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Mixed faith Holidays?

So, I'm Pagan and my parents and husband's family are Christian, my husband is kind of "belief" oriented and doesn't like to claim a religion. So here's the problem, my family wants my daughter to have a Christian Christmas while my husband and I want her to have a Pagan Yule. It's not that big of a deal this year since she's only 6 months old, but when she gets a little older it's going to get very confusing for her. I want her to be able to see her grandparents on the holidays but my husband is afraid that she'll come home scared to death that we're all "going to hell" and doesn't really want her to be exposed to that. I don't think my parents would push their religion on her, but I know it's going to come up and it's taking a toll on my poor husband, and in the future it might be hard on my daughter too. How do I keep everyone together on the holidays without making everyone angry?


Asked by heratyc at 11:47 AM on Dec. 11, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • It really isn't as confusing for kids as we fear it might be. Celebrate Yule in your home as a family (without extended fam) & celebrate Christmas with your extended family at their homes. As she grows up tell her all of the winter holiday myths that you can find & make sure she knows that some people choose to follow just one myth, but others find "truth" (or beauty) in many of them. Teach her we can respect the choice of those who choose to believe just one version of the story (& celebrate it with them) without agreeing with them that it is the one true version.


    Answer by nysa00 at 12:54 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • She's your daughter....YOU get to decide what she celebrates. I see no problem with her being exposed to others beliefs...without requiring her to participate.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 11:49 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • That's really tough! Geez, I almost don't know what advice to give, but if it were ME...I'd tell the Grandparents that you don't really want her to be pushed on the religious aspects of Christmas. She could even be taught that Christians believe in the birth of Jesus. There never needs to be any discussion of hell. Let her know that different people believe in different things, and that as she gets older she can decide what she believes in for herself. I personally believe in letting children decide their religion for themselves. I would let her spend a day with her relatives, but more actively celebrate what you believe at home. That's your choice though. Best of luck!

    Answer by StefanieN84 at 11:56 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Could you try to incorporate some of each belief into the holiday? When your child gets older you can explain more about each holiday/belief. I would also talk to the relatives and make it clear to them that you respect their choice of holiday, and you want them to respect yours, and that YOU will decide which holiday your child is brought up celebrating.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:56 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • When we lived near extended family, we celebrated Yule at home and Christmas with family. Are they aware of your path as a Pagan?

    Answer by pnwmom at 12:06 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • My mom is, and my dad kind of knows but my dad is Southern Baptist deacon....he's VERY religious. I think they would respect the celebration, but since I got pregnant he's been hinting that it's time to find a nice church, and since she was born, when ever I visit we end up at his church. I know he means well, but it's just not the right religion for me and my husband. If my daughter decides when she's older that she wants to be a Christian then I'll take her to any church she wants, but it's going to be her decision, not my dad's, I just don't want it pushed on her. We have a Christmas tree and stockings and all that, and I'll take her to any family gatherings I can (we live a few hours away from my family), but at home I'll be observing Yule more than anything.

    Answer by heratyc at 12:20 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • So have your family yule and let your family have a regular Christmas. I am not sure what a christian Christmas is, we are catholic and there is a nativityseen and that is about it. Some years we did go to church, but not really. So if it means a tree, presents and a great meal and get together then why not.  Sounds like your family is worried about her religious up bringing.  I would talk to them and ask that they respect your decisions about how to raise your child.  I have had this discussion with my mother to many times.  GL


    Answer by DevilInPigtails at 12:30 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • I had that issue too. My mother-in-law Bahai and my dad Christian, and me neither.

    You need to explain to her the entire reason for your celebration. Teach her the true origins of Christmas and explain how many faiths are incorporated into one holiday. She is your child so if you dont want her subjected to any conflicting practice then put your foot down. But when she is old enough she will have to decide for herself. Until then, do your best to elaborate equally on both sides of Holiday.

    Answer by sugahmamma at 12:59 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • I would start at an early age talking to her about different people having different beliefs. We are a multifaith family and our kids are not confused (though to be fair my ILs don't include them or us in any holidays.) Kids are not so confused by difference as we expect them to be. If you are concerned about what the ILs may be teaching her, I would make sure you are there during the celebration to keep an eye on things and steer the conversation if you feel they are getting into the hellfire and brimstone with her.

    Answer by Freela at 1:03 PM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • It's really not all that confusing. I explain to my boys that some people celebrate Christmas in a way to celebrate Jesus's birthday because that's what they believe. But i celebrate Yule to celebrate the the birth of the Sun because that's what i believe. They are only 5 and 4 so they don't understand everything, but they understand better then i thought they would.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 5:31 PM on Dec. 11, 2009