My sister-in-law says I can't say, "Christmas".
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05-11-2014, 11:32 AM
My sister-in-law says I can't say, "Christmas".
I love Christmas in a truly secular way. My love language is gift giving and so I adore Christmas (although it is behind Halloween as my favorite holiday). I recently had a conversation with my sister-in-law that through me for a loop.

She got mad at me for talking about starting to gather gifts for Christmas (yes, I shop very early). She said as an atheist I'm not allowed to say the word Christmas and I should say solstice instead. She also asked why I would even celebrate it. I told her that Christmas has become secularized and that is the way I celebrate it. She then went into a long discussion about how this time should be used to contemplate the sacrifice of Jesus (which I always thought was what Easter was for) and give up things.

Needless to say, I was hurt, but respected her feelings. It's been hard, though, as I am living with her, my brother and nephew. I'm acting as a nanny. I'm still gathering gifts, but am very sad I can't share my joy with her.

I know this may seem silly in this section where others have much more serious issues, but I needed to express how I was feeling. I'm not sure how to deal with this now sensitive topic seeing as I will be spending Christmas with them. Any thoughts on atheism and Christmas?

I am still learning. --Michelangelo, age 87
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05-11-2014, 11:55 AM (This post was last modified: 05-11-2014 12:52 PM by Full Circle.)
RE: My sister-in-law says I can't say, "Christmas".
(05-11-2014 11:32 AM)ComradeBunny Wrote:  I love Christmas in a truly secular way. My love language is gift giving and so I adore Christmas (although it is behind Halloween as my favorite holiday). I recently had a conversation with my sister-in-law that through me for a loop.

She got mad at me for talking about starting to gather gifts for Christmas (yes, I shop very early). She said as an atheist I'm not allowed to say the word Christmas and I should say solstice instead. She also asked why I would even celebrate it. I told her that Christmas has become secularized and that is the way I celebrate it. She then went into a long discussion about how this time should be used to contemplate the sacrifice of Jesus (which I always thought was what Easter was for) and give up things.

Needless to say, I was hurt, but respected her feelings. It's been hard, though, as I am living with her, my brother and nephew. I'm acting as a nanny. I'm still gathering gifts, but am very sad I can't share my joy with her.

I know this may seem silly in this section where others have much more serious issues, but I needed to express how I was feeling. I'm not sure how to deal with this now sensitive topic seeing as I will be spending Christmas with them. Any thoughts on atheism and Christmas?

How determined theists seem to be in being humbugs huh?

Tell her you'll do as you please and to stop being such a Scrooge.

I celebrate St. Patricks and I'm not Irish.
I celebrate Cinco de Mayo and I'm not Mexican.
I observe Veterans Day and I'm not a veteran.
Does she get Martin Luther King day off if she's not black?

Just a few instances where you don't have to be "that" to celebrate.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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05-11-2014, 12:11 PM
RE: My sister-in-law says I can't say, "Christmas".
Very true. I think because it is a religious thing, though, she feels it is somehow owned by Christians. This is weird because she knows the Christians just overtook another groups holiday. You're also right that she is being a humbug to me. It did dampen my spirits a little. However, I do have three Christmas presents wrapped and sitting out in my makeshift office (the formal dining room) so she can see them. Evil_monster

I am still learning. --Michelangelo, age 87
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05-11-2014, 12:31 PM
RE: My sister-in-law says I can't say, "Christmas".
(05-11-2014 12:11 PM)ComradeBunny Wrote:  Very true. I think because it is a religious thing, though, she feels it is somehow owned by Christians. This is weird because she knows the Christians just overtook another groups holiday. You're also right that she is being a humbug to me. It did dampen my spirits a little. However, I do have three Christmas presents wrapped and sitting out in my makeshift office (the formal dining room) so she can see them. Evil_monster

This is one of those rare instances that the reply "bite me" applies Big Grin

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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05-11-2014, 12:32 PM
RE: My sister-in-law says I can't say, "Christmas".
Make up your own holiday. Call it Gifts Because I Love You day. Celebrate it on the 26th! Big Grin

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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05-11-2014, 12:44 PM
RE: My sister-in-law says I can't say, "Christmas".
When I revealed to my mother that I was an atheist and then proceeded to discuss god with her, she said, "You don't have the right to talk about god." I laughed and carefully explained to her that free speech takes precedence over religion, and I would like for her to show me anywhere where it says nonbelievers can't say their made-up deity's name. So comical. Your sister-in-law is just scared and ignorant. I think Full Circle's advice is best. You don't need to believe in ghosts/witches to celebrate Halloween, plus the fact that Christmas is just stolen from Saturnalia clinches it for me to tell her to suck it. :-)

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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05-11-2014, 12:58 PM
RE: My sister-in-law says I can't say, "Christmas".
You say you're acting as their nanny.
Start de-converting her kids, she'll love that! Tongue
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05-11-2014, 01:02 PM
RE: My sister-in-law says I can't say, "Christmas".
Then tell them their version of Easter can't have an egg laying rabbit. That was what the evil pagans used to symbolize fertility after the harsh winter, the original meaning of the holiday, back when Jesus was still a little sperm swimming around in God's testicles.

'Murican Canadian
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05-11-2014, 01:05 PM
RE: My sister-in-law says I can't say, "Christmas".
(05-11-2014 12:58 PM)pablo Wrote:  You say you're acting as their nanny.
Start de-converting her kids, she'll love that! Tongue

That is so Pabloesque! A perfect surprise Xmas gift!

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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05-11-2014, 01:17 PM
RE: My sister-in-law says I can't say, "Christmas".
I think you're on the right track pointing out that everything awesome about Christmas is secular. Exchanging gifts, going to parties, taking time off work, getting together with family...

If Christmas actually was all about the birth of Christ, the holiday would be just as lame as Ash Wednesday.

"I feel as though the camera is almost a kind of voyeur in Mr. Beans life, and you just watch this bizarre man going about his life in the way that he wants to."

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