BOULDER CITY, Nev. — Every Dec. 1, Amanda Burnett gathers her two kids in the kitchen and gives what they dub the "Jesus quiz."
"It's our little penance for skipping church all but twice a year," Amanda says. But the quiz has another purpose: to prepare them for scrutiny during holiday church visits.
"Nursery workers can sniff out un-churched kids in a second," says husband Jim. "We need just enough depth to last an hour."
"I told them not to mention the TV shows we normally watch," adds Amanda.
The Burnett family and thousands of other Christmas-and-Easter — or C&E — Christians are gearing up for "the Season" which runs from roughly Thanksgiving to Easter. C&E Christians relish church holiday services, or feel duty bound to attend, but refuse to show up the rest of the year. But as churches grow more aggressive about courting new members, C&E Christians are devising more complex strategies for navigating their church visits.
In Ohio, Hattie Gibson, 54, is defiant about only attending church twice-yearly and doesn't care who knows.
"I'm a C&E Christian and I'm proud of it," she says. "Churches have been giving me the full-court press for years, but I just ignore their silly mailings."
She enjoys the warm community feeling at holiday services, but "won't sit for weekly indoctrination," she says. "If I hung around church, I'd just get into arguments."....
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