Friendly Witness: The Spiritual Ground of Quaker Social Action4th mo. 19, 2023 from 1pm to 6pm
Quaker Theological Discussion Group 202312th mo. 1, 2023 at 8am to 12th mo. 2, 2023 at 10am
Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
I am aware that there are as many different ways of celebrating Christmas as there are Quakers, lol! However I am wondering how those of you who identify as Christian, and who strive to be simple and plain, celebrate this holiday. Gifts? Decorations? Traditions? Please share your story!
A simple Christmas for us is all year 'round. There is nothing wrong with having greenery with lights in your house, and we trim a tree for different seasons. There is going to be a Christmas room in my new house. I am a doll collector and even though that might be materialistic it goes back to my childhood and the dolls give me comfort. Sometimes a visitor will leave with one when the person, time, and circumstances are right. I have also collected German teddy bears. These are year 'round decorations.
So I would say that traditions, yes we have some of those and yes, we exchange gifts. Nothing is really lavish or pretentious and attending to and differing my displays through the year helps occupy my interest and my mind. I still make time to pray, read, and reflect. One display is a little group of dolls sitting at traditional school desks with lift up lids. I vary the large (all one kind) dolls and change messages on the little chalkboard at the "head of the class" to suit the weather, seasons, and my moods. Each "child" has her little Bible on her desk.
As for decorations, seasonal decorations are few save for my Christmas room. There I go when the mood strikes me and there are dolls there who wait for Santa all year. Sometimes I vary the dolls.
Now when we are in our new home I will be bringing out the two dollhouses I built and putting the German furniture and dolls in those. Add the Madeline dollhouse in that group too, it took me a long time to figure that one out. These dollhouses belonged to my daughter and she doesn't want them now but neither does she want them gone. So we are going to set them up as fun displays.
If you go after buying German dollhouses, don't be surprised when you receive them in flat-packed boxes because that is what happened to me. I had to build the things over months and after all that work there is no way I am getting rid of them. For one thing they will never come apart with countersunk screws and all that wood glue. Tackle something like that once, take over four months to do it right and you might feel exactly the same way. Some of us like to have traditions and make memories by creating things that you share with your child(ren) and then, you like to enjoy having the items BECAUSE of the memories and the joys that sharing brought you. You never know when God will send a little child to share the memories yet again, and ignite that childhood spark we all have but rarely acknowledge. To me, Christmas and sharing don't just belong to Dec. 25.
As a new Conservative Friend, I still celebrate Christmas, just not the way I used to. There is more emphasis on decoration (my grandson loves to help make decorations) and family and friends....particularly those who are alone. The gifts have become very scaled down. We used to run up credit cards with holiday spending. Now we have done away with credit cards, and pay cash for less expensive and more thoughtful gifts. I see no harm in marking the day in this way....and it creates warmth in a cold winter.
Since we moved to a much larger home the Christmas decorations have been put away. I just have a small tree in one doll room and decided to create an Easter tree for the Easter season. A small Easter tree, lol. After Easter the tree décor will be put away, I am just leaving one little Christmas tree in a small corner for the fun of it. It took a move to make me tired of the big Christmas tree all year round.
The Spirit of various Christian Holidays makes sense to me more than the things that attach with them.
I love Easter because of our Risen Christ. The other things, the Spring bunnies, eggs, etc.,, all that is just ordinary, simple fun. I don't attach religious sentiments to that part of it.
How do other Quakers celebrate Easter, or not? I would like to know.
My family used to do that for Valentine's Day. Its a practice we continue to this day. Nice idea of incorporating Christmas into it, for we are older now and so is our daughter.
For Easter this year, I made a little Easter Tree from a small Christmas tree and hung egg ornaments on it along with clip-on butterflies. On the walls beside it I hung some Easter pictures. That and the yard décor which is minimal really help bring Spring to a reality. The 'Easter Bunny' can put everyone's baskets beneath the little tree.