I'm struggling a bit with the holiday this year.
We are not religious. I guess I'd say that I believe in some kind of higher power(s), but I wouldn't specifically call myself a Christian, or any other religion. We always celebrated Christmas, but more as a family and gift-giving holiday, and not recognizing any religious meaning.
It bothers me that it has become so commercial. The meaning of the holiday now seems to be a way for the retail industry to separate consumers from their money, or further encourage them to live beyond their means and put it all on credit. I'm tired of the expectation created by society that we need to give gifts to everyone, that it's "sad" if a child doesn't get a whole pile of new toys for Christmas. When I tell her that we're really not into buying presents for each other this year, my mother is constantly insisting that everyone "needs something to open" on Christmas.
I don't want that. I don't want people expecting gifts from me. I don't want people thinking I expect gifts from them. I really don't want my children learning to expect a big pile of presents.
But without either of these now 'traditional' meanings of Christmas - either giving gifts, or a religious signficance - what should Christmas be for our family? What should it mean to me, or what should I teach my children about it?
What do you do?