December #InkRipples Celebration and Gifts

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on December 14, 2015 in Family, Holidays, Ink Ripples, Kai Strand, Mary Waibel |

Before I get to the month’s post, I wanted to share a few things about #InkRipples. Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and I have decided to continue the meme into 2016, and we’d love for you all to join us (I’ll tell you how below)! You may have noticed we have a new streamlined name of #InkRipples (formerly Ripples in the Inkwell) and brand new images to go along with it.

We also have a new set of monthly topics for discussion in 2016:

January – Travel
#InkRipplesFebruary – Chocolate
March – Feminism
April – Poetry
May – Memories
June – Movies
July – Inspiration
August – Guilty Pleasures
September – Banned Books
October – Masks
November – Heritage
December – Cookies

How can you participate? Glad you asked because there are lots of ways. The idea of #InkRipples is to toss a word, idea, image, whatever into the inkwell and see what kind of ripples it makes. We provide the topics and will be blogging about them on the first Monday of the month. You can spread your own ripples by blogging about the topic any day of the month that fits your schedule, just be sure to include links back to the three of us please (Katie – http://www.katielcarroll.com/blog/, Kai – http://kaistrand.blogspot.com/, and Mary – http://waibelworld.blogspot.com/). Or you can simply share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag (#InkRipples). Or even just comment on one of our posts. Tag us and we’re always happy to share your posts and thoughts to keep those ripples going and intersecting.

There is no wrong way to do #InkRipples (with the exception of following basic human decency!). It’s about having a conversation, sharing ideas, and connecting. So if this sounds at all interesting, please do participate in whatever way you can. And feel free to use any of the meme’s images (created by the wonderful Mary Waibel). I’ll include them all at the end of the post.

Now for the last #InkRipples of 2015: Celebration and Gifts

I’m always a little reluctant to admit that I’m not very religious (I guess because I feel like people will judge me for it). My husband and I both come from Catholic families, but we don’t practice it ourselves any longer. We’ve always celebrated Christmas, but it’s more about spending time with our families than a specific religious tradition.

Now that we have kids, I’m struggling to figure out how to make the holiday about more than giving and receiving presents, and Santa. I suppose we could discuss Jesus and how he was an important man and what he stood for (because we do emphasize Christian philosophies with the boys, even if we don’t tie them to religion per se), and that Christmas is his “birthday” and that’s why we celebrate. I’m not sure how meaningful that will be to them, though.

Thinking about this has made me wonder what Christmas means to me. Family, first and foremost. Most things for me come down to family. But what else? Is there more? Should there be more? A spirit of giving perhaps. Something beyond that. A spirit of generosity and goodwill toward others…which is something that we try to instill in our boys all the time, not just at the holidays. So maybe not that in and of itself.

I think I need to ponder it some more for myself before I can guide the boys in the right direction. How can I help them understand what Christmas is about if I’m not sure? Maybe they’ll come to have their own meaning of Christmas as they grow.

Anyway, this is just me thinking out loud. I guess for now I’ll muddle through it as best I can (which seems to be how it is with most of these big parenting type subjects!). What do the holidays mean to you and your families?

(And here are the #InkRipples images you may use!)

#InkRipples smaller image





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  • Mary Waibel says:

    Being together as a family at this time of the year embodies the Christmas spirit, in my opinion. Loving one another, giving of time and self, and creating harmony are all wonderful ways to celebrate the season.

    • It seems that we’re on the same page as far as what the Christmas spirit is about. Thank you for articulating it so well. Reading others’ thoughts help to shed light on mine.

  • Kai Strand says:

    I appreciate that you shared this. Especially when there is so much ugliness over belief. This really underlines how personal religion and belief is and that we need to be open and accepting instead of condemning.

    • Yes, accepting and open about beliefs. I’m all for that, and I wish it wasn’t such a divisive topic. We can debate and believe different things, but that doesn’t mean we can’t respect and love one another.

  • Vijaya says:

    Christmas was a non-event in predominantly Hindu India, so growing up, it’s the religious aspect that was the strongest (I grew up in the Anglican church). Reading the story from Luke, baking special treats to share, no presents — just winter sewing. My husband’s traditions are more like yours, culturally Christian but without the religious aspect. It was always a time for family. We’ve retained both of our traditions but now as converts to Catholicism, Christmas has taken on a richer and deeper dimension. Lots of spiritual preparation for the birth of Christ in our hearts. And boy do we celebrate with food and family and fun!

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