I'm just curious, as an theist parent, do you celebrate Christmas? And, if so, what do you tell your kids about Christmas?

 

I've always told my kids (in short summary) the religious tradition of Christmas, but that we celebrate it because of tradition, not religion.

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Christmas for my kids was rejected (the story) on their own as I did when I was young, realizing the discrepancies, malignant ways and so on.

So we have an understanding that Christmas time is a good time to underline friendship, love ad so on... but as Atheists we do this all year round already... LOL We are so happy we whish many other understand this point, especially the ones living in fear, in question and so on...life is nice!

Actually Rod, Christmas Caroling is a modification of the Saternalian custom of getting drunk and going door to door, naked, serenading the occupants. I think we need to reprise that custom --

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

Goodness!  That wouldn't last long here!

"Hark the herald angel sings....Screw this!  It's too damn cold.  I'm going in before my nipples get frostbite."

Can't let Jack Frost nip the nips --

 We did the Christmas thing when my girls were small; Santa & like that without any religious connotations.  When they grew out of it, we kinda started "celebrating" Yuletide (without buying into their god & goddesses).  And being the shortest day of the year, I can dig it! 

Now, that they're adults, it's a couple of presents, feasting, having friends over & enjoying the little fire pit. 

Since Christmas is a federal holiday, and since there is a separation of church and state, then we are left with a holiday taken from one religion who took a lot of their ideas from other religions and mythologies (then conveniently forgot about it), so I look at Christmas as a celebration of borrowing ideas to get what you want. As a federal holiday I'd assume "what we want" is more capitalism; the proof to that is black Friday and the shopping season that leads up to Christmas.

That's how I rationalize it and take comfort on my day off.

Krismas is a secular holiday that celebrates the myth of Kris Kringle, commonly known as Santa Claus. It happens on December 25th of each year, and is also closely associated with Krismas Eve, which occurs December 24th… Krismas is about giving gifts, especially those “from the heart”; it is about the magic of childhood; it is about peace on earth; and it is about goodwill towards humankind, and anything else you wish it to mean that does not involve the Jesus as a savior bit.

 

I saw this on Dale McGowan's blog (Parenting Beyond Belief) and I loved it.  This is what I will tell my kids (when I have them)

I like this idea quite a bit; as a Catholic, I also celebrate the Jesus bit, but I enjoy the various pagan traditions and general holiday spirit just as much, if not more, than the religious aspect.

Although I must admit, Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is one of my favorite traditions.
I'm not a parent, but I was recently told by a Jewish friend that Christmas is her favorite holiday, so I think it's more of a tradition and/or cultural thing for many non-Christian families. Even if you don't celebrate Christmas at all, you can always take advantage of the days off school/work and do something fun.

Like Dawkins, I regard myself as a cultural Anglican :-)
I tell the kids that "some people believe ... but we just like to celebrate as a tradition", as you do

I don't have kids but when/if I have them I will let them know right away what Christmas is "supposed" to mean to Christians and how is more of a Giftmas capitalistic thing. Not meaning that they won't get gifts but they should know that is not some magical fat guy from the North, but mommy with her hard earned money buying them what they want within the possibilities. I also intend them to attend to the regular Christmas dinner thing with family, and before or after celebrate FESTIVUS! So they have a grasp of what's real emotions vs pretended "we all love each other, even if this is the only time of the year when we all get together" crap.

At your convenience, please make yourself available for the having of my children.

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