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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 (101 - 125)

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2

Since nearly everyone in my life finds it significant, I have little choice but to grin & bear it. Really the toughest part is the music. All else is cake by comparison.

2

I spend my time with my close friends... It's a fun time of year...

2

I would ignore the religious side of it, and use these sayings "Tis the season for reason", merry winter solstice, reasons greetings, happy winter solstice, and spend alot of money if I had alot.and stuff some stockings with atheist books and videos.

2

I wish people a Merry Yule or Solstice, depending on my mood. I decorate my apartment with mini Yule trees and drink eggnog. I buy one gift for the gift exchange at work. I really like a very calm, peaceful holiday.

It all originated as celebrations of the return of the sun in the northern hemisphere anyway.

2

I love Christmas! I just leave all the religious stuff out. I have a real tree, a grinch doll for my angel, no creche just a Norman Rockwell light up town. I love the movies, the cartoons just about everything.

2

I celebrate it. the decor and spirit of it don't bother me. i mainly enjoy it for the christmas dinners and the cooler weather. honestly, we'd be celebrating something else in the winter if it wasn't already christmas. i think people need something to look forward to at the end of the year.

Totally , winter would suck without solstice, Xmas or similar. I’d never thought of that.

2

I tend to agree along the lines of most here that I personally quietly enjoy the time with friends and family, eating drinking and being merry. Sure.

But all the social conventions and crazed hub-bub around it - that is taxing. I don't do cards (and expect none), but have lost an acquaintance over it. She felt snubbed when she didn't receive a card from me, though we saw each other regularly throughout the year. Differing priorities, I suppose.

Maniacal shopping, competing schedules and events, feeling gross the next day after too much eggnog, the lights, the sights, the noise. I really don't have the patience for all that.

And being in NYC, the tourists. Floods of them, like army ants, getting in the way while the rest of us try to get somewhere...

So, I deal with the conventions as best I can and feel relieved right after New Years.

Climbing into the tree and knocking ornaments off it is a load of fun, though.

2

I say happy holidays (work retail so I have been dealing with christmas since freaking September). I use to go somewhere (travel) but my dad is getting older so I cook for him & friends (that is my gift).

2

Avoidance.. Now that I’m no longer responsible for raising children, or participating in such stuff with in-laws, it’s become ‘me time.’ No seasonal cards, decorations or party attendance … but a strategic focus on natural occurrences in natural settings ..and getting myself into some of that.

My now young adults will check in on the Winter Solstice (the reason for the season), as that’s what we’d focus on back in the day, but society appears oblivious.. It’s nothing more than ‘so many shopping days,’ to most. And though I’ve attended events on the Solstice, most settings and participants are drenched in C-mess regalia with conversations centered around ‘where are you going for C-mess?’

Back home, it’s prettymuch radio-silence to avoid the hype. But, I’ve gotten good! Yup, Nature pulls me through! Family knows to leave me alone. I’ll get gardens tilled, oil changed, trees pruned, leaves raked, taxes started, letters written, music blasted, beer drunk, ice cream disappeared, movies watched, streets walked and people avoided 🙂

...then it happens.. Happy New Year - and back to fuckin normal! I’m thrilled, everyone’s depressed, the days are ‘getting longer’ and Spring’s on it’s way … another trip around the Sun 😉

Varn Level 8 Nov 9, 2019
2

I don't do xmas at all! Its another day for me and my family is good with it! I will go to a social event with my friends, But I rather work on that day!

2

I don't care about Christmas any more. When I get an invitation to have a meal with friends, I go but I don't care any longer. Last year I worked and I'm scheduled to work this year.

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.

2

My daughter and her kids live a couple of hundred miles away. I send her money in early December for their Christmas. Then I try and get through it. When my kids were little and living here, I went all out. Since my son's death in '01, my heart went out on the whole thing.

2

I wake up, get out of bed, drag a comb across my head. That being said I attempt to take a photograph of the solstice sunset over Lake Erie some years that works and sometimes it doesn't, we still put up lights we still put up a tree it brightens up the house, is there any Christian stuff there? no, I think not, we eat we party we have fun. And then on New year's I change all the batteries in the smoke alarms and remotes that way they're ready for another year of excitement. Everyday is what you decide to make of it. PARTY ON GARTH. 🌞

2

Personally, I enjoy xmas... it’s never been a religious celebration to/for me. I have great memories from my childhood... my children, family, friends... of course I hear the baby Jesus stories... yeah, yeah, yeah, I just smile, say cheers, have another cocktail. I still decorate a tree (fake) and all the other junk, good excuse for a gathering of friends, less decoration in recent years... thinking about it, I do much the same every day, just don’t do all the silly decorations.

Tomas Level 7 Nov 9, 2019
2

I handle it with food and presents!

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!

2

We celebrate a typical holiday and we have a blast!

2

I am singing along wherever. Great fun.

Jacar Level 8 Nov 8, 2019
2

I don't celebrate holidays typically because I have no one to celebrate with, my family is dead so rip that. But I have some older friends to hang out with. No one my own age. They do their own thing with their friends and family, etc. It's only been lately that I've been able to do something for some of the holidays. 😛

2

Do you mean that Christmas holiday with decorated evergreens, Santa Claus, snowmen, Rudolph, candy canes, and exchanging gifts? That time of year was celebrated long before it was assigned as a religious holiday. If the term 'Christmas' is bothersome, call it the Yuletide holiday or anytbing you prefer. No need to miss out on the festivities because Christians claim it as thrir own. It doesn't belong to them exclusively.

2

It's a great excuse to have a holiday. We celebrate Merry Xmas, where the X stands for whatever you want to celebrate. What we really like is celebrating the winter solstice. Actually, I'm a kinda heathen anyway.

2

It's just a time for family, and fun and food and good times, stop over thinking it, I for one have never felt forced to acknowledge jesus on Christmas and to anyone that trys to call me a hypocrite I just tell them its a pagan celebration first and a commercial enterprise at that and it pretty much shuts them up.

1

I am from a ski resort/tourism community. And other than the early years of our daughter's childhood, I chose to work every Christmas. Just another day for me, for the most part. But the kids ... People were so grateful I was willing to take their shift so they could be with family and it was no skin off our noses!

1

Social conversations?

With ease, I suppose. Around here, most people tend to either love or dread the season, so I more or less fit in lol. I've made peace with it, and made it into something of my own, you could say.

Back when I was a closeted atheist teenager, this wasn't my favorite time of year. Taking part in the celebrations always brought about a feeling of guilt. As though I was lying to my family. Thus, the return to normality of January couldn't come soon enough.

When I entered the workforce, I began to be highly amused that the thoughtless rhetoric was “Happy Holidays!” or “Merry Christmas!” when happy seemed one of the last emotions one would find with holiday preppers. As though all civility went out the window with the ensuing deadline.
Then there are the annoying “Keep the CHRIST in CHRISTmas!” folks, with their badges and memes. At war with the all-encompassing holiday greeting that is “Happy Holidays!”.

You will typically find that neither of these groups has an issue with filling up a cart and running up a credit card balance with overpriced trinkets, either. Buying tons of crap for friends and family that will likely end up either shelved or landfilled in 4 or 5 months. An orgy of resource consumption on an unbelievable scale when we come closer and closer to the wall.
The jingle from the (I believe) 2010 family guy Christmas dual-episode comes to mind. Christmas is killing us.

In coming to terms with all of this nonsense, I've retained some of what the religiosity may well have intentioned without the whole capitalistic orgy part.

If I have the cash to spare, I donate to charity. Not gonna lie, I keep the recites for tax time lol. But it still beats the alternative.

When it comes to hearing holiday pablum everywhere I shop, yeah . . . That can go away. I doubt anyone would miss it. Then again, the unchanging rotation of retail pablum can go away, period. It's not often you will hear someone say they hate Phil Collins or Bryan Adams, but . . . I HATE THEM!
Did I mention that I work retail?

I get that there is an air of nostalgia with this time of year. Everyone (well, so I thought. This thread is pretty grim lol) has their childhood view of what Christmas is. For me, it's hearing the Bony M Christmas album.
I listen to it at some point. Even the religious-oriented stuff, since it's all part of the feeling. No, I don't take it seriously. But neither do most people. So who gives a shit.
I also realized that a few of my favourite Dream Theater songs also have a theistic arc to them. It doesn't stop them from being enjoyable as the piece of art that it is.

Suppose the TL/DR of this would be, make it your own. It happens once a year, and we all have to deal with it. So may as well make of it whatever we want it to be whether it's a time to be around relatives or a time to throw a party and get drunk with everyone else not at the family dinner.

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