To what extent do we get offended by secular holiday stuff?
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22-11-2015, 01:24 AM
To what extent do we get offended by secular holiday stuff?
I don't want this topic to be too heavy, but I'd love to hear what you all think.

Each year during the Thanksgiving break (er..."Fall break"), we put up a Christmas tree (er..."Holiday tree") in the student center at my school. There is nothing religious up at all. It's just a huge fake tree with glass ornaments and stuff.

I was speaking to some other people on campus. They both said that there should be no holiday decorations at all in the student center, unless we want to decorate and celebrate for every holiday of every religion. They kept going back to the fact that these decorations were for Christmas.

Thing is, my family was not religious at all, and we still had these decorations in our house. They were just a fun way to celebrate the season. Once we realized there was no Santa, Christmas didn't mean much to anyone anymore - just the day mom makes the driest turkey you'll ever eat, and we have to pretend to enjoy it (and then sneak off to Burger King once she is asleep!)

The thing with the decorations...I get it. I really understand how some people could find a fake tree religious, and could be offended. However, we also did lots of decorations for Halloween, which has religious roots. We also do a HUGE thing for Dia de los Muertos, which is basically a very Mexican way of celebrating a traditional Catholic feast day.

The people who are up in arms about this are religious, themselves. I want to make that distinction.

I worry about how loud these two are about the decorations this year. We'll be putting them up this week. I don't want the wider campus to get the idea that people on the liberal side of things (and atheists, because Christmas trees melt our skin) are trying to ruin everyone's fun.

I may also just be seeing things differently - a large part of my extended family were from the USSR, where seasonal trees were put up as part of celebrating the new year.

I just don't get it. Do you find this offensive? Should they be taken down? We are a public university, after all.
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22-11-2015, 02:26 AM
RE: To what extent do we get offended by secular holiday stuff?
(22-11-2015 01:24 AM)FreeThinker1994 Wrote:  ...
the day mom makes the driest turkey you'll ever eat, and we have to pretend to enjoy it (and then sneak off to Burger King once she is asleep!) Laughat
...
(and atheists, because Christmas trees melt our skin) Laughat
...

Laughat

It never occurred to me before ... pine tree sap always made my skin burn. I'd have to dress up like a beekeeper to set one up in the house.

Now I know why. Thank you.

Big Grin

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22-11-2015, 03:59 AM
RE: To what extent do we get offended by secular holiday stuff?
I don't have decorations. No reason to. My friend keeps his 12 inch tall christmas tree up all year on the corner of some desk taking up our second living room lol.

Plus, no family and for the last 5 years I have bought all my friends gifts for their birthdays and christmas and never once recieved anything from them.....planning on not getting anyone anything this year because fuck em. I mean, I went out of my way the last two years to get both my roomates something really great and a week ago, I discovered after walking into my roommates room that my gift from last year has collected a bunch of dust, sitting in the corner of his room burried under crap never have been opened before.

Never got a thank you or anything so fuck em.


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22-11-2015, 05:02 AM
RE: To what extent do we get offended by secular holiday stuff?
Personally, I'd think those people on your campus were just assholes. Just because someone sees religious symbolism in something doesn't mean everyone else should see the same and not enjoy themselves, especially when it's not harming anyone. I enjoy the holidays because during the season my entire family gathers together and we have loads of fun, that doesn't mean I need to believe in jeebus or santa to enjoy some quality time with my loved ones.

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22-11-2015, 05:31 AM
RE: To what extent do we get offended by secular holiday stuff?
I have no problem with holiday trees, or Christmas trees, or festive decorations in general. I'd rather see an abundance, with nods to other winter holiday traditions, than none at all. Go ahead and decorate, and if people want to put stuff up that reflects other traditions, add that, as well--that would be my preference.

I'm not surprised that the opposition was from religious people. One angry reaction from some Christians as their privilege has been challenged has been to take their ball and go home. Maybe in the hopes that once there are no more visible Christmas trees, the secular US will beg Christians to come back and control everything? So some Christians are starting to say that celebrating Christmas is just for Christians, and any nonbeliever who puts up a tree or gives presents or says Merry Christmas is actually showing disrespect to Christianity and thus persecuting Christians. So they'll (choked sob) keep their Christmases private, but no heathen better be singing a holiday song.

Then there's the other kind of Christian who insists that everyone say Merry Christmas all the time. Can be hard for a sane person to try to negotiate the season.
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22-11-2015, 05:58 AM
RE: To what extent do we get offended by secular holiday stuff?
Quote:Thing is, my family was not religious at all, and we still had these decorations in our house.


Same here. It's never been a problem. We enjoy the season as well. Usually we go to a movie and have Chinese dinner.

It helps, in our case anyway, to have a lot of secular friends.

DJ

Live Better...Help Often....Wonder More
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22-11-2015, 06:32 AM
RE: To what extent do we get offended by secular holiday stuff?
We put one up every year and call it a Christmas tree. Can't see any reason not to, it's just a name. I could claim that it's to celebrate the winter solstice or Saturnalia or any number of pre-Christian/pagan festivals but truth is that it's just nice to do.

I have no objections at all to trees and decorations being put up anywhere but then I wasn't brought up to think they were for some supernatural godboy, just that they are what it says on the box. Decorations to make it look pretty.

What do you mean Life is short. It's the longest thing you're going to do.
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22-11-2015, 06:41 AM
RE: To what extent do we get offended by secular holiday stuff?
(22-11-2015 01:24 AM)FreeThinker1994 Wrote:  I was speaking to some other people on campus. They both said that there should be no holiday decorations at all in the student center, unless we want to decorate and celebrate for every holiday of every religion. They kept going back to the fact that these decorations were for Christmas.

Two people may not be a big enough sample but fuck 'em anyway. If you want a decorated tree go for it. They may associate it now with Christmas and Christians but that is their problem; it's a symbol of whatever you want it to be a symbol of.

Put up your tree and hang star of david and crescent moon ornaments on it along with whatever other religious and pagan symbols you can find. Watch their heads explode. It will be fun.

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22-11-2015, 07:25 AM
RE: To what extent do we get offended by secular holiday stuff?
I've got some surplus aluminum tubing - so I may put up a Festivus pole.. Smile

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22-11-2015, 08:48 AM
RE: To what extent do we get offended by secular holiday stuff?
I put up a tree every year. I like decorating it and I think it's pretty to sit by the fire and see the tree sparkling with all the lights. That's really the extent of my holiday decorating.

Imo, religious symbols don't belong in public places. That said, a decorated tree is just a decorated tree. If it had crosses all over it, that would be different.
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