Or do I need to let go of these cherished traditions.
"When I was a child, I spoke and reasoned like a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things." (1 Corinthians 13:11)
"So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer too. For if you are willing to suffer for Christ, you have decided to stop sinning. And you won't spend the rest of your life chasing after evil desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy - their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.
"Of course, your former friends are very surprised when you no longer join them in the wicked things they do, and they say evil things about you...
"The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay." (1 Peter 4: 1-9)
Of course I've been praying about it, and as much as it pains me, I'm leaning towards giving up the traditions. Preparing for all these holidays adds a lot of extra stress, so when I'm wondering what I should give up, isn't this kind of an obvious solution? When in doubt, give it up. And I have a very ambitious spring planned already, and spring is always hard with my husband busy planting crops. I need to prepare taxes (on time this year!), prepare Acorn's school room & lesson plans, and prepare Sunday school lessons every week until mid-May. Last year I resolved that this year I would start my parent-child class, and I need to work on my assignments for my Montessori certification. I was even considering pushing this class off again, but considering Peter's next words, I think this would be a more worthy use of my time...
"God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God's generosity can flow through you...Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies..." (1 Peter 4:10-11)
I also wanted to host a neighborhood party to meet our "new" neighbors, as well as a get-together for the "crunchy" families in our area. So there are plenty of opportunities for gathering and fellowship without clingy to old pagan traditions. Still, I feel guilty some times when I consider not doing for my children the fun things that my mother did for me. But a friend recently said she never felt resentful when her family didn't celebrate these holidays when she was growing up and her peers were celebrating. But again, some of these traditions provide fun opportunities to teach my kids about the Bible, like in our Lent and Easter plan. There are still more traditions that will be harder to give up, and I'm not yet sure all of them should be given up. I'm not sure if I need more guidance or more resolve. Probably both.