1. any heavenly body.
2. a person's destiny, temperament, etc.

Whether you’re reading this because you’re gluten intolerant, suffer from PVFS or CFS, are starting to grow your own veggies, embracing natural and/or alternative remedies, or just want to enjoy the journey with us, please remember I’m not a medical expert, nor am I here to debate global warming. Being diagnosed with a life-changing illness, looking for answers or changing the way one lives can all be overwhelming events, so I hope that by sharing the triumphs and tragedies, you too will benefit in some way from our journey.

I hope you enjoy the journey and if you leave this blog having learnt only one new recipe or started to think about finding your star, then this blog’s purpose has been served.

My two favourite sayings:
Pondering the choices we make at the crossroads is like revision in the school of life. Regretting the mistakes or taking for granted the successes means we have learnt nought.
An attentive student will gain wisdom from the mistakes and joy from the successes. Cartillyer – 2008

'Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.' Mohandas Gandhi

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Definition of Christmas Spirit

Christmas means different things to many people. For some, it’s about celebrating the birth of Jesus. For others, it’s just another day they have to close their shop and lose profits.

For us, Christmas is about spending time with family and friends, finding new and tasty recipes to serve on Christmas day and giving each other thoughtful gifts. But the most wonderful part of Christmas is the magic. There is nothing more beautiful than the wondrous look on our children’s faces when they experience the magic of Christmas.

They love waking in the morning and finding that Santa ate and drank all that they left out for him, and that he’d left a little thank you note. They then race out the front door to see if the reindeer at the carrot they left out. They never hesitate to leap to the reindeer’s defence when I exclaim that it’s time Santa taught the reindeer to eat with their mouths closed so I didn’t have to clean up bits of carrot.

But outside our home, especially in the lead up to Christmas, is a simmering pot of selfishness, rudeness and arrogance. It’s most prevalent in shopping centres. People abusing each other in overcrowded car parks, pushing in line at the store service counters and totally forgetting the spirit of Christmas. And people wonder why I’m so adamant about finishing my Christmas shopping before the end of October!

Unfortunately, our children were exposed to someone who was determined to ruin the magic of Christmas for nearly 400 children in one hit, and it wasn't in a shopping centre; it was in a church!

Each year, the children who participate in religious education at our school go to the local church to sing Christmas songs (obviously Jesus related). The kids enjoy it and, although Mr T and I don’t believe in God and Jesus, we send our children to religious education so they can learn a little about it and make up their own minds.

We naively thought that those teaching our children in the religious lessons were kind and nurturing Christians that showed tolerance towards others. We were proven wrong when one religious speaker at the church stood up in front of all the children and said, ‘I’m going to burst quite a few bubbles here, but Santa doesn’t exist. He’s only in imaginary stories.’

There may be a few devoted Christians who believe this should be said, but I totally disagree. Regardless of what beliefs we each may have, we should always show tolerance and respect for other people’s beliefs. Would he have told an adult Moslem that they were wrong about Allah? I don't think so. This man crossed the line and caused great distress to many children – some of them were crying.

Fortunately for us, Tomboy was bored and had tuned out, so she didn’t hear him, and Boywonder thought the guy was obviously nuts for not believing in Santa.

I’m not a religious person – never have been and never will be. The appalling number of wars and lives lost due to religious differences is enough to convince me that it’s not for me. In fact, I think that my lack of religion increases my tolerance for other people’s beliefs, and helps make my life more peaceful and loving. Despite the distress this man caused, I must thank him, because he’s shown us that a biased religious education is not right for our children.

They won’t be continuing in a religious education class, especially one that shows so little respect and tolerance for other people’s beliefs. Instead, I intend to make use of our local library, and our friends who worship different religions to teach our children a basic understanding of the different religions that are common in today's society, so they’re not only tolerant of other people’s beliefs, but also understand and respect them.

I wish you all a stress-free and magical Christmas.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment will appear on the blog as soon as it has been approved.
Thank you.