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I DO celebrate Christmas, but as a celebration of light and family warmth and feeling in Winter. I love the lights and displays, I like doing a tree, shopping for thoughtful gifts for friends and family, and making great food and cookies. My ancestral heritage is Northern European and my ancestors have celebrated at least SOMETHING in the darkest, shortest days of winter for centuries even before the spread of Christianity. I think that people who feel like if there is no Christ in Christmas then there is no Christmas are missing the point that many of us love Christmas for reasons that have nothing to do with the Bible story about it other than that it inspired a lot of very pretty music and songs. As a non-religious person, I am someone who does not believe in God but enjoys celebrating Christmas and giving gifts and making awesome food. There is something about this time of year that makes people like to congregate and share food and light lights. I almost feel like this takes us back to our very primitive roots of using light and cheer to banish the darkness and fear of want. Thoughts?

seaspot_run 7 Dec 9

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Over the years I have had some VERY bad Christmas seasons. I also find the greed and obsession of spending money people can’t afford on things people don’t really need disturbing. My immediate family (mom, my sister and her husband) gets together every year for Christmas for a week or so. We visit remaining family in the area, an ever smaller number. My son and his family live nearby as well (two grandsons), so we generally do the traditional gift exchange with them. The past few years, instead of gifts for the adults, who need nothing, I donate money to various charities that I feel they would value. Buy the grandsons some little gifts but mostly put money into education funds for both of them all year, something that will be of far more value than any toy they will break or discard in a week or two. I don’t decorate, leaving that job to my sister and her husband, who seem to enjoy the activity, once they get here. All I have to do is take it down and store it for next year after they leave!


I can no longer handle the stress of doing all the decorating, baking, shopping, and surprising like I use to do in the old days. My holidays were always celebrated in a secular way, with warmth, good food, family and socializing with neighbors.

Now, I enjoy going to the big city all decorated up, doing traditional holiday things with my grandchildren, and sharing experiences with family members instead of going insane trying find the perfect gift they don't need. I enjoy the secular aspects, but tend to shy away from overly religious gatherings.

I consider myself more "pagan" historically, with roots in northern Europe, and enjoy celebrating the 12 days between the solstice and the calendar new year for my season of renewal. It's nice to incorporate the decorated trees, lights, treats, etc., that were originally pagan celebratory items, having nothing at all to the birth of Jesus.

I have read stories how the Soldiers of Christ came through Northern Europe converting the Pagans into Christians by the sword. (That's why they began bringing their trees indoors, hiding their traditions.)

Anyway, I enjoy celebrating my quiet way and enjoying the more vibrant happenings together as a community.

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