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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Breaking Tradition.....


I've never really been one to conform. In the past I tried it and didn't like it, cause I realized it wasn't the person I was at all. It was a feeling of weakness to me. I've got leadership blood in my veins and although it wasn't predominantly present for all of my childhood and teenage years, it seemed to have surfaced in my young adulthood and it's becoming more prevalent in my mid-adulthood years. (Yes, surprisingly being in my 30's qualifies me as being an adult)

Anyways I've been humming and hawing lately about certain holidays the world celebrates and whether or not I'd like to participate. I see friends and other's blogs about how they choose to celebrate the holidays; their decor, their ideas, their joy and happiness that surrounds it, but lately, as much as I would like to share the joy in their lives (for sole purpose of being part of the crowd), the mere thought of it all I just makes me cringe.

Before you read on......please note that I am, IN NO WAY, trying to criticize you readers or others and your traditions. In fact I applaud you for being creative and having fun. I've just realized that it's just NOT ME. I've decided to post this blog about how and why I feel this way. Some of you may call me a grouch, or a Grinch or a sour puss, but sticks and stones....

Anyways I think it all started with.....


Valentine's Day



I've never liked the "holiday" or the traditions that come with it. As a kid you pass out cards to friends to tell them that you care. In those transactions, someone was always missed and that person, I'm sure, felt like the loneliest person in the world. I know because I've witnessed it; first hand and from afar. As a teenager it was "feeling down", cause of everyone around me being "in love". As a young adult I had my first Valentine's date and although it was fun and sweet, it was all so forced, cause it was "that day". I think the first Valentine's Day I actually enjoyed was when my best friend Lee, brought me flowers and took me and a mutual friend of ours (a girl he liked) out for Sushi.

Feb 2002


I loved that my friend tried to make that day special, but it still didn't change the way I felt about that certain day of the year. I came to learn that, in fact, this was the so called "holiday" that could actually make you feel "unloved", if you didn't have a "Valentine"; a total opposite of what it's been made to be. I always felt like, why the heck do you need a day out of the year to tell someone that you care or that you love them? Henceforth came my grouchy attitude about "love" on Valentine's Day. Some of you may think that my attitude must've changed when I found the love of my life (my husband Dan), who happened to propose to me a week before "said holiday"....(although with NO relation whatsoever to that day!.....purely spontaneously)

2004


Sorry to burst that bubble. In fact I was so DELIGHTED to find out my husband felt the same way that I did about this dumb day. It was true love! ha ha

Okay enough about the holiday I cringe about the most. Now onto a more recent one.....

April Fool's Day


The day I like to call, the Day of Deception.

Nothing but lies and deceit. Sure I think some of them are cool or funny. Sure I've been guilty of pranks in the past, but I don't like the idea of it one bit. No more.

*Gosh Suze, you're such a prude!

Sticks and stones......

Next up is......

St. Patrick's Day





Am I Irish?
No.
So why should I care about this holiday?
Cause it's fun to wear green?
I wear green almost every day, so nothing exciting there.
In fact on this specific holiday I try to purposely NOT wear green to boycott support in any such sport. (although I forgot about it this year and because I wear green everyday......um......yeah)
Oh c'mon Suze! It's fun to eat things that have been artificially colored GREEN, cause it's that holiday of Greenness.

Um.....yeah.....no thanks!

Now on to the one that made me the most callous this year......

Easter


Dying eggs. Hiding eggs. Eating eggs. Chocolate eggs. Bunny eggs......Bunny eggs?

Easter. The holiday of chocolate. Let's just call it like it is, shall we?.....

"The Chocolate Baker's Money Makers",

or the

"Confectioner's Cash Cow"


I decided this year that we weren't having any of it.

The Easter Bunny doesn't come to our house any more. In fact I could care less if he died. (*Oh Suze, you're just sucking the fun out of everything......especially for your kids!)

Anyways, as I was saying,

Easter....



The holiday that is REALLY about the Atonement, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet how have I shown my children in the past about it's importance? By saying that the Easter Bunny comes a day early, cause he knows we go to church on Sunday? Well not anymore. In fact this year and the years past, I did a HORRIBLE job at teaching my children the most important event that EVER happened in the world. We do a great job at celebrating Christmas; the birth of Christ. But that wasn't his mission. He came here for one purpose and one purpose only. That was to Atone for us.



The only way to overcome our separation from our Father in Heaven. He did die for us and was resurrected, but his mission was the Atonement.

My husband read me an article that someone had written and it confirmed my feelings of wanting to dispose of the Easter Bunny. I wasn't alone. Other's felt this way. It also confirmed to me, that as a Latter-Day Saint woman, I wasn't making the most, of the most important holiday of all holidays. In fact most LDS (Mormon) people don't. I never realized it until now. We focus a lot on Christmas and Thanksgiving and those times of togetherness, but where's the week or month long celebration of the greatest gift given to man?

So next year I will do better.

I almost boycotted Santa. But my husband convinced me otherwise. Although I really despise deceiving my children of how things really are. But I'll get over it for his and their sake. Plus the fact that I still see Santa as a symbol of our Savior, so in that sense, I won't kill Santa.

As much as I have ranted about what I feel to be useless holiday traditions for my family, you will STILL see us celebrate these wonderful and glorious holidays (hopefully better):


Easter (as it really is)

Christmas

New Years

Thanksgiving (both Canadian & American.....oh yeah baby!)

Halloween

Independence Day

and in my heart, Canada Day

(and YES, I said Halloween.......As prudish as I may be, there will ALWAYS be enough room for Halloween......one of my most favorite times of the year.....but no, my kids don't Trick or Treat, like other kids do......cause I'm a prude!)

9 comments:

Jen said...

I LOVE THIS POST!

I always feel like a bad mom because I don't go all out with pranks on April 1, and I get irritated when my kids come home from school wanting to make leprechaun traps, etc etc. The year my son was obsessed with Ireland drove me batty. We are not Irish!!

I LOVED in general conference when they said that FHE should not be downloaded from the internet, but it should be an open forum where all members of the family can act, rather than just being spoon fed the gospel--for some reason it feels like it goes along the same lines--that we need to be real, and sincere in both what we teach our children, and what we teach them is important in how we celebrate.

For Easter this year we agreed to do a very very basic egg hunt because the kids wanted to. Right before we started, I decided to make a rule that before they could pick up an egg or a piece of candy, they had to name one thing their Savior has done for them. (I get that the candy on Easter has to do with Lenten fasting being over--I will admit I love me some Cadbury mini eggs, and I would probably celebrate a Chocolate Day if we called a day that...) Anyway, the egg hunt was simple, sincere, and my kids had the opportunity to bear testimony--it was a spur of the moment thing that was SO much more valuable than time spent coloring eggs or fantasizing what some weird bunny would bring them. I've always been so sarcastic about the Easter Bunny anyway.

Santa & Halloween & Independence day etc stay at our house too. I'm going to stop now because I've written about as much in my comment as was in your post.

Have a great day--this post made mine...really!

Amanda said...

Oh Lee. What a scrawny little guy he was. By the way, I've been thinking how to inform you without Lee finding out, so Ima gunna do it here!
We are going to be in Abby for Lee's birthday and I was thinking of doing a dinner or something at a restaurant with peeps and it you guys have passports, I would, and I know Lee would, love to see you! We still dont have ours because we never have an extra $200 lying around. But ya, let me know by a comment on my blog.

And I agree about focusing more on the Savior at Easter.

Suze said...

Jen~Thanks for your wonderful comment. I'm glad you agree. Chocolate Day? Hmmm....that sounds like a good one. We might just have to start that holiday at our house. I love me some Cadbury Mini Eggs too! I never said I didn't enjoy Easter CANDY! I just RARELY buy it before the holiday when it's more than half the price after the fact. Anyways thanks for the post-long comment. I love it!


Oh and Amanda I'll have to be calling you today....we might just be coming up there around Lee's birthday. Oh crap! What day's his birthday again?!?

Amanda said...

Suze, thanks so much for this post! I was so happy to see that Ryan and I are not alone in our feelings of certain holidays either! We have decided not to lie about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Leprechauns and any other fictional character made for the purpose of entertainment being real. I posted a blog about this around Christmas of 2008 and surprisingly got a lot of flack from some people about as comments on the blog and in real life.
We as a couple just think that these holidays have lost the true and special meaning they carry and we want to focus on the Savior at those times. Concerning Santa Claus, we will still give gifts from Santa but we will never say he is real or you better be good because if you aren't Santa won't bring you anything. We are simply going to explain that Santa represents the spirit of Christmas and that it is at this time that we celebrate the birth of the Savior and we give gifts of celebration to one another like gifts that were given to the Savior by the Wisemen.
I have been a little stumped on how to celebrate Easter and still make it fun but spiritual for the kids. Luckily J is still so young he doesn't get it anyway, and I still buy chocolate! I just wait until it goes on sale after Easter. The community of Raymond did a town egg hunt which we participated in, I thought it would be fun and it was. So any suggestions on how to make it more spiritual would be great!
Thanks again for sharing such a wonderful post. I loved it.

PS: I hated V-day as a young adult and teenager too. At school you could buy roses for that special person and I NEVER got one and never really had a V-day to celebrate with someone during my young adult years till I met Ryan. It is semi fun now. At least we get to go out to eat kid free!

JenG said...

Here's where we weigh in:

No to New Year's. We (my sisters, my girls and I) wear black on V-day, cause a girl doesn't need a boy to tell her she's special. We wear obvious green on St Patrick's day, cause it's not worth the effort not to and it saves a lot of explaining. We celebrate Pi day (3-14) for Piper and skip the Easter bunny. April Fool's day is a go. May Day is fun. The 4th of July is an annual big birthday bash. We usually celebrate it twice. I love Halloween and, whenever possible, drive 2 hours to spend it with my family. I hate the season between November and Dec 25th. It's just driving and keeping the extended family happy. I do like buying presents for the kids though.

In our idealistic stage (pre-kids), Sage and I decided not do m.u. characters. I caved and decided that Santa was a must. Whenever the kids asked if Santa was real I said, "What do you think?" Sage said, "No, he's fake." They didn't believe him. The girls still believe and the boys believed until they were 9.

The Tooth Fairy is still around for the girls but I ruined it for the boys when I forgot the money a couple months ago and just handed Azure a dollar so that I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore. After the fact, I thought that maybe that was mean. It was funny that they still believed in the Tooth Fairy even though they didn't believe in Santa anymore.

Leighann and Jamie said...

I am with you on Easter and Valentines Day, most DEFINATELY! I am Irish, so we eat green things on St patricks day. :) April Fools is just fun like Halloween. But, I can totally respect where you are coming from. I do not just follow the crowd and fall prey to stupid marketing compaigns. Just makes me feel like a sucker if I give in to the valentines card or easter candy! standing firm with you :)

Jonathan and Cheri said...

Uhhh, you are a party pooper ;) I love all holidays, every single one BIG or small =) Any reason to celebrate and buy a gift that we can rationalize it for - LoL And sorry I brought eggs for the girls - was that okay? hehe

Suze said...

Girl, I am anything BUT a party pooper! Believe me, this girl knows how to party!.....but seriously though, I know I'm a pooper, but I don't care. I'm glad you do the holidays, whatever they may be. It's people like you that I can live vicariously through. ha ha

But really, it was great that you brought the eggs for the girls.....cause I got to eat some! Hey I never said I didn't like the candy at the holidays!!!

Leighann I had no idea you were Irish. Must be why you're such a shorty. ;)

NaDell Ransom said...

Andy says that he doesn't celebrate St. Pat's Day because he's not Irish, he doesn't drink, and we aren't Catholic, so there's no point. He too avoids wearing green that day. Let them pinch!
I barely do anything for St. Pat's Day other than a few tiny decorations to go along with the springtime bunnies and chicks. (We do like the bunny side of Easter, but don't go overboard with the baskets and we talk about the spring coming and Christ a lot so the kids know what it's all about.)
I don't like April Fool's Day. It just seems like a dumb contradiction (it is!)
Valentine's Day is fun for the kids, I think. They have a party at school and everyone gives valentine cards to everyone (no one is left out at our school!) and we get an extra loving day. Teenage years make Valentine's Day too hard.

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