Christmas not about religion?

I have been away from the Christian faith for about ten years. The more I read about the Christian right the more I felt I was not like those people. I believe in gay rights, I think that everyone should be allowed to be with who they choose to be with whether they are gay, straight or transgender. Treating everyone as equals regardless of who they are is one of the things I was raised to believe. I know that there are those out there who are going to ask, what about your kids? What are you going to tell them? Well me and my wife talked about this before we had kids. My wife was raised in the Christian faith, her mother is LDS (Mormon) and her father is Presbyterian/Baptist. My upbringing is more complicated. I went to the LDS (Mormon) church as a kid and then once my parents divorced neither of my parents went to church very often. My mom took us to an Assembly of God church a few times but that was it. I was left to choose my faith. My wife and I decided we would let our kids decide for themselves what they believed. We would give them the tools to learn, the Quran, Buddhist teachings, the Holy Bible and any other religious texts they would want.

In my teens I went to a Baptist church a few times, never really knowing where I was in the scheme of things. It was not until my early twenty’s that I started looking at Eastern Religions. Buddhism, Islam (this was before 9/11 and the religion became something it wasn’t) and Hinduism. I read about these, I still have two copies of the Holy Quran in the house. Once I started reading about Siddhartha and Buddhism I knew I was on the right path. I watched “Seven Years in Tibet” and “Kundun” and learned more about the Dalai Lama and the teachings of Buddha. My son has a Buddha in his room, he doesn’t really know who Buddha is only that we have a few of them around the house, and he can recognize Buddha in any movie or text.

Now to the point of this post. Christmas in our house, since our kids were born has been about being with family and cherishing every moment we have together. My son is taught about Hanukkah in school, something that I have no problem with. Judaism is a wonderful religion, it is just something that is not for me. He knows what a Dreidel is and even knows how to play the game. Christmas is about being with loved ones and showing them how much you care about them by giving them presents (when you can afford it). My wife leans more towards a singular consciousness and not the dogma that was given to her as a child. I was never given direction in faith and found my way. Our kids are normal kids, they play at school, have bad days and good. They know right from wrong. If you were to look at them you would never know they have no religious teachings until you ask them. Christmas is not about religion to me.


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