Reason to Celebrate Christmas as an Atheist?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
09-12-2013, 01:32 PM
Reason to Celebrate Christmas as an Atheist?
This upcoming Christmas will be my first as an identified atheist (if you don't know my story, I was a devout Christian from the ages of 12-21 and questioning/agnostic from 22-24--I'm 25 now).
One of my girlfriends (who is agnostic) was just telling me yesterday about how her mom was talking about how they should be going to church because "why do we celebrate Christmas if we're not focused on the reason for Christmas?" (Her mom was raised in church but doesn't go anymore for whatever reason).
The details of that little story are pretty irrelevant. I only bring it up to preface my question as that conversation got me thinking...
If you were to choose to defend, as an atheist, your choice to celebrate Christmas to Christians, how would you do it?
I know that one theory about the origins of the Christmas DATE is that it was borrowed from pagan celebrations. (The Romans had their mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December; barbarian peoples of northern and western Europe kept holidays at similar times, etc. I've heard it argued, therefore, that Christians deliberately chose the Dec. 25th date to encourage the spread of Christmas and Christianity throughout the Roman world: If Christmas looked like a pagan holiday, more pagans would be open to both the holiday and the God whose birth it celebrated.) I'm not really so interested in this particular argument... I'm more interested in the reason for celebrating when even the NAME Christmas represents/reflects Christianity.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes QueenTit's post
09-12-2013, 01:41 PM
RE: Reason to Celebrate Christmas as an Atheist?
(09-12-2013 01:32 PM)QueenTit Wrote:  If you were to choose to defend, as an atheist, your choice to celebrate Christmas to Christians, how would you do it?

I was raised Lutheran, and didn't stop believing until about three years ago.

Before that point, my family celebrated Christmas, both as a small group and later with the extended family. We never went to Christmas Eve services, and while we may mention Christ's birth, we never really dwelled on it during or around Christmas. So, even when I firmly identified as Christian, Christmas was never really a religious thing for me.

For me, Christmas is more about spending time with family, and part of that involves giving and receiving gifts. In my family, it's also about eating excessively, which basically makes it Thanksgiving + presents. I could decorate the crap out of my house with any typical decoration (barring nativities, angels, and stars) and you wouldn't even notice a thing. I could sing carols, all ones you'd recognize, until I got sick of it and never sing a religious one.

There are plenty of secular reasons to celebrate Christmas. If Christians are mad that they don't have a monopoly on the holiday, they shouldn't have tried to co-opt a pagan holiday in the first place. It worked a bit too well. Everyone remembers all the pagan stuff.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like RobbyPants's post
09-12-2013, 01:44 PM
RE: Reason to Celebrate Christmas as an Atheist?
For me, it's about family more than anything. There is very little in modern Christmas celebrations that resembles the religious meaning anyway so I don't feel at conflict by celebrating it. It's an excuse to set aside time to focus on family - something that is needed is the often too-busy world.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Impulse's post
09-12-2013, 02:01 PM
RE: Reason to Celebrate Christmas as an Atheist?
I wish there were more holidays and occasions out there that would emphasize an encourage a "spirit" of community and altruism.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Taqiyya Mockingbird's post
09-12-2013, 02:02 PM
RE: Reason to Celebrate Christmas as an Atheist?
Christmas bonus

Bury me with my guns on, so when I reach the other side - I can show him what it feels like to die.
Bury me with my guns on, so when I'm cast out of the sky, I can shoot the devil right between the eyes.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Question's post
09-12-2013, 02:09 PM
RE: Reason to Celebrate Christmas as an Atheist?
Here's my take, and I wrote about this very subject in my blog just a little while ago: I'm not going to lie and say I don't enjoy Christmas. I'm very much like the OP where I was raised Christian but wasn't very religious and only after I did some critical thinking did I realize I was an atheist. But Christmas is important to my family and does no harm to me, so why not be able to celebrate your time with them? It's my first secular Christmas as well, and if people question me I'll be sure to let them know Christians don't own Christmas, only after Romans converted to Christianity were their winter celebrations changed to be called Christmas. If you live in an area of the world where the weather is cold then there's nothing wrong with getting together to celebrate the end of the long nights and mostly cold weather. Tradition doesn't have to mean church and lies, it can mean family and appreciation.

Check out my atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
----
Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
09-12-2013, 02:16 PM
RE: Reason to Celebrate Christmas as an Atheist?
Everything that makes Christmas special is secular. Taking time off work, getting together with friends and family, exchanging gifts, going to parties, etc. If Christmas really was all about the birth of Christ, the holiday would be just as lame as Passover or Ash Wednesday. (I believe I'm paraphrasing Matt Dilluhunty there).

And like RobbyPants, even my Christian family doesn't focus on Christ. When they say "it's time to have Christmas," they mean it's time to open the presents - not go to church.

"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."

-Rowan Atkinson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Can_of_Beans's post
09-12-2013, 02:21 PM
RE: Reason to Celebrate Christmas as an Atheist?
I didn't celebrate Christmas when I was a Christian and I don't celebrate it now.

[Image: 7oDSbD4.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
09-12-2013, 02:38 PM
RE: Reason to Celebrate Christmas as an Atheist?
Im a lifelong atheist and a lifelong Christmas celebrator.

Christmas trees, gifts, family, friends, decorations, "holiday cheer", breaks from work/school, snowmen, sledding, togetherness, feasts.

What is Christian about any of those things? Christmas is a cultural festival. Enjoy Christmas! It is a wonderful time Big Grin

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Adrianime's post
09-12-2013, 02:43 PM
RE: Reason to Celebrate Christmas as an Atheist?
Cos its fun...

I'm into a bit of a paganism bag right now... Not the religious stuff, but there's something very appealing about dancing bollock naked around Stonehenge at the solstice...

[img]

via GIPHY

[/img]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Sam's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: