Friday, 12 December 2008

Its That Time Of Year Again.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

For some reason we seem to keep this card from year to year and it always turns up somewhere or other in the Christmas displays of cards.

This little, rather tacky Nativity model was bought recently from a charity shop at a very cheap price.
The reason that I bought it was because I thought that my granddaughters would ask me questions about it and I could then explain who the characters were. I thought it would appeal to small children more than the traditional picture above.
Having been brought up for their first few years in Japan, they are officially Shinto/Buddhist.
This is because they were born over there and they have inherited this religion. It's more of a tradition than a personal belief, though.

It has turned out that there was no need for me to have to explain anything about the little figures, because school is teaching them about Christianity already.

I was really pleased when Amber, the oldest granddaughter, told me that she believed that Jesus had died for her and that he is now in Heaven. She explained everything to me in great detail.
I was amazed because I didn't think that state schools still taught Christianity, as the one they go to is not a Church School. Well, after all it is Christmas, so why shouldn't they be taught what Christianity is about?
Maybe the other religions will get a look in later on........ I don't know, but for now, I am pleased that the school has started the ball rolling.
Millie the youngest granddaughter took one look and said,"Oh no, that is so embarrassing."
As we thought this was a rather unusual thing for a four year old to say, we asked her what she meant.
"There are too many people in the house, there are only mean to be three!" So obviously she also has been taught about the fact that Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus were in the stable.

My Grandsons are already Christian, the oldest by choice and the younger one is thinking about taking a step further. They are familiar with Church and go regularly.
In the end, it has to be a personal decision. It is my belief though, that if children don't know what the faith is about, they can't make a decision and that would be a great pity, I think. 

This post and photography is for Photostory Friday, hosted by Cicely and MamaGeek.


Anonymous said...

I love both photos! Your right, the second one seems perfect for children. It is great that the girls are so far ahead in their knowledge. I agree with you, it is hard to make a choice, if you are not taught the religion. Now that Hannah is attending a Catholic School, it made me realize how much she didn't know, even thou I consider myself Catholic. I enjoy watching her excitement as she learns more and more and grows spiritually.
Such a wonderful post!

Mean Mom said...

That's a lovely card. I can see why it comes out every year. The little nativity scene is just the thing for children.

I was very impressed by the Religious Studies lessons in my sons' senior school. They explored all religions, as far as I could gather. It sounded so interesting. I used to joke with the tutor that I wouldn't have minded sitting in, myself! It's good to be able to make an informed choice and to understand that other people may have different beliefs and why they do so.

Indrani said...

I too have the habit of saving the greeting cards. Unfortunately these days the concept of e-greetings has come up. The personal touch is no longer there. Nice cards and they convey a lesson too.

Thank you Maggie May for leaving a nice comment on my post at David's. :)

Kimber said...

How wonderful the school is teaching them this. My youngest's school also teaches them about christianity and they have a bible club when they get to high school. I'm so happy they still do this.

Mad Asthmatic said...

The nativity scene is lovely, and I am glad to hear that christianity is still being taught in our schools.

Honey Mommy said...

I have a little nativity for my boys to play with. I think it makes Christmas a little more hands on.

Ladybird World Mother said...

I totally agree... unless christianity is taught, along with other religions, how can children make a choice? Sweet pictures!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Both your card and the nativity are lovely. I think the nativity story is perfect for small children to hear and helps them to take an interest in religion. My 4 year old grand-daughter has a couple of advent style nativities and each morning before breakfast she sets a piece in place and is getting to know the story that way as well as being told about it in school.

So many now have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas.

A x

CrazyCath said...

Wow I love your signature!

I agree with you that everyone (including children with the permission of parents) should receive knowledge of different religions and make their own decisions. Naturally if the parents practice a religion, this is what the children are introduced to but as they grow they should be aware of the differing beliefs and why they are different. Schools often miss out the why bit, which is a shame. That imho is needed for anyone to then make a decision.

I'm pleased your grandchildren are getting to know different ways. Great photostory.

imbeingheldhostage said...

yes, brilliant post. I think they should be taught everything possible and make their own decisions, I hate that it's getting politically incorrect to teach anything anymore. My kids learned about Kwanza today (apparently NOT how to spell it, just what it represents).
LOVE that Christmas card too, I think I would've saved it as well.

Dr.John said...

You of course are right in two ways. You don't push and you know you can't decide if you have nothing to decide on.

Irina said...

I didn't teach my daughter about any beliefs because I wanted her to make decisions by herself (to believe or not believe... and if so... in what). I didn’t want to push her. My daughter was too young and I didn't think that she would pay attention to this problem. But I was wrong. Since last Easter she was asking about Christianity all the time. I didn't notice her desire... I thought she wasn't serious. But she repeated her wish again and again, and asked a lot of questions about God and Jesus.

I'm not a strong believer, and my belief is mixed: but I changed my mind and decided not to wait until her maturity and do as she wanted. So at age 6 she was christened into the Orthodox Church (Russians are orthodox). She was so happy and didn't stop asking about God. I wasn't able to explain clearly everything she wanted to know, so I went to the bookstore and bought her the “Children's Story Bible.”

She never tired of listening to those stories; even for me they're aren’t so interesting. If I was a child I'd prefer other stories :))) It's really mysterious

The Dotterel said...

Agree entiirely! You can't be an atheist if you don't know what a theist is.

Rose said...

I agree with you completely, Maggie May. If a child is taught a faith, how can they choose? It's interesting that your grandchildren's school taught the story of the Nativity. In the U.S., it's just the opposite. Most public schools now have "Winter Concerts" instead of "Chrismas Concerts." And occasionally you'll hear of a controversy about public places having Christmas trees. We've been too concerned with political correctness and accepting diversity.

Working mum said...

What a lovely idea, buying the nativity scene to explain it to your granddaughters.

I keep trying to tell Izzy what it is all about; we've just borrowed a lovely Usborne book from the library, but we've reached the bit about Herod killing all the babies, how do you tell that bit to a four year old without giving them nightmares?!

Suburbia said...

Mine have both been to church school and I must say I found the RE just a bit too much for my liking. However it is good that they are taught about all religions throughout their time at school. Tall Girl's RE class also covers philosophy, which I think is a great leveler to religion and I'm glad that she is begining to enjoy and explore the subject.

Oh, just realised I've almost written a post!!! SORRY about that!

Take Care Maggie :)

Chris said...

I completely agree about children and faith. I kind of like the little Nativity.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...


OvaGirl said...

i love that nativity set! I collect baby jesus figures (started in paris where you can buy individual nativity figures from the supermarkets among other places)and I have picked up quite a few inexpensive nativity scenes along the way.

The card is lovely too, i be keeping it and displaying it each yeat too!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I love the cards - yes, give a child a eligious understanding and then the can accept or reject based on knowledge and not ignorance. Happy Christmas Maggie.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Sweet post, Maggie.

Shellie said...

Love the nativities. My kids go to a public school but they are learning about all the major religions. I think it's great. Even if they get Hannukah and harmonica mixed up. They know what Karma is too.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

I agree with you Maggie. Great if they can experience it all. I will be interested as to what questions will be asked when we go to Egypt (for a holiday) next year, possibly....lovely card and nativity scene.

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