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Paradigm Lost

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The Sin of Christmas

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I remember being about two years old (I have a long memory) and watching my dad plug in Christmas lights. That was probably the last year our family celebrated Christmas. 

Both my parents grew up celebrating holidays like most of middle-class America, but as they began their slide into fundie-dom they started reading tracts and booklets about the evils of holidays. They believed that Christmas, Easter, and Halloween were evil throwbacks to paganism that had been perpetuated by the Catholics (who, of course, weren't "real Christians"). I'm linking here to something similar to the many booklets we had around the house: http://blowthetrumpet.org/AChristmasDefenseHowGodsPeopleJustifySin.htm

This refusal to celebrate holidays set my family apart, even from the fundamentalist Christians we associated with, and definitely caused a lot of confusion when people casually asked us kids what we were doing for Christmas, and we told them we didn't "do Christmas." We got asked a lot if we were Jehovah's Witnesses, since that's who usually comes to mind as not celebrating holidays. Sometimes people asked if my parents were Christian, because the idea of a Christian not celebrating Christmas was so astonishing. 

Birthdays were only grudgingly allowed: we normally had just a family gathering, similar to the Maxwells' descriptions of their birthday celebration. It was often pointed out that the only birthdays mentioned in the Bible were the birthdays of evil men (Pharaoh and Herod). Also it was seen as being likely to draw to much attention to one person and make them self-centered. 

This story has a bit of a happy ending, at least for me. After I left home, I embraced holidays with a vengeance. Christmas was amazing, my children got Easter baskets from my in-laws, Halloween was a pure delight of dressing my kids and taking them trick-or-treating. Now that I've left Christianity, I still look forward to the holidays. Christmas/Yule/Winter Solstice--whatever it's called, it's a time of joy and giving and yummy food. Halloween--it's a joy to watch my children enjoy what I didn't, with no fear of "Satan" to hinder their steps. The cycle of the seasons is cause for celebration, even if "Easter" isn't really a thing for me. And I want my children to feel special on their birthdays: to know that they're important and valued.

This rejection of holidays stemmed from anti-Catholic and anti-Pagan attitudes. It was promoted as being "God's way," but all the tracts reviled Catholics and Pagans, making it obvious that the real problem was with other people's belief systems. Of course, we were the ones with the "right" understanding of the Bible. As with everything else. 

Nowadays, my parents still don't celebrate religious holidays, except for having or attending a Thanksgiving meal (apparently there's some justification in the Bible for "a day of thanks," don't ask me). They are free to do whatever they want on the holidays; meanwhile, at my house, there will likely be a delicious dinner cooking and a living room full of loved ones. 

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  • Posts

    • wendy-sparkles

      Posted (edited)

      7 hours ago, SolomonFundy said:

      Most large families split into informal social groups based on birth order, gender, or both. These can be highly transitory during childhood and adolescence, but tend to formalize towards adulthood. Adeline is the 6th child, right at the center of the brood. I think she always considered herself to be one of the "grown" children, and when her elder siblings began to marry, she developed fast friendships with their wives. It makes a lot of sense that she'd see these women as her friends, and perhaps feel a closer connection to their children. especially since she helped raise them. 

      I think she just doesn't have the sense of seeing the wives of her younger brothers as contemporaries. They are all women whom she knew as very small children, and she's been transparent about how she continues to see the Campana sisters in particular as the little girls that they were for so many years. However, newlywed Addie at 29 is now far closer to the life experience of Campbell (aged 23, married two years with no kids) than she is to Rachel (aged 31, married for 13 years with 7 living children). Perhaps things would have shifted if she'd remained on the Morton compound, but by moving off-site, she's unlikely to change her sense of allegiance to that older generation of SIL's. The only thing that I could see changing this is if she and Michael move back in with her family, or if she and Campbell get pregnant at the same time. That kind of unique shared experience would certainly encourage a closer relationship. 

      I think you're probably right, but on the other hand, I'm late 20's like Addie, and also behind my friends on a bunch of measures, and I'd still rather hang out with them than someone six years younger who's in a similar place ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ and  now Addie's married - there's no pang of envy. The younger Morton SIL's seem very different from Addie, and I think between them is technically the line that separates Millennials and Gen Z - however much that applies to fundies. 

      Edited by wendy-sparkles
    • SassyPants


      1 hour ago, becky_m2001 said:

      Dear God, I can't handle the thought of them having that show for another NINE YEARS! #KillMeNow

      JoshGate was FIVE years...time keeps ticking. Josie is almost 11!

    • JermajestyDuggar


      I believe there was one picture of the single Maxwells visiting the the Bontragers. And then the single Maxwells went to family camp as well. But those were the only two clues about Chelsy and John. Which weren’t even great clues because they never showed Chelsy and John near each other. The Bowers and Bontragers posted group pictures of Josh, Cass, Lina, and Carson all together. But others were around. They were just small hints because the Bowers and Bontrager families seemed to hang out a lot at that time and we didn’t know their parents were fervently praying for them to get together. We heard zip about Mitchell and Bryn. We hadn’t even heard of Bryn until the engagement announcement. The Bontragers who were the quietest about relationships were Mitch and Allison. Those two seem to come out of nowhere.

    • wendy-sparkles


      I'm surprised it took them that long to have an outbreak. I can't believe they were just doing.... nothing at all to prevent it. I understand that going to church, especially how long this has been going on and likely will continue in the us etc. might be a necessary risk for your mental and spiritual health,  but just, nothing, really? no mask? you'd think even the most egotistical of pastors would be worried about how swathes of their congregation being sick or dying might effect the tithes 🙄

      • I Agree 2
    • HermioneSparrow


      4 hours ago, muggleborn said:

      She is so nasty and smug 

      I agree she is just so nasty and smug. Sierra at least comes off goofy and maybe kind.

      Say what you want about Sierra but she seems very warm and loving towards her children. Kristen doesn't have the same nature, she seems incredibly cold and tough.

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