151 (permalink) Old 09-01-2013, 10:34 AM
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Re: Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset

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This whole Christmas tree as pagan thing is off, there's 0% historical evidence that "pagans" even utilized, decorated, or had "Yule trees" in the sense we imagine.
The christmas tree as we know it today is ENTIRELY a commercially created thing. There is no sinificant folklore associated with pine or spruce trees.

The "original" christmas trees were Holly trees. Holly does have lots of folklore attached to it, both pre-Christian celtic beliefs and later, with the red berries representing the blood of christ. Even this though, the holly tree was not used as a Christmas tree until just a couple of hundred years ago, and even then, due to the slow growth rate of holly, it is expensive, so only the very rich bothered.

The tradition of bringing pieces of evergreen plants into the home over winter is much older. There is archaeological evidence for the ritual in Stonehenge of all places, as well as plenty of more recent digs. With folklore dating back so far, it is difficult as you say to be 100% sure of anything, because most of it is not directly recorded, but has to be pieced together from archaeological findings, art and poetry, but it is widely believed that the reason bits of evergreen plant were brought in was to either serve as a reminder that things can survive winter, or to win favour with the spirits of the woods to win their protection.

Nowadays it doesn't matter. The christmas tree is really just a decoration to remind us that its christmas. If we want to reflect on it as the birth of Jesus Christ, fine. If we want to reflect on it as a reminder that things can survive winter, also fine. If we just want to be reminded that its a bit of time off school/work to spend with the family but with no spiritual connection at all, that's fine too. That's the bit that OP's husband seems to have overlooked.
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