My Great Faux Pas

Yesterday, I totally stuck my foot in my mouth during a mother’s Bible study discussion. Usually all the children go into a separate room to learn a children’s version of our lesson for that day. Well, yesterday a 7/8 year old decided she wanted to sit with her mom. She was so behaved and quiet, I totally forgot she was present during the discussion. One of the discussion questions asked by the study leader inquired about with Easter coming up, does the church play into holiday myths too much. And if the church should omit the holiday myths and focus on the Christian truths. So basically, should the church be supporting the secular belief of the Easter bunny (and other fictitious holiday characters)? One mom answered that is was a tough question, especially since the characters are pagan. Especially, the bunny because it is so difficult to tie it into the story of Jesus. Then, there was silence.

So, here is my faux pas moment: I answered that I am one of those truthful moms. With my daughter, I am open and honest regarding truth of holiday characters, such as the bunny, Santa. They are simply not factual. As soon as I said that, I received glaring looks, eye rolls, and gasps from most of the women. It instantly dawned on me that the girl was with us. Another woman, interrupted me to voice her opinion that she loves the holiday characters and their good meaning. I continued that I am not extreme, like some Christian groups that do not participate in gifts at all. I try to keep gifts reflecting the Christian meaning of the holiday, especially including age appropriate books further explaining the holiday meaning. There was more silence. And the discussion ended.

I felt awful/terrible/the worse person in the world! After the study, I apologized to the mother of the girl. I just totally forgot the girl was there! We never have children present over a year old. The mother played it off and said it wasn’t a big deal at all. We exchanged numbers and began talking about her daughter’s interest in horses. She honestly seemed not to be bothered by it at all and thought her daughter wasn’t paying attention at all. However, the other women were obviously upset by my comments/ faux pas moment and had nothing to say to me as we dispersed. As I was talking with the mom, she mentioned she loved Pinterest and doing crafts. I told her of the “empty tomb rolls” that I would like to do with my daughter for Easter. The study leader overheard and wanted my to show a few of the other “crafty” moms remaining. When I tried, they quickly glanced at it and left in a hurry. Only one other mom took interest and we made plans for a playdate this week to do the craft with our kids.

So, my thing is; while I feel terrible for forgetting the girl was present for the discussion, my viewpoint is valid. I believe that as a Christian, no, I shouldn’t put stock into a make believe character over Jesus. Let’s face it. Holiday characters overshadow the greatness and meaning of Jesus in many children’s eyes. I have a friend that raises her children the same way and shared her viewpoint with me, even before I had children. When I had my daughter, it really made me think. My beliefs convict me to raise my children to belief that Jesus of above all else, not a fictional character. My job as a Christian mom is to teach and guide my children to God. Fictitious holiday characters muddle that. I also know of several people who questioned the belief of Jesus after finding out the truth of holiday characters as a child.

Also, isn’t it petty as “Christian” adults to react in such a way to an opposing viewpoint. I understand the child was present, but isn’t that a responsibility to take on as a parent, especially when the question is present on the discussion sheet? If I didn’t want my child to hear the discussion, I would have had her exit the room. I do not understand the open hostility to my viewpoint. It was a perfect opportunity to teach that people have different beliefs, yet we can all still get along and respect each other.

I did not have the chance to finish my viewpoint on the subject. While I choose to be honest with my daughter; she will also understand that some children believe that these characters are real. She is not to burst their bubble and convince them otherwise. Also, I do not want her to feel out-casted by not participating in gift giving or receiving with other children. Other religions do not believe in these holiday characters or celebrate the same holidays, are they wrong because of it? Absolutely not! Should they have to go along with the popular belief? No! This is where I have issues with some “Christians”. A line of judgement is drawn there. Jesus clearly called us followers not to judge, that only His father, God, can do that. Judging others is what brings the cattiness, pettiness, and out-casting of each other. That is not Christian behavior, Jesus was clear on that.

Discuss this! What do you think about this? Let me know! I am open to all {respectful} discussions, opinions, and comments.

**Unfortunately, this will be my last post for a few days. I’ve had a personal situation to come up (your prayers would greatly be appreciated) and will unable to access my blog to publish posts. I will be able to read and possibly respond to your comments via my phone. If it cooperates. I hope to publish something on Wednesday.**

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13 thoughts on “My Great Faux Pas

  1. Sometimes I wonder if too many myths play into distrust of myth-like truths; children grow up with Santa, The Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, and a whole host of other cultural figures that they are told to believe in just like they’re to believe in Jesus. One-by-one, they’re told that it’s really just their parents for the most part and none of them really mean anything – except for Jesus, he’s special.
    Then again, cultures need their myths – to share their stories and their values – to serve as good examples or bad examples and promote good morals. The Easter Bunny rewards haste and persistence, for example. While it’s true that Christianity co-opted pagan traditions for just about all of it’s holidays, we can also ask ourselves if it’s the right thing to do to erase a cultural belief because of religious devotion. It would be an interesting conversation.

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    • It is an interesting conversation to explore! And I’m not saying my viewpoint is the correct one. I do think that the ladies should respect my viewpoint and not be so petty that I might have broken the truth to the girl (who was in an adult discussion setting). The hostility was uncalled for, in my opinion. I know some Christian groups promote totally excluding all mythical notions from children (fairy tale books, playing pretend). I do not want to do that. She will know about Santa and can even play the pretend game, if you will. She will just be in the loop that he is, in fact a myth, based off of a person. For instance, she took pictures with the Easter bunny (the church does an egg hunt and the bunny shows up), but to her the Easter bunny is a giant, funny bunny to high five. He has nothing to do with Jesus. Heck, instead of saving for her college; I might be saving up for years of therapy due to my parenting. Haha!

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      • I’d have to agree about the hostility being uncalled for. That’s part of the reason age-appropriate groups exist. For some odd reason, there’s this big push to integrate churches for all age groups and there’s a tendency to simply everything down to the children’s level – which makes situations like this one common-place. Some people I’ve been reading say that it’s the surest way to prevent the next generation from quitting church like the millennials did by keeping them involved in it from day one. I’m not so sure they’re right. I just know that for those of us who don’t eat, sleep, breathe, and exist in a children’s sphere of cartoons, kid’s t.v. shows, children’s books, children’s music – it can be hard to to exist in environments where children’s beliefs are boundary by which all must adhere to. The other woman might be so caught up in her little girl’s world that she didn’t consider the consequences of bringing her to the adult classes.

        I had something of a similar experience, just the other way around. I was sitting in with a group of older believers who were caught up in their own conversation about the evils of participation trophies. I sat there silently as I listened to them talk about how it’s ruining the youth to give them something for no effort, to give them a trophy for losing, and how it’s a loss of traditional values because they’re lazy freeloaders. All the while I couldn’t help but think about the many participation trophies that I had been given when I was a little kid – I wished I knew the right thing to say, but I couldn’t think of anything. I don’t hold against them any ill will for indirectly insulting me, I understand that they’re from a different generation who have different beliefs. They couldn’t have known or be expected to know that I had won participation trophies.

        Who knows, perhaps in a few years, that little girl will remember you as someone who told her the truth when everyone else lied to her and she will just accept the truth for what it is.

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      • I agree. I think the church needs to understand that some subjects or sins need to be addressed, but it is adult content only. We cannot just ignore the sin or go along with the idea that the sin is now acceptable. Which is what is happening.
        The mother didn’t seem bothered at all. It was the other women, so bothered. I feel like it is high school all over again with them, which is off putting for a “Christian” atmosphere.
        I grew up in a small town. Partcipation trophies were not popluar. (I’m only 29, BTW.) However, we did have ice cream or pizza parties to acknowledge the whole team and certain players received trophies. It was motivation for me to try even harder. All though, there is always popularity and politics in that sort of stuff. I think setting a goal for your child to win the MVP trophy or whatever is appropriate to encourage hard work. I know my trophies meant the world to me at that stage of development. So, I think they have some good too.
        Definitely just a difference of opinions. I just try to be open to all opinions, even if I don’t agree. And there isn’t anything wrong for anyone to state they do not agree. Unfortunately, it seems many people become offended with any opinion difference.

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      • Considering that we live in such strange times – normal news one day, terrorist attack the next, I wonder if it’s more of a thing about keeping children in a bubble of protection from the reality of the world? The longer the myths can be believed in, the less quickly little ones grow up, and they can keep them safe from such a scary world.
        http://www.nytimes.com/1991/11/21/garden/parent-child.html – this old article says that while most kids stop believing in Santa around age 7 and a half, most keep up the pretense so that they don’t disappoint their parents (that, and I suspect they want to still keep getting the special gift from “Santa”). I guess the question is why they felt they had to protect the childhood of a kid that wasn’t theirs.

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      • That is a great point! I figured out the truth very early. My parents didn’t try to keep it a big secret either. While I didn’t grow up religious, holidays were about spending time with family and being thankful for receiving and giving gifts. I also didn’t go around bursting other kids’ bubbles because I didn’t believe anymore. Keeping kids surrounded in a bubble of protection to keep them “innocent” or naive is just as dangerous as spilling out every scary detail, to me.

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  2. what I have learned is this, that if someone is mean, critical, judgmental, and or hurtful to us it is usually not about us, whatever we said or did hit a nerve in them and they respond according to that, it’s their problem not ours. Our best bet is to not take it personal. We will always have differing opinions on things that’s just the way God made us, the key is to know that and be ok with it. We would do well to learn that even though our opinions may differ we can still get along🙂

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    • I must have hit a nerve by saying hi to some of these ladies. Haha! I agree with you though. It has taken many years to realize it; but often people do react harshly because of their personal beliefs. I try hard not to be outwardly hostile; but agree to difference of opinions and move on. It doesn’t mean we cannot agree on another topic and be friendly.

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  3. Good job! And keep doing what you think is best for your family. I have considered this too and ultimately have decided to still do Santa, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, BUT when my child asks, I plan to be honest about the reality and hopefully even explain why we do it this way. With everything in parenting, I have come to the way of thinking the each individual must make the decision on what is best for their family at that given time. I don’t think you should be judged for this at all! “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

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  4. Thanks, Regina! I definitely thought long and hard about holiday characters. That is why I am just going to tell her the truth. Honestly, I think she will put it together on her own fairly quickly. We do not address gifts from Santa or the bunny. Gifts come from family and friends. So, I think that will clue her in. Do I think some parents go wild with the convincing of holiday characters? Absolutely! I knew someone that hired characters to bring gifts each year. Their kids were devastated when they found out the truth. My main annoyance is how petty the others are being because I made an honest mistake and forgot the girl was with us. However, I am not going to sit there and not share my different opinion either. I probably would have worded my response differently had I remembered the girl being there. But she is 7 or 8 and should know the truth by now. Her mom wasn’t bothered at all.

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