I just had a guy ask if atheists celebrate xmas on twitter.. I replied that I do indeed celebrate the holidays in the context of having the opportunity to have time off work, spend time with family, give/receive gifts, eat and drink loads and generally have a nice time.. he was pretty annoyed by my response and stated that this was hypocrisy.. he also had an issue with the fact I would receive gifts from friends/family as this time of year was to celebrate Jesus birthday only.... for me to inform him I would be partaking in the holiday season, yet stating in no way religious, I was dismissed as having double standards.

Do you celebrate xmas, this holiday period? what are your thoughts? Is it hypocritical to receive gifts and partake in family dinners? Personally I take full advantage of a lovely time of year.. CHRIST does not come into it!

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Comment by Rocky Oliver (LotusGeek) on November 29, 2012 at 3:51pm

@Cody - the start of your post ("...the one day a year they go to church...") reminded me of a great term for those types of churchgoers. I actually learned this from my UU minister (yes, I'm an out-of-the-closet atheist who is also a Unitarian Universalist). He called those type of congregants "CEO members", with CEO standing for Christmas (and) Easter Only.

As for me and my family, we definitely celebrate the Winter Holidays (and yes, we often refer to it as "Christmas", since it is such a part of our lexicon). We all tend to say "Happy Holidays" to others rather than Merry Xmas, and the cards we send out all say something to the affect of Happy Holidays - no religious connotation whatsoever. My kids were raised to understand the respective histories of the holidays around this time of year (all of the big ones, not just Xmas) - the ones we've mainly covered are Xmas (both protestant and Catholic versions), Hannukah, and Kwanzaa. It was much easier for us to cover these because of our UU fellowship - we cover these during RE (Religious Education, or what is commonly referred to as "Sunday School"). They are taught the history, customs, meanings, etc. of the holidays.

Overall, we mainly focus on the fact that we "celebrate" this time of year to give to others ("charity"), reconnect with loved ones, and spend quality time with those we love. They fully understand that, outside of the name, there's really nothing particularly "religious" about Xmas at all unless you make the effort to infuse it into your celebrations.


Comment by Umbra on November 29, 2012 at 4:19pm

Christmas is at its root a set time where people share with each other. Symbolism is very important to us all and we like to and need to be reminded of things past. For Christians it is the birth of Jesus, for pagans it was winter solstice. Btw. we have the pagans to thank for the pine tree tradition.

So, even atheists celebrate and because everyone is celebrating around the same time we may as well join in. Any excuse to party, dude. Albeit that you will not see a crib under my tree.

Comment by emma bailie on November 29, 2012 at 4:57pm

The CHRISTIANS do not own...... IRELAND! They do try however but atheism is on the rise and slowly but surely, we will beat their outdated values and thinking as people are starting to wake up and realise there's more to life than pie in the sky!

Comment by emma bailie on November 29, 2012 at 5:02pm

Here here @Kris however values?? Like being a decent person? Morals? I learnt all of those from my mother, not from some dissected and ongoing badly interpreted fable.. Xtians tend to think that they received these morals from their badly interpreted teachings from godly people.. they are blind! Deaf! and dare I say stupid!

Comment by matt.clerke on November 29, 2012 at 5:08pm

I still maintain late december is a celebration of the solstice. Christmas is so commercialised it is really just a secular holiday in the west anyway.

Comment by James Cox on November 30, 2012 at 5:41am

On our family Thanksgiving, this last Sunday, our son, with a free coupon, gave us an xmas tree!

My wife and I live on 30 acres of meadow and timber, that the family has placed under a conservation easement/protected habitat.

For us, generally, putting a dead tree in our living room, to 'celebrate' life seems to be very odd, and in conflict with the family's long term values. We would never dream of cutting down a tree from the property, just to mount it in the house like a dead deer trophy, then injury to insult put lights and decorations on it. It helps to have a few memorial trees on the property for dead family and friends, to keep somethings in perspective, some of which are +30 ft tall.

I know our son was just being nice, but the poor tree still sits on our front porch, in the rain and cold, having been cut off at the roots, with hardly much future except to be reduced to fire wood in a few weeks. I looked around and found that we don't have a tree stand, but a few lights.

Today my wife asked about the tree. I quess I'll make a stand, mount it in the living room like 'normal' folks, and introduce our puppies and cats to it, while reading the riot act! I know our youngest puppy 'Cricket' will add 'tree' to her list of prime chewing targets, along with lights, tinzel, and electrical cord. I do hope another memorial tree is not in the offing.....;p( 

Comment by Tiffany Willoughby on November 30, 2012 at 10:09am

haha i read your comment about the pissmas party john. id join you! 

i dont even celebrate christmas anymore really.

Comment by Profound_Raincloud on December 2, 2012 at 1:44am

My favorite reasoning for celebrating Christmas!


Comment by James Cox on December 2, 2012 at 2:22am

I mentioned some of this history during my stint with the Unitarians. They rounded told me to be quiet! 

Oh well!

Comment by emma bailie on December 2, 2012 at 8:58am

That video is amazing, thanks so much for sharing. I'm very excited now to share on FB and Twitter to all my non christian friends and to educate my christian friends! Awesome.. :)


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