Last night, I was reviewing a book that upon first glance looked like it might be a great addition to our list of recommendations. It comes from a series, ‘Little Homesteader’ which has a book for each season. As I was going through the book for winter, ‘A Winter Treasury’, I had made it all the way to the end, but the last two-page spread (you can expand the picture below) made me feel a little uneasy…so I did a little digging.
While the majority of the book is filled with fun holiday crafts and recipes, facts about animals and plants, and ideas for embracing the colder weather, the last two pages brought up the celebration of the Winter Solstice. Sounds innocent enough, right? But growing up Christian, I was never really taught about the Winter Solstice outside of it being the day with the least sunlight. My lack of knowledge left me wondering about its significance. Turns out, the reason it was skipped in my upbringing was for a good reason.
As Christian parents, it is our responsibility to be vigilant and discerning about the content our children are exposed to. Some books, under the guise of innocence, subtly aim to influence our children towards ideas and beliefs that may be contrary to our faith. After I did some research, I learned more about the celebration of the winter solstice, a seemingly benign topic that, on closer examination, reveals connections to pagan practices such as Wicca.
The winter solstice, the longest night of the year, is a natural event that occurs annually. It marks the turning point when the days begin to grow longer, ultimately leading to the rebirth of light and life in the spring. In itself, the solstice is a fascinating and beautiful aspect of our world's natural rhythm. However, when presented to our children through literature as an event to celebrate, it may subtly introduce them to beliefs and practices that do not align with our Christian faith.
Books that celebrate the winter solstice may seem harmless at first glance, but upon closer inspection, they often incorporate elements from Wiccan and pagan traditions. Wicca is a modern pagan, witchcraft religion that has been on the rise, with its adherents celebrating the winter solstice as one of its MAJOR holidays. While we respect the diversity of beliefs in our society, it is crucial for us as Christians to be mindful of the potential influence these ideas may have on our children's faith and values.
The danger of these subtly influential books lies in the way they normalize and romanticize practices that are contrary to Christian beliefs. Through beautifully illustrated stories (or in the case of the Little Homemaker - Winter Treasury book, a craft idea to celebrate this day), children may be introduced to rituals, symbols, and beliefs that may lead them down a path of curiosity and exploration, ultimately diverting them from the Christian truth.
As parents and guardians, we must not only read the books our children are exposed to but also engage in conversations with them about the content. Encourage your children to ask questions and express their thoughts and feelings. In these dialogues, we can help them discern the subtle influences these books may have on their hearts and minds.
We must be vigilant in our role as protectors of our children's hearts and minds. While it is important to encourage a love of reading and exploration, it is equally vital to discern the subtle influences that some books may carry. Select literature that aligns with your Christian values. Seek out books that promote love, kindness, and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Choose stories that reinforce moral principles and inspire faith.
At Pure Pages Library, we are working hard to promote books that align with the teachings of the Bible. We hope to become your go-to resource for discovering high-quality books that align with your values, and connect with a community of parents who share your commitment to providing wholesome reading material for kids.
Have you had an experience like this? Do you think this is a reach or over-reaction? Maybe you have mixed feelings? We'd love to know what you think!
**SIDE NOTE** If the book had only mentioned the winter solstice as being the day with the least amount of sunlight and encouraged a scientific observation, I would have been totally fine with that. But when it was encouraging children to celebrate this day, I begin to feel uncomfortable. I realize my radar is on HIGH for things like this!