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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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160 comments (26 - 50)

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5

I ignore the religious mythology. I do participate in gift exchanges and enjoy time with the family. If anyone starts a discussion on the mythology side of it, I excuse myself and go to the bathroom.

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!

5

A neighbor has a bonfire on winter solstice for people to burn shit from the previous year and drink his home brew (good stuff). If I manage to see family or some other event for Xmas, then alcohol is involved.

5

I look at it as a family day, like Thanksgiving but with presents instead of food. πŸ™‚ I enjoy Christmas music, even the songs with religious lyrics; I just enjoy the melody and the memories rather than giving any weight to references to "Christ" or "angels"

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.

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

I celebrate Santa Day. A day for sharing with family, good food, some gifts, lots of game playing and having fun with the kids. We don't do anything religious.

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

4

I just ignore the religious aspect of the holiday and focus on the good stuff: food, presents, money, liquor and spiked eggnog, friends & family whether they are religious or not. When I'm forced to deal with the religious aspect of the season, I do say "happy holidays" to everyone whether they like it or not. Most Christians try to forcibly correct me and insist that I say to them Merry Christmas, but I just continue to say Happy Holidays to them and they go away.

4

I partake in the festival of SaturnaliaπŸ˜€

4

The end of December was celebrated long before Chritianity reared its ugly head. It was the winter solstice and the renewal of all things. We in our family celebrate and give gifts at xmas time because "it pleases us".

4

I enjoy christmas. Of course I do not believe in the christ part but I enjoy being with family. I do not lower my head when prayers are said because god I am not going to respect some imaginary being. I usually avoid debate because I want to keep the peace.

Nuke Level 5 Nov 11, 2019
4

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

It is another pagan holiday that people loved and refused to give up so the Christians are still trying to convert it to their holiday.

Try as they may, but they will never get people on board with the idea, because it only holds power over those dumb enough to fall for the political scarecrow that is religion, which is really just a variation on the concept of Boy Scout camp, but for those foolish enough to be politicked.

4

I enjoy Christmas a lot. Grew up celebrating it. Since I'm only one of three atheists in my family, we observe a secular version of the holiday right in the midst of the religion going on all around us. We don't interfere with the religious ritual because we're not assholes.

Deb57 Level 8 Nov 10, 2019
4

I was raised without religion but always celebrated Christmas, it's family time for adults and a magical time for children, a time of tolerance and good will to all. unfortunately greed and commercialism have a different agenda.

ukuwi Level 3 Nov 10, 2019
4

You can celebrate anything you want without any religiosity attached to it. If you get accused for being a non-believer on Christmas, that's tantamount to having someone accuse you for not believing in Harry Potter or magic while you're at Harry Potter World at Universal Studios. You don't have to believe it to enjoy it with your family.

This is why I'm so chill about Christmas. I just don't have the time or reason to be grumpy about it, when I can just totally enjoy the good parts about it anyway.

Also, Harry Potter actually happened. πŸ™„

4

No problem! I wish that more pagan traditions were practiced; ie. spring fertility festivals, bacchanalias, leprachuan steeplechase. Hey, maybe be reciprocal & invite all xmas keepers to a pagan party?
We are creatures of cultural habit & it's not so easy breaking a habit. Party with some like-minded people & celebrate the soltices & equinoxes. As if we need an excuse to party.

4

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving-deals with only food. The rest of the holidays I call HORRORdays because every damn thing is closed and I got things to do! When had kids we had a fake tree-Hannukah bush, gave gifts probably 1 good one per kid and when they understood I lit the menorah but gave that up-too labor intensive. I never connected the dots for them about Christ/Christmas. We had a Hannukah bush!!
Husband and I volunteered on holidays (most of therm) to relieve animal shelter workers. He would clean kennels and feed, I walked the dogs. We did that all the time to give the employees a break for the holiday.

4

solstice party

4

I put up tons of secular decorations,play my "music box" holiday CD's, cook a big dinner, stuff my face.
Give family subscriptions for goats, chickens, whatever from Heifer International, donate to the Food Bank & Heat Bank in town. Tis the season to be giving!

4

When I had Kids I did Yule, so they did not feel disenfranchised from the overarching society. As they grew I utilized the holiday as a teaching tool for world religions, none of which I practiced.

With the nest empty I do nothing, but I do exploit the sales after it for things I or my family might need.

4

Barbecue with family, having fun with drunk uncles cursing on young cousins.
Gifts that spread chaos (noisy things, water guns or those merf guns to carry young members of the family and anonymous naughty stuff for the most religious members)

Have in mind that December in Brazil is summer, Christmas eve can be over 30Β°C.

4

Eat, drink and be merry ....just like everyone else. It’s a holiday, I enjoy it, even the carol singing..especially the carol singing, as I’m a choral singer! We were an atheist household, even in my childhood, and we always celebrated Christmas with present giving and the usual festive cheer, why should we miss out on it?

4

The history of the holiday, which was actually a pagan holiday . . .
.
[historytoday.com]
.
Christmas is used to sell christianity, just like a whole lot more of their paraphernalia - I do not celebrate it, I consider it nothing but one more tool in their long list of tools to gather more sheep.

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