Why do you (or don't you) participate in Christmas?

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  _Robert_ 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #24873

    Unseen
    Participant

    I participate in Christmas as if it’s a secular holiday. I give gifts, accept gifts, participate in family gatherings where grace before dinner or prayers will be said. I stay silent during prayers to respect my believer relatives, never saying “Amen” for grace or prayers.

    Why, because maintaining peace, getting along, is probably the first virtue of family life. A family full of strife is a family which is falling apart, and is a poor place for children to grow up, akin to growing up in a family headed toward divorce. Children can reexamine their religious beliefs later on in life, as I did.

    #24875

    I participate in it with my family and whomever “turns up” on the day. I am fortunate that we are all atheists and the day has no religious significance. It is just another occasion in the year for us to all meet up. Sometimes I go abroad to get a week of sun and extra daylight. A few times I have forgotten that it was Christmas day. Once I was in the grounds of a Mosque in Africa and only realized the date when a Muslim asked me why I was not celebrating it. A Catholic, on overhearing me relate that story, informed me that he found it offensive. I replied, glad to hear it but my next one is about rough sex in church and maybe he would like to stop eavesdropping so as not to get offended? I should have asked him why he was in the bar on Christmas morning!

    I reminded my sister recently that when I get her Xmas card I put it above the fireplace and say out loud (to myself)  OK, that’s the decorating done for another year. She threatened to send me two cards this year just to double my workload!

    If anyone asks me why I don’t participate in “Grace” at mealtimes I reply that I don’t have to ask anyone to make me grateful for the food as I am already grateful for it.

    I do enjoy the few days but only in the sense that it is time off work and soon I will be able to do some shopping without enduring the piped music and frenzied shoppers. For me the words “Happy Christmas” have no religious vibe to them and I see it as an entirely secular event even if I am somewhat cynical of the whole thing as its seems to start as soon as the Halloween masks are packed away.

     

    #24876

    JadeBlackOlive
    Participant

    We decorate, exchange gifts, have turkey dinner, & listen to music while the fire is burning in the fireplace. No prayers, religion, or pettiness involved.

    #24879

    Noel
    Participant

    We participate because its how we grew up.  We don’t celebrate the holiday with prayers or appearances at church. I think we just celebrate the season. We like the Christmas tree, the sappy Christmas music, and the family gatherings. To off set the sappiness of the Christmas music we have taken to listening to jazz Christmas music.  We greet people with merry Christmas or happy Hanukkah and if there was a greeting for all the druids celebrating the solstice we would offer one too.

     

    #24880

    Strega
    Moderator

    We have adult children who have their own children in some cases. In order to avoid clashing invitations with other sides of family, we invented Cranksgiving. We choose a Saturday somewhere between Christmas and Thanksgiving, and combine the traditional turkey dinner with all the gift giving.  This year it’s 15th Dec.  And somehow ‘Cranksgiving’ sums it all up perfectly.

    #24881

    _Robert_
    Participant

    We go all out. Tree, lights, dinners, parties, presents, carols, decorations. All secular, of course. I am a huge fan of the Nutcracker ballet, The night b4 xmas poem, Burton’s nightmare b4 xmas, and my favorite old movie, “A xmas carol” based on Dickens’ book. I like the spooky part of xmas. A scapegoat is born of a virgin (1/2 the DNA, I guess?) to be slaughtered to please some deranged old fart. Sounds like a greatest story ever told. No, I’m not gonna miss out on all the good stuff just because I know it’s fiction.

    #24888

    Davis
    Participant

    I’ve always lived in quite secular countries so the really really religious bit about Christmas has always been background noise. And the secular parts of Christmas (tree, gifts, food etc) dominate the holidays. I’m sure if I was in Folktown, Alabama and an atheist, I’d wear ear plugs and find excuses to avoid family events or else I might go slightly insane. Because life is otherwise very secular in Spain, non-believers (theres a lot of them) can enjoy the religious rituals without it bothering them or their personal world view. Towns and cities often make a nativity scene and I don’t know anyone who complains about it because it is a tradition, and often beautifully made and is a familiar relic of a nice (though false) story. My favourite event at Christmas time is to see Handel’s Messiah. And just about anyone can enjoy it despite it seeping in religious water. I don’t have a problem with religious christmas carols, they were things you heard on the radio as a child, some of them are great sons the family can sing to, and the fact that people are singing it to me, doesn’t threaten me at all. Because when the religious sing their songs in secular places, it is not an attempt to convert you or assert their religion on others etc. It’s just a beautiful expression of their world view (as is the case with Gospel music or those ridiculous Christian rock bands). I think there would be an enormous traditional, historical and cultural loss if there were all swept away to the side. However, having said that, if I lived in Folktown Alabama, I might see the many religious symbols, art, singing, preaching as a little more sinister, threatening, annoying, overbearing and even slowly agonising. So I can understand the revulsion some people have with Christmas, even though I love it and enjoy very much the non-secular side of it.

    #24889

    _Robert_
    Participant

    I object to any pastafarian nativity displays on public property depicting baby FSM, mon. Unless it is fresh and I am hungry.

    #24890

    How about this Robert?

     

    #24891

    _Robert_
    Participant

    The baby FSM seems to be too well guarded to be enjoyed with a fine chianti.

    #24892

    Noel
    Participant

    LOL

    Hanibel Lectur much Robert!

    How progressive that display! The only Caucasian is Mary!

     

    #24893

    Noel
    Participant

    LOL gotta get my eyes checked. The Maggi beards are black and/or brown so I thought all the characters were of African origins. Guess the Joseph character went missing and they replaced him with another Maggi.

    how eclectic. Maybe it’s supposed to be modern art?

    #24894

    Davis
    Participant

    Actually flying spaghetti monsters shrink as they get older. So in fact, that isn’t the baby flying spaghetti monster lying in a cradle next to his parents…because he is really old and when flying spaghetti monsters are born, they immediately eat their parent. So  his parent hasn’t been around for a long time! In fact they are having a goodbye party for him because on the winter solstice we will give birth to a new son, not spaghetti but huge flat tagliatelli. The birth process will pretty much involve the flying spaghetti monster exploding (which he is looking forward with screaming joy). Because one person isn’t enough to satiate the new Flying Tagliatelli monster, a lot of extra people came to be sacrificed for the nourishment of the coming Messiah. Those who allow themselves to be fed to the chosen one, get to have supper at the same table as the big huge chunk of Parmesan in the sky, once a week. It’s a great honour. Hail the coming of the egg-noodle-lord!!!

    #24895

    _Robert_
    Participant

    In the beginning was the Word,
    and the Word was “Arrrgh!”
    —PIRATICUS 13:7

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