How to Talk to Your Kids About Friends Who Celebrate Different Holidays

by Guest Writer on October 14, 2016

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How to Talk to Your Kids About Friends Who Celebrate Different Holidays

This weekend we are hosting a Christmas party with several friends and are planning on having a multi-cultural celebration of Jesus' birth. Since so many of us come from different ethnic backgrounds, we have Christmas traditions that we'd like to share with each other. A lot of tradition is found around the food we make at the holidays, and so our dinner table will definitely be a plethora of diverse flavors that will take our senses on a mini-trip around the world!

Teaching our kids cultural diversity is important, especially living in the United States, where there are so many different cultures represented all around us! There's no better time to experience this diversity than during our Christmastime. But what about cultures that don't celebrate the same holidays we do? Should we expose our kids to these holidays and the traditions of those who don't share our faith?

For me, the answer is a resounding, "yes". Standing firmly on my faith in Jesus Christ and the absolute truth found in God's Word, I still want my children to grow in understanding, respect and a Jesus-love towards people of the world who may not know Christ, yet. I say "yet" because how can any of us minister to those we don't know, understand or love?

If you're looking for a nice book that briefly explains many of the world's winter celebrations, Lights of Winter, by Heather Conrad, does a good job explaining the many holidays celebrated around the world. She gives a brief history of these celebrations and the cultures of the people celebrating them. This book is not necessarily written from a Christian perspective, but she tackles the cultural diversities with respect, without asserting her own personal perspective.

I'm a Christian, why is learning about these other holidays important? Why should I even care?

I firmly believe that the concept of hate is taught, just as tolerance and respect is taught. Tolerance doesn't mean, "I accept what you do is correct", it means that I approach each person and their traditions as having value. It's a vital thing to teach our children. Man has value not because of WHAT he believes, but because of WHO created him. It's really the first step in emulating Jesus, the Light of the World.

How would you answer your own child, when he/she asks about why people around the world...or around the corner celebrate different holidays?

Lisa Strnad is an independent contractor in Christian media as a writer, marketing consultant, and public relations specialist. She speaks to Christian women's groups on the issues of motherhood, home schooling and raising a child with special needs. Lisa and her family make their home in Nashville.

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