Thursday, August 29, 2013

Starting Holiday Traditions

Tis the season when many retail stores are switching their seasonal sections from Back to School to Halloween!  While on my break, I took some time to check out some of the Halloween cards, directed at kids, and it got my gears a turnin.

I think, when the kids are old enough and if they still make Halloween cards (course I could just make them myself), that I'm going to start the tradition of giving each kid a card with themed stickers inside.  I think it will be nice and fun.  Halloween is my favorite day of the year, and Samhain is my favorite sabbat.  I tend to separate the two, Halloween being more about fun and with friends and the children, Samhain being more about the spiritual side, like honoring our Ancestors and celebrating the Last Harvest. 

We can have Halloween parties, costumes, arts & crafts, and Trick or Treat, but then we can also have simple Samhain rituals like decorating the family altar, changing the seasonal shrine, going to farmer's markets and making a seasonal feast from our bounty to celebrate the harvest, giving offerings to the Spirits, remembering our ancestors and learning about certain ones, visiting and tending to their graves, and a host of other ideas.

So far, Halloween/Samhain is the only sabbat that's concrete in my mind, concerning traditions.  This year, Lycan will be joining us on our annual Apple and Pumpkin Picking trip.  I'm looking forward to it.

Still figuring out the Winter Solstice.  Here are some family traditions I'm going to carry over, as well as new ideas:
  • I like the idea of the kids getting 4 gifts: "Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read" (pinterest find).  Before we were just going to do 1-2 gifts.  
  • Probably no Santa.  I want to tie in my husband's faith, which probably means either Odin or Freya as the gift giver.  I still need to do the research on that one, I've heard either or and I want to be sure.
  • Decorating the tree.  At first, I wasn't going to have a tree, but then I figured that a lit up tree around that time of year is pretty much a universal symbol. 
  • Making Ornaments and other decorations
  • Making edible ornaments for the wildlife.  
  • Baking goodies and treats for us, family get togethers, and as gifts.  I want to instill the art of making/baking gifts, instead of the importance of how much something costs. 

Spring is a time for dyeing eggs and other Easter-like traditions that I did as a kid.  Traditions that I'm carrying other, that have nothing to do with Christianity.  They were just fun, spring themed, kid oriented activities.  Traditions that I'm going to continue, only in the name of Spring!  Except no Easter Bunny. 

I don't celebrate Imbolc and May Day has a slightly different theme for me.  Kid wise, I was thinking of May Day involving the usual Maypoles, but also May Baskets, and hearts.  Like of like Valentine's Day, seeing as many Pagans hold May Day, or Beltane, as the marriage of the Goddess and the God.  Hearts, love potions, butterflies, flowers, ribbons, growth, gardening, etc.  For me, it's more about the official signs of Spring.  Greenery, rain, flowers, baby animals, etc. (Pinterest has to be for some of this inspiration, when I've been making my sabbat boards).  Spring Equinox is the egg, may Day is the chick.  Both are about abundance and fertility in body, mind, and spirit. 

We also don't celebrate Thanksgiving (out of respect for our Cherokee, Choctaw, and Shawnee ancestors), however many traditions from Thanksgiving have also been carried over for the Fall Equinox (Second Harvest):
  • The Thankful Kernel.  It's a corn kernel that's passed around the table.  Each person says what they're thankful for when it's their turn, then they pass it on.  At the end of the meal, the kernel is buried.
  • Turkey dinner.  
  • Snapping the wishbone.
  • The Cornucopia.

Well, that's what I got so far.  Are there any special traditions, new or old, that you've done with your children concerning the holidays/sabbats?


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