Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!
I have been following your blog since your appearance on “The 700 Club” (which was the first time I viewed the show). I love your views and your pictures. Anyway, my question is: I am a Christian who is a bit hesitant to share Easter with the Easter Bunny, the same way I am about sharing Christmas with Santa Claus. I have three children that are still very young, the oldest being 5 years old. I wanted to know your views on the topic and how you reconcile the world’s version of Easter with the real meaning of the season.
Thank you in advance for your response.
note: Because I’m feeling brave (or because I’m a little insane), I’m going to go ahead and tackle this controversial topic. I hope that you, dear readers, take my answer in the way that I intend it, which is as an explanation of what we do, and not a directive about how you should celebrate holidays.
While we do celebrate Christmas and Easter, we’ve never done the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus with our children. This is because we prefer to err very far on the side of caution when it comes to the truth of the things we share with our children. I know not everyone sees this issue the way we do, but we just are not comfortable doing things any other way. This has much less to do with keeping the holidays sacred (Easter and Christmas as holidays weren’t exactly instituted by God himself, after all!), and more with us wanting to make sure our children never doubt the verity of what we say.
So, at Christmas, our kids know that the gifts they receive come from us and other family members, and at Easter, they know that we hide the eggs (we sequester them down in the office, where they wait very impatiently for us to do the hiding!). This hasn’t seemed to dampen their enthusiasm for either of these holidays, and I think our celebrations are full of joy. We do eat Easter bunnies (usually in the form of Peeps!), and we have Santa wrapping paper, so we don’t pretend these holiday icons are non-existent…our children just know they are not real.
Though our kids know why we do what we do, we are trying hard to instill in them a gracious and humble attitude towards families who operate differently than ours, and we teach them not to tell other children that Santa isn’t real.
Regarding the last part of your question, we think that because Easter and Christmas are once a year events, it’s far more important to focus on keeping our lives Christ-centered on a daily basis than it is to focus on ensuring that our holidays have a strong religious emphasis. So, while we do go to church on Good Friday, and we do go to our Christmas Eve service, we place a stronger value on going to church every other Sunday of the year. And while we don’t necessarily read the Christmas story every December, we do read from the Bible each night during our family worship time.
I don’t at all think it’s wrong to come up with ways to incorporate faith into holiday celebrations…it’s just not a large focus of mine, and so I don’t have a lot of creative ideas! You might find Noel Piper’s book about traditions to be helpful, though, as she’s got a lot more to say on the subject than I do. 😉
I read your Q&A on smoothies. My question is what kind of blender do you use? I haven’t had much luck with blenders being able to handle ice or frozen fruit.
I have a fairly basic blender that Cook’s Illustrated recommended. It does chop up frozen fruit just fine (I don’t often use ice in my smoothies), but I can’t really give it a hearty recommendation because the gear on the bottom of the jar is plastic and one prong of it has broken off.
I haven’t decided what blender I’ll buy when the rest of the gears on this one break, so I’m hoping that some of my readers will have a good recommendation for you and for me! I’d like to buy a blender that will last through years of smoothie-making.
I was wondering how you do tithes? Do you tithe on your allowance from husband or only on your earnings?
Because my husband and I are both convicted about tithing, we do tithe on the gross of all of our income. My parents instilled this habit in me early on, so tithing is actually fairly easy for me. I’m sure that if someone looked at our budget over the years, they would have come to the conclusion that we could not afford to give away 10% of our income, but God has been faithful to provide for our needs, and we’ve never gone without, even in very lean times.
I also wanted to add that I don’t have an allowance. Given that I’m better with money than my husband is (he’d say so himself), it would be sort of hilarious if he gave me an allowance! We share most everything here, so all the money that we we earn in this household is our money, regardless of who did the earning (we do each have “fun money”, which is extra money we receive as gifts or earn on the side).
I have wondered, when you say you eat bread for lunch, does your family typically spread something on the bread, like peanut butter, or cheese or do you eat it just as bread?
That depends on who’s eating the bread! We all have different preferences…Zoe loves peanut butter on her bread, Lisey and Sonia are partial to cream cheese and jam, and Joshua loves butter and honey. They all rotate between different options, but no one here is much of a fan of eating sandwich bread plain.
I was wondering if there’s a way to make the monkey bread and pull apart garlic bread with the same recipe. I noticed that they have different recipes for the basic dough, is there a way to make a neutral dough that can be used in both ways?
-Zaheen (she had several questions!)
You could use either dough for either bread, but it probably wouldn’t be ideal. The dough for the monkey bread is sweeter and contains more fat (eggs and butter), which makes the dough softer. This would make your garlic bread a little bit sweet, which might be a little odd.
The sandwich bread dough, which is what I use to make my garlic bread, is not as sweet or soft, which means that your monkey bread wouldn’t be quite as delicious as it would be with the sweet, eggy dough.