Husband says no more Christmas Tree, Santa, Easter, kids upset
Thinking ahead about how to handle this situation- came up last year, and it was ugly. Need some thoughts on how to handle the upcoming holiday season.
My husband & I have been married 17 years, we have two primary school age children. We have a christian home. My husband was raised more "religious" than I was, but we both feel it important to educate the children, and bible study as a family weekly. We have had a happy marriage, and have a like mind on almost everything- little arguing- until this holiday issue came up.
Last year, my husband stated that he no longer wanted our family participating in Halloween, Christmas (no tree, tell the kids there is no Santa), no Easter, because it is pagan. Now please understand that we have celebrated and enjoyed all of these fully up to this point. His reasoning is that he believes the end-times for this earth are upon us- in our lifetime. He is very intelligent, and has always been "aware" of the signs of the end times, but feels that it is to be soon, and wants to make sure our family isn't doing anything to keep us from being saved. He believes that Christmas, the Christmas Tree, Santa, Halloween, and Easter are pagan, and was adamant about not participating in them any longer.
I did not agree at all, and thought it was very confusing and mean to take away these fun traditions from our kids. He begin to spend a lot of time researching the pagan backgrounds of these holidays, and shared a bunch of his research with me. At his request, I watched several of the videos that vividly explain why Santa is Satan, the tree is pagan, Easter was when the babies were sacrificed, and eggs dipped in their blood, etc etc. I countered with my own research, and the fact that many things in our lives (days of the week, wedding rings, wedding ceremonies, etc.) begin as pagan, but now no longer have that meaning. Neither does the Christmas Tree- we do not "bow down" to it, or "worship" it- the symbolism for us has nothing to do with pagan practice or history- in fact I doubt 99% of people are even aware of the pagan background of these celebrations. It doesn't have that meaning for us today. This went on for weeks starting from before Halloween, through the end of the year. We have never argued so much (while the kids were in school- not in front of them), to the point of him screaming at me, which he has never done before.
I believe it is important to present a united front for our kids, but I deeply felt taking away, on short notice, all the happy holiday traditions our kids have enjoyed for years, and were looking forward to was wrong. I fought very hard to keep to keep as much as we could last year.
Halloween is pretty hard to argue for, so that was out- no trick-or-treating, but they did get to dress up for their school's harvest festival, which was mid-Oct. They did not get to do the parade at school, and were almost the only kids who had to sit it out, which made for a few awkward questions from their peers. I don't like them put in a situation where they feel "different". After many hot debates, we put up the Christmas tree several days before Christmas. My husband told the kids there was no Santa- which really upset me- they would have figured it within a few years anyway. He explained to them about the pagan origins, and that he understand more now about that, and why its bad to celebrate these holidays. He asked them if they understood, and of course, being good children who want to please their father, they agreed. In private though, they asked me why it was ok before, but not now, etc. It was hard for them, but they were troopers about it.
I hated that there was this division between us, but I really felt it was wrong, and I told the kids that we had quite a few discussions/arguments about it, with me tying to keep the traditions in place. My youngest said she didn't care about the presents, or the tree, or anything- she was just worried that if we were arguing that we would get divorced. She was crying as she told me that, which hurt my heart. So if your advise is just to have him leave (which believe me, I considered)- keep that in mind.
So now, here we are with the holidays approaching. I imagine we will handle Halloween the same, with doing the harvest festival only. (no pumpkin carving either.) Last year, when my husband agreed for the tree to be up briefly, he said we would not do it the next year- so that is the conflict I'm gearing up for- I still want the tree. Re: Easter, we didn't color Easter eggs, but they did get to do the family meal and eater egg hunt- although as we were headed out the door on Easter, he said he didn't want them to do the egg hunt. We were literally on our way out the door to go do it, so I overruled- that was way to short notice to not do it. I'm sure it will be on the chopping block next Easter though.
Aside from these holidays, our home has been pretty harmonious. Has anyone else dealt with a similar situation? Any advise on how to handle the upcoming holidays? How about my resentment about him taking away the fun for my kids, and for me as the mom of young kids? The holidays are one of the great perks of having kids, and since I do not believe it will harm our salvation, it just makes me sad to have it taken away. Sorry this post was so very long, but it is a little complicated, and I wanted to give as much info up front.