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 Strega on November 28, 2012 at 4:43pm

Sure I celebrate Christmas.  My Christmas tree with its pretty lights is exactly like the ones that were in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago.  I think its far more bizarre that Christians celebrate Easter, calling Crucifixion Day "Good Friday", and having some giant Easter bunny hiding chocolate eggs makes perfect sense for a memorial service.   I don't go to work on Sundays either, although I'm not usually knackered from creating a world.

Comment by kris feenstra on November 28, 2012 at 4:58pm

Aside from being an Atheist, I'm a minimalist, partially because I have ecological concerns but also because I feel that 'simple living' is better.

The two things aren't really incompatible. The idea that Christmas has to be some blown out food orgy coupled with a competitive, exorbitant giftstravaganza largely seems to be the product of consumerist mentalities. I mean, if you're not into Christmas, it's not like you're not really missing out on all that much, but I never understood why people buy into the notion that holidays should be so complicated and crazy.

Comment by kris feenstra on November 28, 2012 at 5:00pm

 I don't go to work on Sundays either, although I'm not usually knackered from creating a world.

You should give it a shot some time. I already have more confidence in you than the last guy who tried his hand at it.

Comment by Sagacious Hawk on November 28, 2012 at 5:04pm

Since this is the first Christian holiday I will be spending as openly an atheist, I've realized that I've lost most of the connection to the holiday. I still love Christmas trees, but more for the fact that they represent winter to me than the birth of some nobody who may or may not have been born 2,012 years ago (which they really don't represent at all). I was never big on the giving and receiving of gifts, and rather looked forward to spending time with family especially since I don't get to see them anymore. I really am not seeing it as Christmas time anymore, but as more of a Winter Week. I think we should make a holiday week for every season!

Personally, my best friend's birthday is on the 25th of December and when it comes down to it, that's the birthday that's always mattered most to me on that day.

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on November 28, 2012 at 5:05pm

@Kris

     I do agree - the holiday season need not be a complicated blow-out...but it typically is so I avoid it.

   My grandfather once told me that Christmas dinner was really special in his childhood because it was about the only meal where the entire family could count on eating meat, potato, bread, vegetable and also getting some sort of dessert.  After saying that he reflected that we seemed to have come to a point where we ate Christmas dinner every single day.  I suggested that perhaps a day of fasting during the holidays would make more sense, to remind us just how much we really have.

     What I hate most about the 'holiday season' is the ridiculous traffic that makes life less pleasurable for me, even using public transit.  Then after the holidays I get irritated with all the people who whine that they can't do anything because their cards are all max'ed out.  It really is a Gluttonfest these days.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on November 28, 2012 at 6:00pm

What really bugs me is that xmas starts in the middle of September. I can hardly get through the fruit and veg store to buy some bananas (opposable thumbs rock) without hearing jingles f**king bells even on Halloween night. It is so blatantly commercial that I am amazed that the Theists are not complaining more than us. Then the virtuous talk about making it special for the children. WTF is that. Make them feel special all year long instead rather than making them compete in a festival of commercial greed bribing them to “be good or Santa won’t come”. It gets even worse for those kids that Santa seems to have no time for.

Oh Reg, you are such a killjoy, we do celebrate the real “birthday boy” too you know.

Yeah right, before or after you stuff your faces and get drunk? Did he not consider drunkenness and gluttony and greed to be sinful? I suppose you will all soon be celebrating him dying in a few months’ time so those sins can be forgiven? Any chance I won’t see chocolate eggs in January? Nope, didn’t think so.

Celebrate xmas? C-e-l-e-b-r-a-t-e ? No, sorry I don’t know what ye faithful are talking about.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on November 28, 2012 at 6:04pm

Comment by kris feenstra on November 28, 2012 at 6:08pm

@Heather

On my maternal grandmother's side, they lost everything in the war, including their homeland. We still have the handmade ornaments they crafted out of fairly simple items during that time. Much like your grandfather's recollection, the perks of Christmas represented a welcome exception in the year. I find it strange how things that at one time had some sense of occasion and reward have become harsh obligations for so many.

All the people freaking out on Black Friday and Boxing Day have just become incentive for me to wind down and chill the fuck out for a while. While I don't think it will ever be the way it was when I was a kid, lately I've been enjoying the season more and more. The Christmas extremists are a stark reminder of how I don't want to live. It's a bit like how watching a violent thunderstorm from inside can make you substantially more grateful for having shelter. Then again, I'm situated where I can avoid the mobs almost entirely. 

Comment by Strega on November 28, 2012 at 7:51pm

It's a bit like how watching a violent thunderstorm from inside can make you substantially more grateful for having shelter.

That is so true, Kris - what a nice way to put it.

Comment by RobertPiano on November 28, 2012 at 8:04pm

I must stop this *whole* thing! Why, for fifty-three years I've put up with it now. I must stop Christmas from coming... but how?

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