I work with some educated people. One of them who was about to get a doctorate degree and was a proclaimed atheist loved to celebrate Christmas. That rubbed against my stand where I always just back away from Christmas. I have always hated what it has become. People wanting money or gift certificates and it is becoming a very mixed up holiday of no Christ just buy stuff or give them money. Is it even Christian anymore?
Anyway I was reading Jared Diamond's The World Until Yesterday. His first chapter was about trade and gift giving and how in ancient times a tribe member (he speaks about many tribes from around the globe) may trade spouses, goats, hand crafts and natural resources. It was a form of communication between peoples and kept them civil. The exchange of gifts was a very important part of their culture. If they didn't like the gift exchange then sometimes a war would be waged. Sometimes a gift would be given and then up to a year later a gift of like value would be expected.
I guess mankind has used gift giving as a way of keeping order in societies. I suppose when you look at it like that, Christmas is not so annoying. It is an awkward time of year for me. I always feel like the gift I give isn't good enough so I avoid it. I am embarrassed when I see other people complaining about gifts they got (form people other than me). What a creepy holiday. It is hard not to be judgmental.
I LOVE Jared Diamond. I didn't realize he had another book out. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Off to Amazon I go...
I love Jared also. I always enjoy his works. He makes the world whole.
Christmas feels like this to me..................
"We gotta move these cars goddammit, sell, sell, We gotta push these color TV's. Order in some Chinese food, It's Christmas Eve goddammit!"
Of course, logistically when millions invade the same places on the same day, stuff happens. Nevertheless, there you have it:
Love Christmas. Love the lights, the store fronts on 5th Ave all lit up. Love Rockefeller Center and the tree, the ice skating rink, walks through Central Park on a snowy winter day. Love the tree!!! Just finished decorating it with lights and these new candle lights, actually LED's made to simulate candles, that are rather creepy cause pine trees and flame, Yikes!!!
Love the music, especially the GRP Christmas Jazz CD's and the classic stuff too. All that sappy crap that Madison Ave heaps on us, love it! Wife loves it and kids do too... Bless our little Atheist hearts!
Germanic pagan tribes started the cutting of the pine tree ritual in celebration of the Winter Solstice. We celebrate the changing of the season; in a more scientific way.
I love christmas!!! LOL!!!
This is hardly a new topic. Sure, we have families who celebrate Christmas. I personally exchange gifts and look forward to family gatherings at Christmastime. It's good for (functional) families to get together.
Even when I was stuck on an Iranian Island for Xmas I had an awesome time. It's a bummer some people have shitty Christmases.
There is absolutely nothing true about Christmas, up to and including Christ being born at the Winter Solstice. Just more of the Pagan rituals re-guised by the Roman parochial authorities to imposed it's peace upon the Empire.
Ah one of those pseudo-Asantaists who is really just mad at Santa.
Is it even Christian anymore?
Was it ever Christian in the first place?
Christmas is the Christian bastardization of traditional winter solstice festivals, such as Yule, Sol Invictus, Saturnilia, and others. The celebrants are acknowledging that the sun stops getting lower in the sky each day and that daylight, warmth and life conquer night, cold and death. To them, the solstice was the birthday of the sun, and the new year that followed. For this reason;
These are the ancient traditions I'm acknowledging at Christmas: the solstice of our star Sol, the pending end of winter, the cycle of renewal in nature, the start of a new year, and my relationships with family and friends. The Christian religion never had anything to do with that, outside of the age-old, tiresome attempts to dishonestly claim exclusive ownership of such things.
I'm an atheist. But I use the name "Christmas" without irony. The name belongs in the same category as "Chick-fil-A Bowl" and "Sports Authority Field at Mile High"; cynical nomenclature which lacks legitimate association with the fame and tradition it seeks to own.