Dear Theists *an open christmas letter*
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25-12-2012, 09:08 AM
Dear Theists *an open christmas letter*
Dear Theists,

I know you think that Christmas is the time your saviour was born. You probably read stories on why this is highly unlikely. Probably, but less likely, you even read about Christian history, and learnt how exactly Christmas, as the holiday it is nowadays, came to be.
So I will not go into that in this letter. Do not worry, I am not going to give you a lesson on your own religion. You will either be offended and or get apologetic about it. As I am not heartless enough to get you completely out of the christmas mood, I will not point out all the lies that you were taught in your christian belief system.

But as I have been recently asked, by one of you kind, what I am celebrating right now, I will tell you.

I celebrate several things at this time. Some are things that occur in nature, some are tradition.
For nature. The 21st of December is commonly accepted as Midwinter. The days become longer and the nights become short now. That means, we are entering the warmer period, the period in the year where we have more daylight. Soon we will be able to plant things, doing the garden, and enjoy time outside the house. Soon we will see the first early flowers.
Right now we are just happy that we do have food and a warm place to stay. We are happy about that especially because not so long ago it was very difficult to feed yourself through winter and we are so fortunate nowadays that we can. We are so fortunate that our houses don't let the cold in so easily, and that we have heaters. It is so much less dangerous nowadays to keep your house warm, because you do not have to make a fire which could burn our houses down.

We also have a contemplative and reflective time right now.
As the days get longer we observe how the circle of the year is always similar. How the cold and the warm days are changing in a specific rythm. We think about the food we have in our cellars. A lot of them have been grown and prepared through the warm times of the years. Through the times when plants where able to grow and bloom. Now we can eat from them, we stay alive because 9 out of 12 months the earth is carrying fruit for us.
We also think back to the times of when people had no electricity. How life seemed dead, days seemed short, and the house seemed so much colder than normal. As a sign for that we can light a red candle, the color stands for life, the flame for the light and the heat that we have and can enjoy.
When we become reflective these days, we think of the past year. What did the year teach us, what experiences did we make. How do we want to make the next year better for ourselves, our families and our friends. Did we hurt someone by mistake, and how are we going to make things better with that person?
This time is also a time of new beginning. When the holidays are over we can, once again, start making changes. Maybe we want to find another job or learn something new. Maybe we want to travel, plan a family or come to terms with people. We make our goals for the next year and we plan on how to reach those goals. Because now are the days where we actually have the time for that.

Traditionally we like to decorate our houses, we like to see friends and family. We like to eat well and exchange thoughtful gifts. We like to tell each other stories of past christmasses, about funny occurances, we like to watch a movie together or play cards. We like to give our pets special treats. We generally want to have a harmonic and nice time now, just like you, dear Theist. We cook together, and laugh, and drink, and eat, and talk.

When we decorate, we do it in a way we like it! If we like kitch, we just put a lot of glitter on our trees and we put lights on the house. If we like it more traditional, we will have a few ornaments on the tree and a plate with cookies and fruits on the table.

Did you know, dear Theist, that all the Christmas symbols have those very nice meanings? It is so wonderful. The fir tree, always green, we put it in our houses as a sign of nature that still lives, even now, as it is cold and dark outside. We decorate it with lights (to light up the dark and short days), we put baubles on the branches to show the way nature repeats it's processes through the years just like in circular motion. We sometimes but nuts and apples on the tree to show that we can feed ourselfes through these times. We keep the tree colorful in a place of the house where everyone can see it. Just to lighten up the day, to have something special at this time of the year. We like to sit close to the tree and just spend a nice quiet evening there.
Did you know that the habit of not doing laundry the 12 days after christmas has it's roots many years ago. When we did not have warm houses or driers. People thought that if you hang your laundry during those very cold days, someone will die in that family. And that was likely back then, you did not wash because stuff didn't dry properly as you had to hang it outside, and if you had to wash it was most likely bed sheets for someone who got sick. When the doctor could not reach you through the snow it was likely that you died from that. Although we can plow and dry nowadays, some people still keep this habit. But this is just a fun fact.

The main reason why we give presents at christmas time is actually the story of the wise men that came to bring Jesus gifts when he was born. So yes, the habit actually has a christian base but it became a tradition that many people don't know the root of. And even though, it is a very nice thing to think about another person and exchange a nice gift. Although we can do it all over the year, and many people do, the tradition is so people do it especially on christmas. Why wouldn't we join in. Isn't it a wonderful experience to see the childrens faces glowing when they are unpacking their presents, wonderin what is in the box and cheering because they got what they wanted to get.

Speaking of children. Christmas is so much fun for them. We can bake together, decorate cookies, build gingerbread houses, and go to town to see all the lights that are everywhere. We can tell fun stories about santa clause or saint Niclas. They are allowed to have more sweets than normally and noone is gonna teach them about bad teeth and big bellies.

You see, dear theist, we atheists have enough reasons to celebrate this time of the year. We have just as much fun with it, connect just as much emotion with it.
What we do differently is, don't include magic, the supernatural, and a boring few hours in church.
We are having a good time, just like you. And just like you we want this good time in peace and harmony and without being told that our way of celebrating is not valid.

Have nice holidays and please overeat, this is the only time in the year where you will not have a bad conscience about it Wink


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25-12-2012, 06:59 PM
RE: Dear Theists *an open christmas letter*
You need to work on tenses; you keep switching between "your" and "our" mid-sentence. As a grammar nazi, I am highly offended.


E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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25-12-2012, 07:28 PM (This post was last modified: 25-12-2012 07:43 PM by sandman.)
RE: Dear Theists *an open christmas letter*
You are describing persons - not tenses. I'm even more offended.
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25-12-2012, 10:34 PM
RE: Dear Theists *an open christmas letter*
(25-12-2012 06:59 PM)Phaedrus Wrote:  You need to work on tenses; you keep switching between "your" and "our" mid-sentence. As a grammar nazi, I am highly offended.

We shall have to send her to the Punctuation Camps.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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26-12-2012, 01:52 AM
RE: Dear Theists *an open christmas letter*
Interesting letter.

I've been an atheist for 45 years now, ever since I was born, and I love celebrating Christmas even though Christ has zero meaning for me.

But I've never put that much thought into it. I surely don't celebrate the winter solstice. Yes, I am aware the dates almost correlate, but I could hardly care less about solstices; they mean no more to me than Jesus, other than the fact that solstices are actually real and observable.

I like hanging out with family and friends, I like giving and getting presents, I like decorating with lights and trees and Frosty and Santa, and I generally like the happy spirit of the holiday - everyone's in good cheer it seems. Yeah, I know that many people aren't, but I guess I just don't have many such acquaintances, or they hide it well, so it seems like everyone's in good cheer to me.

Basically, it's just fun. Like Halloween, the holiday means nothing to me in any real sense but it's fun to do.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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26-12-2012, 02:20 AM
RE: Dear Theists *an open christmas letter*
Sorry, I saw the length of the post and clicked right back out. Except for this, that is.
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26-12-2012, 04:50 AM
RE: Dear Theists *an open christmas letter*
@ all grammar nazis: I may make mistakes and not see them as I am no native speaker. (I actually proofread that thing twice before posting)

@ Aseptic Skeptic: It is basically a collection of fews and opinions. I myself don't even really celebrate it. btw for the midwinter and christmas being so close to each other, there is a simple explanation. When Christianity was pushed on the "pagans" they were celebrating mid winter. To make the switch to Christianity easier and therefore more successful they simply moved it a few days and changed the name and meaning. The symbols, as we see, are still the same. (Btw they did that with many other celebrations. e.g. easter)

@ Egor: It's a letter. Did you expect it to be 2 sentences long?

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26-12-2012, 07:40 AM
RE: Dear Theists *an open christmas letter*
Hey! Aussies and Kiwis and Morondog,

Happy Summer Solstice.

For me, the days and nights never change. 7am, 7pm... boring.

Thanks for the letter, Leela. I enjoyed it.

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26-12-2012, 07:54 AM
RE: Dear Theists *an open christmas letter*
Jeez! And I thought I was a grammar nazi or something. Relax, guys. Or try writing an equally long and coherent post in German. Tongue

(26-12-2012 07:40 AM)DLJ Wrote:  For me, the days and nights never change. 7am, 7pm... boring.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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26-12-2012, 08:07 AM
RE: Dear Theists *an open christmas letter*
You're late.
Solstice passed.
I ate
Some duck

Hehehehe... Big Grin

Seasonal Felicitations.
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