Do you pressure people who don't celebrate Christmas to do so?

By Leca
@lecanis (16739)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
December 8, 2007 6:49pm CST
Another lovely thought from my coworkers. :P Today at work there was a discussion about Christmas lights and other such decorations. One of the girls was complaining that her neighbors were all Grinches because they didn't have any lights up. Of course, she happens to live in a neighborhood that is almost solely home to foreign students who came here to study... so most of them probably don't celebrate Christmas because it's not part of their religion and the secular version isn't celebrated where they are from. So calling them Grinches just seemed rude to me, and she even said she was considering complaining to them about it, until I pointed out WHY they probably hadn't done so. She said she had forgotten that not everyone celebrates Christmas! I also always feel pressured to participate in Christmas-related activities even though I don't technically celebrate it. In my case it's not such a huge deal because many of the Christmas traditions are actually from older pagan celebrations... so most of them I can do while still considering it part of my Winter Solstice celebration. However, I still sometimes think it's rude for people to pressure others so much to participate in what is still essentially a religious holiday. Do you pressure people who don't celebrate Christmas to do so? Or, if you don't celebrate it, do you feel pressured to do so?
17 people like this
42 responses
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
9 Dec 07
Good post, Lecanis. How did you come up with that name? I love astronomy and Lecanis sounds like a constellation. Perhaps it is named after some beautiful Goddess of the heavens. Anyway, I am with you on this one. I don't care so much about the holidays because I have no one special to spend them with. Sure, I have family and grandkids, but that is not the same. I don't mind if someone doesn't get involved with holidays or if someone likes going all out. I really think it is an individual choice and one should not be judged according to their level of participation. Anymore, Christmas is nothing more than spending weeks trapped in the local mall spending gobbs of money you don't have just because all the commercials are begging you to spend like a mad fool. You know, it is your choice to do what pleases you, not what others expect you to do to please them. Your joy is yours to create by doing the things you love to do. Don't let anyone ever take that away from you.
3 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
9 Dec 07
*smiles* Actually my name is part of the name of a spirit that a relative of mine had connections with, and passed on to me as a protector by nicknaming me after her. The lioness spirit Lecanis Nih is playful, stubborn, curious, and loving... and so to be named after her was a compliment to me. :P Thanks for sharing your ideas and thoughts with me! You have a good point about the problems with Christmas... and I love those last couple of lines. As usual, you make me smile... and think! :)
3 people like this
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
9 Dec 07
That is very interesting. Thanks for sharing that info about your name.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Dec 07
Great post Sigma77.
2 people like this
@marinarovi (1318)
• Argentina
9 Dec 07
Nope, not at all. But one of my coworkers, who's a catholic, married a jewish guy, and his family used to get together for christmas just because it's a holiday the next day and you don't have to go work, so now that she celebrates christmas... they kinda celebrate it. I don't really know how will they explain it to the kids (they're just babies now), but they do celebrate. And plus, his brother and sister married catholic people too, so it's a strange family that celebrates (slightly, not too religious, obviously) both catholic and jewish traditions. Anyone is free to celebrate whatever they want, aren't they?
3 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
9 Dec 07
Haha, that's not quite as weird as my family, which celebrates both pagan and Christian holidays! :p As far as explaining to kids, I think it's great when kids can learn about different beliefs and grow up learning that there's more than one way of looking at things, and the kids I've met who are in such families have been pretty well-rounded. :) It's true that anyone is free to celebrate anything they want, but being pressured by others socially isn't fun.
4 people like this
• United States
11 Dec 07
Christmas and Hanukkah are not hard to combine. At my house we celebrate both.It is easier when christmas is a day of Hanukkah.
2 people like this
• Argentina
11 Dec 07
Thank you for sharing Sarah. I meant, if you're religous, celebrating both jewish Hanukah and the birth of Jesus is not quite "compatible". But I guess they'll manage. =)
1 person likes this
@kurtbiewald (2629)
• United States
9 Dec 07
NO, in fact, my sister sai dmaybe she doesn't have enough room at her house for Christmass this year I just told het don't sweat it, do whetever she wants to.
3 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
9 Dec 07
It's great that you're so understanding! Thanks for sharing!
2 people like this
• United States
9 Dec 07
Personally, I love Christmas! I love Christmas trees and Christmas lights because I think they are beautiful and there is just something about them for me that makes me feel at peace when I look at them. Christmas is also special to me because it holds special and treasured memories for me. That is when I was a kid, one of my grandmothers, (my dad's mom), lived with us because our house was half in her name and half in my dad's name. I was treated badly by my parents as a child but my grandmother was the one adult person in my life at that time who didn't treat me badly and was very good and caring to me. My grandmother loved Christmas and she always did her best to make it special for me and my brother. So I have memories of setting up a Christmas village around the Christmas tree with my Grandma and decorating Christmas cookies with her and the whole nine yards. This is one of the few happy childhood memories that I have so this makes Christmas very special to me and is probably why I feel so at peace when looking at Christmas trees or lights. However, I do realize that not everyone celebrates Christmas for one reason or another. So people can not afford to, some people it is against their beliefs or culture, whatever. So I do not pressure other people to celebrate it. I think everyone should be free to celebrate or not celebrate whatever they want. There are times when in a especially cheery holiday mood that I start wishing everyone I meet on the street a Merry Christmas, then afterwards worry if someone I wished it to might have been someone who doesn't believe in Christmas and I worry that I might have offended someone unintentionally.
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
9 Dec 07
For me, the holiday that holds those kinds of special memories is Samhain (which happens the same time as Halloween). It was my great-grandmother's favorite holiday, and I always spent it with her and we had a very special feast. It sounds like she played the same role for me your grandmother did for you, though I didn't have the luck to ever live with her for long. I don't think most people mind if you wish them a Merry Christmas, or at least I know I don't, even though I don't believe in Christmas. ;P
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Dec 07
The reason I sometimes worry that I will accidently offend someone when I say Merry Christmas is because one time when I was out and about and wishing everyone I met a Merry Christmas, one person whom I said it to instantly turned to me and in a very angry voice informed me that they were Jewish and didn't appreciate my comment. That made me upset because I honestly had not meant to offend the person, I just tend to think of Christmas rather than Hannaka or other things because that is what I celebrate. That only happened to me once, but that was enough to sometimes make me leery. Anyways, what is Samhain? I have never heard of that. What's involved in it besides the feast you mentioned, if anything? Just curious.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Dec 07
Yep! That's true, people are going to be offended no matter what you do. I think a lot of people get offended way to easily these days. I do not know much about spirits or connecting with them or anything like that but Samhain sounds interesting anyway. Thanks for sharing the info.
1 person likes this
@bronie123 (4596)
• United States
11 Dec 07
I agree with you she should never call someone a grinch for no decorating... I dont pressure anyone to celebrate, participate, or thing of that sort. I for one celebrate chistmas because of my religion and honestly i dont hang lights and all that other stuff i do have a stocken up (i cant seem to find the other one LOL) but i dont have a tree or anything. anyway what im saying is i express my thoughts but never to a point that presures someone Today at my job when i was leaving a lady asked me have you got your tree up yet?? I said nope and i probably want put one up either so wanted to know why and blah blah blah LOL I dont have ay room in my house for a tree it would have to sit out in the middle of the room
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
11 Dec 07
Haha, I can see not having room as a good reason! :P I have customers ask me a lot if I'm ready for Christmas at work, and I usually just change the subject or make a joke, because I don't want to get into some kind of religious argument with my customers! It just seems like such a common thing for people to talk about though, like it never crosses their mind that you might not celebrate it!
1 person likes this
@bronie123 (4596)
• United States
11 Dec 07
so true !!! I normally dont talk to people about that asking if there ready for christmas and ae they done shopping which im not offened if someone asks me that but i get kinda mad if they ask why im not doing something even though i do celebrate christmas I could imagine how people feel that dont celebrate
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Dec 07
For my grandchildren I put on the happy rosy red Christmas face; but the older ones also know the pagan grandma and understand that her Halloween witches that decorate the house, stay up all year 'round. They also understand that the crystal "easter" egg stays up all year 'round. A force of playful pretend is always quite a pleasure though. When my own children were growing up (and way back before I Remembered Who I Was and Where I Came From), I wanted to instill that playfulness in them. As easter approached and my youngest was at the age of almost disbelief, I had my then boyfriend bring in a live tree from his farm with root ball still quite intact. We brought it into the living room, draped lights all over it, hung it with ornaments all made by the children while he and I were busy outside stringing lights all over the house. The entire house was ablaze with lights in April! "That crazy hippie girl and that long-haired-good-for-nothing boyfriend of hers", the neighbors were heard to whisper to each other. He (his name was Jim) and I sat down and wrote a small story about the Tale of Santa Bunny. We wrapped small presents of necessary items (not all junk candy - we were hippies after all - not to mention vegetarians (not now!!!) - so books, art supplies, other things like that) were under the tree. The Eve of Eastmas, Jim came in and spent the night with us (shock!). After baths, we all sat while he and I took turns reading the Tale of Santa Bunny to them. The book has long ago been lost; but the memory is clear. Wishing you and your family the magic of laughter regardless of the holiday. ~Donna Momma
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
11 Dec 07
*giggles* That sounds quite fun, Donna Momma! ;) That sounds like a lovely idea, Santa Bunny! It's great that you have the memory, if not the book. I bet your children cherish it as well! :) I wish you and your family the magic of laughter as well! I'm sure we'll find ours here... who couldn't with a beautiful little boy running around babbling all kinds of interesting things at us? He's become quite the chatterbox, and it's interesting the words he chooses to repeat and learn. Considering the combined or dual holidays we celebrate, we might wind up with our own versions of Santa Bunny and such! *giggles*
1 person likes this
@beyonce03 (2331)
• Canada
10 Dec 07
One of my friend at my work is a Jehovah Witness so she don,t celebrate Christmas. But she respect that we talk about that and that there is Chritsmas song. I also do respect her for not celebrating Christmas and no one is giving her to go to the christmas parties. So I don,t give pressure and I don,t feel like I have pressure around me.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
11 Dec 07
It's great that you don't pressure or feel pressure! :) I do feel annoyed by songs after a while personally. I always make sure my workplace plays some of the more secular ones instead of just the religious ones. I really don't mind the Santa ones or Winter Wonderland and stuff like that, but people also play the Christ-themed ones... and too much Christian music makes me feel like someone has turned my workplace into a church.
1 person likes this
@liera0 (280)
• Philippines
9 Dec 07
I don't force anyone to celebrate. It's their own preference not to do so. But I do invite people. Yes its upsetting to be force to celebrate. I am up into parties or anything once the company I'm working enforce us to join the Christmas party and pay a certain amount. I didn't joined the party and they refused to give me my december paycheck coz I didn't join the party. I end up going to the department of labor asking for advice. Well I did get my paycheck after much trouble of asking help. But it's not nice to do that way.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
9 Dec 07
I don't mind being invited, as long as people don't make a big deal out of it if I say no! :) Ewww, I can't imagine being forced to go to a party for work. Our parties are never mandatory! I'm glad that the dept of labor helped you out, but it's sad that you had to go to such extremes just to get your pay!
1 person likes this
@makatas (1103)
• Greece
9 Dec 07
Most people where i live celebrate Christmas.They gather in houses, whole families with relatives and friends and have dinner, listen to music and dance, etc.Some houses are decorated with lights and the rest, but not all.These days everything is extremely expensive to buy.So, i dont press anyone to celebrate Christmas, they all do, each one with his/her own way.If money isnt enough, they would still gather people for drinks.And, personally, i celebrate Christmas, with lots of drinks, family gatherings and relatives, and luxurious meals.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
9 Dec 07
Where I live not everyone is Christian, so people celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or any number of other holidays, and some people celebrate no holidays at all. The United States has people of a lot of different religions, but some of the Christians think they should pressure everyone else to do what they do and believe as they do.
@mrsjbelle (1641)
• United States
9 Dec 07
I would never pressure anyone. Some people may not be able to afford extras like lights. If they just don't wanna celebrate that's on them. As for myself I love Christmas.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
9 Dec 07
Well I hope you enjoy your Christmas! :P I was more thinking of people who don't celebrate it because it's not their religious holiday, but there are who can't afford those things as well, yes.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
9 Dec 07
Hi lecanis, Of course I would never pressure someone to celebrate Christmas, especially if it wasn't part of their religious tradition. I've noticed that many people from other cultures do celebrate the secular side of it, and I think that's fine. I don't have much time for this political correctness and still wish people a merry Christmas. Blessings.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
9 Dec 07
Haha, if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, I just wish them a Merry Christmas back. Or a Happy Hannukah, or whatever holiday it is they celebrate. Those things don't matter to me, though I do tend to say "Happy Holidays" simply because most people would be offended by "Happy Solstice" or not understand it at least. :P Many of the "secular" elements are pagan in origin, so some of them even I do, as part of my Winter Solstice celebration. :)
1 person likes this
@gradyslady (4056)
• United States
11 Dec 07
No but it kind of annoys me when people don't believe in anything, such as God or Jesus, and they're the first ones to ask where they're gifts are on Christmas. I have three friends that don't believe in God or Jesus, but celebrate the Christian form of Christmas or whatever you want to call it, and get so mad when you don't get them anything for Christmas.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
11 Dec 07
I think the thing with that is that there's this whole secular form of Christmas that's become completely separated from the Christian holiday... including Santa, gifts, decorations. So people participate in that part without the religion. I think it's hard to keep away from the gift-giving part, since some people are going to buy you gifts whether you celebrate or not, and then you feel like you have to give too. I know among my friends we exchange gifts, though some of us are celebrating Winter Solstice, and others Christmas, and some no holiday at all.
• United States
11 Dec 07
Well my friends are the people who when it is Christmas time, they are like I believe in Jesus and stuff, just so they can get their gifts. I do understand what you're saying though, my friends just play the part so they get stuff.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
12 Dec 07
I think lying about what you believe is really disrespectful and dishonorable personally, which is why I am so careful to let people know what my beliefs are. Even letting people think that I belief something I don't because they drew their own conclusions makes me uncomfortable, so I can't imagine lying out-and-out about it.
@3lilangels (4639)
• United States
11 Dec 07
well ofcourse not,i could never pressure someone into something they don't want to do.we all have our own feeling and right and if someone doesn't want to celeabrate christmas that's fine by me.i have a few neighbors that don't celebrate but we still offer them to come and join us if they want,and they do.pattie
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
11 Dec 07
Thanks for your response! :) I think you have the right approach, inviting people but not pressuring them to come. Very kind of you. :)
• United States
11 Dec 07
thanks,have a great holiday hon.pattie
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
11 Dec 07
You have a great holiday too! :)
• United States
10 Dec 07
No I am haven't been pressured to celebrate Christmas and if I did I wouldn't talk to that person ever again.I am a little different, the more you pressure me to do something, the less it will actually happen. I guess people like your co worker just assume that everybody celebrates Christmas. Wrong.It is so sad. By the way,when does your Winter Solstice celebration begin December 21st?
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
10 Dec 07
I wish I could never talk to people again for behaving in this manner! Unfortunately I seem to always be in positions where I HAVE to be nice. *mutter mutter* Technically Winter Solstice is on the 22nd the year. :)
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
11 Dec 07
This year I mean. :P
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Dec 07
Dec22nd, the beginning of Capricorn. Great. Well knowing me I will forget so let me say have a Happy Holiday.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
9 Dec 07
I do celebrate Christmas and I couldn't imagine living life without Christmas. I don't really pressure other people. I'd feel sad for them because I think that they're missing out on the fun. But actually I think they don't care that much and it doesn't make any difference. For two Christmases now, we had over a friend whose family doesn't celebrate Christmas so he spends it with us. I guess its for the food and the happy cheers that he sees around. That makes him happy too. For people who do not celebrate Christmas, I'm just curious, Don't you feel irritated that most people around you wear happy faces, singing Christmas carols, preparing for a holiday you don't believe in? Sometimes we do get annoyed when people around us are happy and we don't have much reason to be.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
9 Dec 07
It's great that you don't pressure others! Actually, I wouldn't know what it's like not to have something to celebrate at that time of year. I do celebrate a holiday, the Winter Solstice, which happens close to the same time. This year it's on Dec 22nd, and it's the shortest day of the year, meaning that after that, all the days are going to get longer. Yay return of sun and hope for life, thank you Gods and all that! Actually, many of the traditions associated with Christmas came from either Winter Solstice celebrations of different cultures or from the Norse celebration called Yule (a word which has been greatly misused over the years to mean Christmas itself or the Christmas season). So a pagan celebration of Winter Solstice and a Christmas celebration don't look THAT different when it comes to traditions, it's just the beliefs that are different.
• Philippines
10 Dec 07
Wow! Thanks for the info. I didn't really know those things. Now, I'm wiser than I was a few minutes ago. LOL! Hope you enjoy your Winter Solstice. Ummm...to add more knowledge, may I know what the word solstice mean? What do you actually celebrate on that holiday? Thanks a lot.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
10 Dec 07
A simple definition of "solstice" would be "turning point", but it's either of the times of year when the sun is at the greatest distance from the celestial equator. There is a summer solstice and a winter solstice. Since the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year (and thus the longest night)... what we're celebrating is the fact that light is going to return to us. :) Depending on what Gods one worships, the celebration might be a little different too. Those who follow sun or light deities might celebrate their return to our lives, those who follow darker/Underworld deities might celebrate winter itself as the time of darkness, those who follow fertility deities might liken the darker parts of the year to growing within the womb, etc. There are a lot of things that are very different about a Pagan's practice dependent upon the nature of the deities that person devotes to.
@carmelanirel (21108)
• United States
13 Dec 07
No I don't pressure anyone to celebrate Christmas, though sometimes I feel pressured to, but just go with the flow I suppose since I did grow up with it and it's hard to get rid of tradition..If someone doesn't light up, that really doesn't mean anything either, it could also be that they just don't light up. I know my neighbors do celebrate Christmas, but only for a few years when their children were little, all they had was a wooden santa and now they don't do anything because the kids have grown up. (Myself, I love decorations whether it is birthday,Christmas, Hanukkah, whatever, the pretty lights make it festive and I love parties..:)
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
13 Dec 07
Haha, decorations are fun, I helped put some up at my work. :P I love parties too, but since among my group of friends we celebrate different holidays, it winds up being a mixed-holiday party. Which is pretty fun!
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Dec 07
ooo, different holidays means more variety of food, yummy..lol
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Dec 07
NO I DO NOT PRESSURE PEOPLE INTO CELEBRATING X-MAS IF IS NOT IN THERE BELIEFS. One of my good friends is Javoah Witness she does not celebrate any holiday besides going to chruch. I think that is fine. The first thing I thought of when you where telling the story is the students is they probably do not have the money to buy christmas lights or they do not have the time to put up lights. I have the time but have not put up my lights this year. I do not feel like it this year. I do not want to pay for the PG&E to run the lights. I guess that makes me a grinch. I do not even have my tree up yet. I am thinking on not putting it up this year. I probably will put my stuff up but not today. I think your co-worker is to pushy and needs to mind her own business. So what if not all the houses do not have christmas lights. How would she like it if the students complained to her because they do not like the plants in her yard or if they do not like the car she drives.
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
13 Dec 07
The reason I was guessing the students didn't celebrate Christmas is that most of them are foreign, and many of the ones I know aren't Christian. However, it's true that for some of them it might be a matter of money or time. You have a good point about the expense of lights. My husband is talking about getting some kind of LCD tree or something, and I said he could if he wanted, so we're cool. :) You're right that she would be upset if they got in her business, so she should stay out of theirs.
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
13 Dec 07
Wow, that shows how much I know about these things, it should be "LED tree".
@balasri (26577)
• India
11 Dec 07
Well I have to participate in the school Christmas celebrations because I am a member of the parents teachers association.And I like it.I have studied in the Christian school.Every Christmas reminds me of my first encounter with the Santa with fear in the first grade and the song in the background as the three wise men marches in.And Now it is becoming a fad to celebrate Christmas by the people of all religions here because the kids like to have fun.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
11 Dec 07
Yes, it is kind of becoming a fad, but that doesn't mean I'm going to be a part of it. I feel the same way when people bug me about not wearing whatever clothes are in style. I like being my own person. :P
@balasri (26577)
• India
11 Dec 07
I can understand.
1 person likes this
@yanxchick (252)
• United States
9 Dec 07
My boyfriend isn't a big holiday celebrator. He came from a small family, so he never had these big to-dos when it came to christmas or anything like that. On the other hand there is me, who has a huge family and we always made big deals out of the holidays. Last year, my boyfriend and I celebrated rather small. We exchanged gifts, but we didn't have a tree or anything. This year I asked him if we could get a tree. I really wanted one. If he was adament on not getting one, I could have lived without it. But he knew it would make me happy and said we could get a tree. He didn't really help me decorate it, but he enjoys having the tree around. He will put the lights on say he is doing it for me, but I know him. He's really doing it for himself as well as I caught him with the lights on when I haven't even been around. I didn't force it on him though. We talked about it and he agreed to it. I think just having that communication helped out.
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
10 Dec 07
Hmm, I was really thinking more about religion when I started this than personal family traditions, but I see how that could play a part. If he grew up not really celebrating it, and you grew up with it being a big deal, that could make a lot of difference. In my case, my husband and I do both celebrate winter holidays, but his is Christmas and mine is Winter Solstice. So it's a matter of having different religious beliefs for us.
• United States
11 Dec 07
My boyfriend is actually an atheist, which is where a lot of that also comes from. He doesn't believe in celebrating the holidays for the religious reasons, where as I am the opposite. We have learned to deal with it. We doesn't pressure me with his beliefs and I don't pressure him with mine.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Dec 07
Doing so would be unfair and cruel. i don't pressure anyone into doing anything they don't want to
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
11 Dec 07
Unfair and cruel are good words for it! Thanks! :)