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How do you deal with Christmas?

Serious question, and one I'm sure gets asked every year...how do you guys deal with the social conventions that surround Christmas? 95% of the people, I know, celebrate Christmas and the other 5% celebrate things like Yule; Solstice; Hannukah; etc. What if you just don't care about all of the hype and commotion that leads up to this day? I'd love to hear some of your thoughts and insights on this.

AgnosticJeff 4 Nov 8

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10

Hang Christmas stockings I made for my daughter and her husband. Decorate with dolls made by my great aunts and uncles.

Set up a lighted village on the table. Make cranberry-apple chutney as gifts for friends and family.

Wrap presents, make a nice dinner, and celebrate with my daughter and her husband.

Since age 13, I have been an atheist. I celebrate the Winter Solstice. For me, Christmas is a time for winter cheer with family and friends.

Like the cardinal family pic.

You are amazing.

@BitFlipper

Thank you so much.

My late former partner and I used to celebrate the solstice. Not as elaborately as you but we visited a sweat lodge and brought food for a feast with other participants.

5

the same way i dealt with it before i was an atheist, since i am jewish: i feel isolated, i feel inundated, i feel put-upon, and i hate it. it makes the world assume i am a happy christian and fond of red and green. it makes the world assume that christmas is for everyone, oh it's not a religious holiday, wait, let's put the christ back in christmas -- how does THAT dichotomy work? i want to sleep for a couple months. i want to go out and torment a reindeer. it makes me want to rip apart a vermont teddy bear. it makes me want to shove a tree up someone's ass.

g

This is kind of how I feel...like it's forced on me, whether I want to deal with it or not. There's no real retreat from it, either...it's on the TV, radio, internet, you name it. I'd love to be able to go into "hibernation", starting November 1st and coming out of it around December 27th.

i see lots of folks considering it a time for family to gather. that's legit. it doesn't work for me, though. i'm old, family is far-flung or dead, i'm too poor to go visit anyone, and the day itself is not only meaningless to me but rife with triggers (see above) so... i wish y'all joy of your food and family and i am not being sarcastic, but i won't be doing that.

g

@AgnosticJeff If you find a safe cave, let me know!

g

0

Why do you want to find out how I deal with things in my life? Who sent you? Why? Who you work for? Who are you?

Santa Claus!😘

@Freedompath Like many other Latinos of Old... we Celebrated 3 Kings Day. I for once married a xmas day... so no wonder got divorce around a 4th of July. Never to be married again. But Nosy People are always asking questions... always. Always taking polls.

@GipsyOfNewSpain that’s a fact! Why do we need a report on every moment-to-moment of people’s opinions? We may all be going insane...lol

1

Santa Claus

You kind of look like Santa Claus. Do you ever try on the suit?

@JeremyMinney No but I get some kids looking at this time of the year LOL

@benhmiller As long as you keep the reindeer hair off your clothes, you'll probably get away with hiding in public. !! πŸ˜€

13

I’m a horrible atheist, I flipping love Christmas! I’m putting up my tree this weekend.

Ha! I love it too. I go whole hog, tree, lights everywhere, presents etc.

@GreatNani SAME

4

Enjoy and grateful for the family time. Ignore the reason.

Good answer

@AgnosticJeff truthiness

3

My late wife was the house decorator,after her passing,I had all of the decorations given away,too many memories,before we married,I looked at the Holidays as just another day,nothing special,this Thanksgiving and Christmas will be my 3rd with out her, 27 years(26 good ones).....

I'm extremely sorry to hear that, Mike. Just know that you're a stronger man than I. Although I'm divorced, I don't believe I could handle a situation like that. I wish you the very best.

@AgnosticJeff It was tough,but I was an old bachelor of 43 when I married for the first time,I went into the USAF a year out of High School,during my two enlistments,I was like a roaming Gypsy,maybe at one base for 6 months or less,never long enough to find a good Woman and put down roots.Got out in 1974, found some low paying jobs,dating was difficult on $2.85 an hour for my first job.Not until I got the Aerospace job was I able to do a wife hunt.

I was my late wife's 3rd husband,to those she knew, I was "Third times the charm".27 years flew by (26 good ones) my wife was diagnosed with lung cancer on our 26th wedding anniversary August 23rd 2016,she was gone in 13 months time. I have my memories now......

1

I wish that I could leave the Country at Christmas time! In the past, just before thanksgiving.,.a horrible depression would set in and would last past New Year. At least I haven’t had that in the last few years!
I have learned to take that holiday period with a β€˜grain of salt!’ I might display some tiny reminder of the season and if I am invited to functions with family and friends, I just enjoy myself, without even thinking of why! If I have my family over, I am afraid it want be β€˜tinsel and tree’ ...as I don’t do that! Maybe, I would think twice if I had small children! I have lost most of my guilt over why i am like this about Christmas!

I hate the feeling of raining on other people's parade so to speak. I truly wish I could "fast forward" through all the commotion. Like you, I might display a reminder of the season. This year I've collected some lovely black beach stones and my rosemary is overgrown. The stones will line the bottom of a vase which will hold my (rosemary) greens and maybe some foraged berries for color. My gift list is small, however I still struggle with meaningful gifts. I don't feel guilty, just kinda lonely at heart and disconnected. Small favor: my husband is pretty much of the same mind as me. On a curious note our daughter is not baptized or otherwise connected to formal religion, yet she embraces the holidays full throttle. But by the same token she opens her heart and home to all who may need a place to stay. That warms me. I don't like this expression but "it's all good."

@MissOakley that sounds like a holiday I could be festive in! Happy holidays!

5

I have no taste for the holidays. I would rather not hear carols (just because it's December). The whole thing just reminds me - in very strong terms - that this non-Christian country pretends to be one giant Christian country for a month or so, every year. It's irritating. When my son was little I did the whole presents and tree thing now though, no. It's a massive exercise in consumerism and hypocrisy for the most part. I also just don't care for the music - at all.

"It's a massive exercise in consumerism" Can't agree more, and we are training our younger generations to consume, consume, consume just because a holiday is printed on a calendar. It's amazing how Pavlovian we are.

@linxminx Are you talking about dogs? Cause if you were, I'll come over there and bark all night!

2

Same way I deal with Halloween even though I'm not wiccan. Just enjoy the pageantry and food and stay away from the churches. I give gifts to my family and friends, decorate my household, and have a few Christmas songs I like. It's just a holiday like any other, and each individual is free to choose what meaning they personally attribute to it, or what features they participate in.

Sounds like what my family does.

My late partner's favorite holiday was April 1st. She could play some mean tricks and did one for me. Luckily I am mild mannered.

When we got married our first Christmass had all the usual decorations. She had an artificial tree and her ornaments + mine were set out. I even strung lights (blue and green with the message "Bah Humbug" ). Afterward we thought, "what were we thinking?" Luckily her youngest son wanted all the stuff so we sent it to him and never celebrated the faux holiday again. She was a teacher and got several weeks off so we often went somewhere.

5

I don't like it.
My kids call me a grinch.

I might just start drinking until the season passes. πŸ˜‘

We all get to be Grinchier n Grinchier, as we age!

@davknight I've always been quite grinchy. Age is actually mellowing me out.

πŸ˜…

1

Other than watching old black n white versions of "A Christmas Carol", the original "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas", and "The Charlie Brown Christmas", I don't really pay much attention to it.

I love Christmas cartoons! The Grinch, Charlie Brown, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, all that stuff. It’s probably nostalgia.

@altschmerz Christmas aint Christmas, without getting to hear Alistair Sim, or Sir Reginald Owen, say "Bah! Humbug!".

3

I was raised Jewish, so I'd always feel kind of left out this time of year. Ever since I've learned it's mainly co-opted Solstice rituals, I've felt much better... But still, it's the the energy and the stress I pick up from others that bothers me the most, and that people seem to feel a lot more lonely this time of year.

The problem with a lot of American Christians is that they get told that Jews are evil and they automatically just believe it. They wouldn't just like Jewish people earnestly.

@DZhukovin Yup, experienced some anti-Semitism growing up.

3

My biggest pet peeve on Christmas? The music. It's so repetitive.

It's like listening to pop radio back in the day where they'd play the same hackneyed hits over and over and over. Like in 2001, that radio in the office playing "Your Body Is A Wonderland" every half hour until I wanted to defenestrate the damn thing.

Pleeeease, come up with new Christmas songs!

goddamnit I hate xmas music

You should work at a department store or grocery store during Christmas like I did while in school... πŸ˜¨πŸ˜¨πŸ˜¨πŸ˜°πŸ˜°πŸ˜°πŸ˜¦πŸ˜¦πŸ˜¦πŸ˜΅πŸ˜΅πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ˜«πŸ˜«πŸ˜«πŸ‚πŸ‚πŸ‚πŸ’©πŸ’©

4

We call it the Midwinter Food Festival, some years we don't do much, others we cook for weeks... everything else is by default IF there are very elderly or very young relatives around!

I like that!

8

I enjoy a tree with lights aglow, holiday music, and people acting a little bit nicer . But I also feel loneliness and loss in the holiday season. It’s a challenge and a struggle. I fight to keep the good moments on top and sorrow at bay.

I'm somewhat in a similar situation and I hope we can both find the strength to push through this time of year.

5

to me, "Christmas" is just a convenient holiday to celebrate family and friends and have a good time....

somewhat related, here's my front porch and back patio lights that stay up year round:

5

Personally I spend time to visit with family. Since I've been out as an atheist, it is actually better for me since there are no expectations of religious participation. Since I'm traveling, I also don't buy a tree or put up lights anymore. That shit just seems superfluous.

I'm with you except the lights, can't get enough of colored lights. I am grateful to Xmas mostly for that.

9

I like the lights.

Me too. I look forward to decorating day with the grandsons. Since I'm in a new place it will be fun to do something different. I might even do a lighted FSM. πŸ™‚

10

I celebrate any fun uplifting holiday without counting the religious part of it. 😁

Yes, the only way.

1

I bid to work during the holidays. It gives coworkers with families an opportunity to get that time off. But I hope to be in a non Christian country. Hong Kong is best...all kinds of lights and cheer...but not a holiday so everything is open like any other day. New years is better. I may or may not put up a tree..depends on my schedule.

Oh and Europe is the worst. Everything closed except the schwarma shops. Hotel staff unhappy to have to make you food.

2

I haven't thought of Christmas as a religious holiday for a long time. But it is still a problem for me, It reminds me of my parents, who are gone, of my late wife and my good friends, The incessant calls from signs, stores and television to be happy, happy happy, while buying all sorts of crap I can't afford bothers and depresses me.
And then there are the Christmas Carols.
I am fortunate this year to have somebody to spend it with. This helps a ,lot.

That is about the same as I feel...except being alone doesn’t bother me anymore!

3

Fortunately my people don’t bother too much just have a family dinner and a few gifts for the children.

Now I’m in Australia from the Northen Hemisphere it seems just wrong celebrating in 40C so it doesn’t seem like Christmas anyway!

when we first moved to S Africa we kids were 5 to 9 yrs old, and we HATED 'summer' Christmas - mainly missing our grandparents but we insisted my parents replicate everything British - it was 43 C when we ate a 3 course turkey dinner and the candles melted on the table and bent into a U shape, which made me cry with rage... But I loved SA and I got over it.

1

About the same way Christians celebrate Halloween . Had a Halloween Party awhile back , and my Christian neighbors came as a witch and a vampire , and had a fun time . Yet no one ever asks Christians about celebrating Halloween. Christmas is a family celebration , whether you are a believer or not . It's what we grew up with . Just like Halloween , there are traditions and stories , and no reason we can't have fun , without taking things seriously .

This

3

To me Christmas is a day for family. We treat it as a non-religious holiday. A lot of aspects of Christmas are non-Christian anyway so there you are. I also think the debate on how to greet someone for the holidays is silly. I say just be happy they are greeting you in a friendly way. Making a big deal about them not being "politically correct " is kind of childish. I say greet everyone how you want to and smile when they return in kind or however they greet you. It's supposed to be a time for peace and warmth and families.

Yes, yes and yes!

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