Family is very important to me, so, though I don’t believe in some all-seeing, all-knowing magic being, I still enjoy spending time with family, sharing different food dishes, and exchanging gifts in the case of Christmas. Religious holidays are the perfect time for me to do that as most of my family are religous, to varying degrees, and I have the major holidays off from work. Is it hypocritical for me to celebrate or is it ok to just look at it as a social gathering?
I don't think it is hypocritical. I still put up a tree every year. I even still call it a "Christmas" tree and say, "Merry Christmas" when someone says it to me. The only thing that has changed since becoming a non-believer is that when I decorate, there are no 'religious elements.' I got rid of the crèches and Baby Jesuses and instead have Krampuses and Santa Clauses. I love the holidays. I get to be around my family and friends, eat fabulous food, and buy all my loved ones gifts. It isn't like Xtians have exclusive rights to the holidays. In fact, most of them were hijacked from the pagans. Of course, they don't like to readily admit to that, but that is a story for another day.
Most holidays have pagan origins, and that is what I keep in mind while everyone focuses on the perceived religious aspect. If I’m feeling especially ornery (which is most of the time), I will bring that up when someone goes over the top with the religiosity. We mostly just enjoy the opportunity to be together since those tiles are few and far between.
My perspective is similar to most on here: I celebrate holidays as a time to be with family and friends. Most of our family celebrations don’t involve prayer or anything actually “religious” per say, so that helps.
My birthday falls on a Christmas so, that’s also gives me a bit of perspective (and probably led to my studying religion and deciding they’re all flawed, leading to my atheism).
On the VERY rare occasions where prayer comes into play, I use that moment to be grateful that I actually get along with my family. That gratefulness (for me) is directed at myself to remind me to work at my relationships in my life in order to maintain that peace/happiness.
Long story short: it really doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy it and don’t feel pressure to celebrate as a religious person. It’s an excuse to get together with friends/family just because you can (in my opinion!).
I make it clear that I am not celebrating a religious holiday but a secular one. I send people Yuletide or Midwinter Festival greetings instead of Christmas ones and make a point of telling people that Easter is a pagan fertility festival which is why we have eggs and bunnies. I think it is good to celebrate the passing of the seasons and other events so we need never feel guilty about joining in - we just do it for a different reason.
Is it wrong for christian people to celebrate seclar holidays?
All Christian and other religious holidays, all have much older meanings than the ones a particular "faith" assign to them, and most are just to celebrate the changing of the seasons.
If it makes you feel better just call them the winter, summer, spring and autumn festivals.
I don't think its hypocritical if you know what you are doing and why. I wouldnt hesitate to support any of my family in anything htey wanted to do because Its just a meeting of friendship and we all have so many different ways of showing our love and understanding. i think there is a core set of values within me that I adhere to and as long as I am not required to break them I feel Okay, I don't have to buy into the meanings of what I am doing I am onnly required to be part of hte ritual - Its Ok .
It's fine, tons of religious people celebrate Halloween and JW don't celebrate anything but anniversaries. I enjoy spending time with Family and Friends Regardless of whether it's for some holiday. I just no longer make it a huge deal and take the religious part out of it.
I look upon agnosticism as searching for Truth and wisdom. Recruiting people to understand science and how religion is morally degenerate should always be considered. Agnosticism is not declasse, but religion should be. Look on these get togethers as an opportunity to enlighten or inhibit the willfully ignorant. Know and be able to deliver the best arguments and counter-arguments against Christianity/Judaism (or whatever). Know your audience and gauge whether it is appropriate to discuss the perversity of individual holidays. If people are unreachable and you want to remain 'close', then hold your fire. Otherwise, planting seeds of doubt is Holy/Wholly laudible!
That’s why I’m not an atheist. I get really sick of being told I can’t say things like “bless you” if someone sneezes, or that I’m not allowed to capitalize god if it’s a proper noun, that acknowledging there’s evidence of an historical Jesus is verboten, and this: celebrating holidays is somehow hypocritical. The holidays means what they mean because WE made them up. And they were made up at times of celebration. Christmas, a festival of light in the darkest time of the year. I absolutely celebrate Christmas, and Halloween, July 4, and Veterans and Memorial days... and if I get a day off from work, all the better.