When my dear mother-in-law first suspected I was no longer following the Christian path, way back when Hubby and I were first married, she dropped some hints my way as if trying to mold my thinking back the other direction. It was over a very brief period and well before Witchlette came. Remember, this is the very fine lady who excitedly helped me set up for Witchlette’s Blessing because she knew the different colored candles had specific placements, and who made me a glorious winter cloak last Yule.
Anyway, she had mentioned that one shouldn’t celebrate Christmas without also celebrating Jesus. Ok, she has a point there. We celebrate Yule, and now we do X-mas with Santa Claus with Witchlette being old enough to take some of it in, and with Witchling coming. We celebrated gift giving with family on 12/25 because that’s when family celebrated, but for us it was not more special than day 2-12 of Yule. I know a handful of Jewish families and many non-religious families who celebrate 12/25 with Santa as well because it’s now a secular American holiday just as much, if not more than, a religious one.
The second thing she said was in our culture, it’s not fair to raise kids as non-Christians because of all of the allusions built into our language, laws, and customs.
And she’s right.
Last week during finals review, I did a lesson on allusion. It was a poem by Frost that included a reference to Eden. My students, with their lack of linguistic experiences, were not able to find the reference on their own in the poem. When I pointed out the reference, they were not able to explain the meaning of the reference once it was pointed out to them.
There are going to be a lot of things that Witchlette and Witchling are exposed to that other kids are not. Magick and faeries, the Old Ways and the Old Gods. She knows what Runes are and she knows of the Magick in Nature. Some great people I work with, upon learning about my path and what my Mjolnir pendant was, asked, “You mean Thor, like in the comic book?” Well…sort of. The comic is based on the pantheon of the ancient religion. Witchlette knows who the Thunderer is. She was thrilled this morning that the weather forecast included storms because we can maybe see Thor tonight.
But she won’t understand sayings like “good Samaritan”, “don’t know him from Adam,” and “fall from Eden” or “forbidden fruit.” It’s going to be up to me and Hubby to explain the vernacular and that these phrases came from stories in a book many people believe, but not Mom and Dad. If she wants to read the book and go to the group for the book, she may. Or she can keep coming with Mom to Magick Circle.
One of my hopes is that neither of my two will be alone in their failure to understand these phrases. We live among a very high Indian population and have two Hindu temples in my small town alone. I doubt those kids know who “Adam” is either.