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Do all you atheists and agnostics celebrate christmas?

 
 
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 08:20 am
Just wondering.
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Type: Question • Score: 34 • Views: 8,770 • Replies: 110

 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 08:31 am
@auroreII,
Not at all. I do offer the perfunctory gifts to people who expect them: newspaper delivery, mailman etc. I also give something to my son and dil. That's about it.

I try to avoid all the Christmas stuff that is all over the TV on Christmas day. Actually, usually by the middle of December, I am sick to death of Christmas songs on the radio.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 08:34 am
@auroreII,
Yes. It's one of my favorite times of the year. Call it what you will, there have been solstice celebrations for millenia. Bring on the lights!!!

Oh, and the food, and music, and holiday cheer, and peace on earth and goodwill towards all.

Merry Christmas!
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MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 08:50 am
Sure. It's the secular holiday that honors Santa Claus. And LED lights, the greatest technological advance in Christmas-celebrating in decades.
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 08:59 am
On those Christmas's when I was with my grand-parents, my grandfather and I would walk up on the hill near our farm on xmas eve and cut a tree which we would bring home on my sled. that evening my grand-mother would make a big bowl of popcorn and a bowl of cranberries. My cousin and I would use a needle and thread to sting the popcorn and cranberries while my grandparents would drape a single string of lights and hang the dozen or so glass ornaments on the tree with the "angel" on the top. Then the strings of popcorn and cranberries would go on. Stockings would be hung which would later be filled with fresh oranges, nuts, a lump of coal and a silver dollar which would pretty much amount to our "gifts." On xmas day grandmother would make a nice dinner but nothing at all like thanksgiving. There was never any religious anything. On new years day it would all come down.
when I was at my parents home it was not much different other than having a few wrapped presents under the tree.
throughout my lifetime there as never been any religious thought re xmas.
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 09:22 am
I amend my previous statement. The greatest technological advance in Xmas celebrating is LED lights in conjunction with computer synchronization.

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plainoldme
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 09:47 am
There has always been a celebration of the solstice at this time of year. If you think that Hanukkah isn't a solstice celebration, you're wrong. Whether it was called Saturnalia, Yule or Hanukkah, from the Levant to the northern wilds of Scandinavia, from Ireland to the Caucasus, people celebrated and drove the cold winter away. Why should we be any different just because a renegade Jewish sect broke ranks and later took these midwinter traditions to their own hearts and made them into a celebration of the birth of CHrist?
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MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 09:55 am
This ain't too shabby light-wise either (and we know all those solstice celebrations were about light going on in the midst of the darkness, don't we, pom)


I'm somewhat bemused by their thought that they're "putting the Christ back in Christmas" and they don't seem to have any lights that hint of religion. With all those lights, they're putting the "sol" back in "solstice". And they pick a completely secular song to set it to--they really think Jesus is gonna come back singing The Coca-Cola Holiday ("It's the real thing") Song. Very, very strange.
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 10:23 am
Since we do not get mail delivered on Christmas Day, I thought Christmas is a legal national holiday. That would mean that it is a national holiday, just like July 4th. While people can attach a religious meaning to the holiday, it is I believe, a secular holiday that celebrates the more peaceful inclinations of humanity. The commercialization of Christmas is just that; commercialization that has nothing to do it being a legal national holiday.

If one remembers the movie Driving Miss Daisy, the Jewish family celebrated Christmas, since in their neck of the woods (South) it was just part of the local custom, as it is in most parts, without much religion attached, unless one specifically goes into a church.
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Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 10:28 am
I like the aspect of a mid-winter celebration, or a solstic celebration if one prefers. I don't like the fact that in an allegedly secular society, everything shuts down because the Christians would get their panties in a twist if they couldn't sit around the house gorging on food and watching football for the second time in as many months. Pisses me off when everything shuts down for the vernal equinox, too--otherwise known as "Easter."
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Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 10:39 am
I celebrate Solstice/Festivus. Let the airing of grievances begin!

Cycloptichorn
George
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 10:48 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
I celebrate Solstice/Festivus. Let the airing of grievances begin!
Cycloptichorn

Given that this is A2K, I would say:
let the airing of grievances continue!
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 10:56 am
@auroreII,
auroreII wrote:
Just wondering.

I'm an atheist, and I celebrate Christmas. Why wouldn't I? It's a national holiday in both my new and my old country.

About the theological baggage that comes with Christmas, I have three words: Merry Newton Day!
Owen phil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 11:14 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

auroreII wrote:
Just wondering.

I'm an atheist, and I celebrate Christmas. Why wouldn't I? It's a national holiday in both my new and my old country.

About the theological baggage that comes with Christmas, I have three words: Merry Newton Day!


I prefer, Merry Santa Claus Day.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 11:22 am
We're an omnicelebratory family.

I confused the Trader Joe's guy yesterday by asking for help locating both advent calendars ("Sorry, sold out") and gelt ("Um, right over here.")

In addition to Hanukkah (menorah, dreidel, gelt) and Christmas (lots of fresh greenery including a tree, lights, baking, presents,), we usually do something on the actual solstice.

Christ was shoehorned into the existing solstice holidays. The "true meaning" of Christmas is "holy crap it's cold and dark let's make it brighter and warmer and cheer each other up!"
spidergal
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 12:07 pm
Interesting question - something I've been thinking about of late after going atheist.

I think I will continue to celebrate all festivals - Christmas, Diwali, Holi - that I've celebrated before purely because of the good vibes they bring and the social perks (meeting family and friends) that come with them.

Yes, I was wondering if that would make me feel guilty, but I can't just become some kind of heretic because of my disregard for the god concept or religion.
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PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 12:57 pm
Sure, I'll join in with millions of others to celebrate someone's birthday.
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George
 
  3  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 01:00 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
. . . The "true meaning" of Christmas is "holy crap it's cold and dark
let's make it brighter and warmer and cheer each other up!"

Together with chai2's "It's the Holidays! Have some Herring!", this would
a great Hallmark card.

0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 01:00 pm
@dyslexia,
Quote:
that evening my grand-mother would make a big bowl of popcorn and a bowl of cranberries. My cousin and I would use a needle and thread to sting the popcorn and cranberries

We always did that too. I thought it was so pretty - the red and the white - but my problem was the popcorn always broke if I didn't hit the needle through it just right. Laughing
Despite my ineptness with it, I loved the tradition so much that when I became an adult, I did it with my kids, but they'd always eat the popcorn and we'd end up with extra cranberries - so one year I bought some of those tiny little white plastic balls that look like pearls with a hole drilled through them, and we used those with the cranberries and just ate the popcorn.
To this day - that is my favorite Christmas tree decoration. And you don't even have to do it every year. The cranberries darken and harden and it becomes even more beautiful in its own way.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2010 01:17 pm
@aidan,
Oh yeah - but if you do do it with the popcorn - you can put it outside after Christmas for the birds to eat.
0 Replies
 
 

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