For non-believers: Do you still celebrate christmas?

Grinch - Sometimes I feel like the Grinch at christmas time.
Australia
November 24, 2010 12:36am CST
Christmas has lost its meaning for me in recent years. I am no longer religious and even if I was, Christmas is a holiday invented by pagans so it isn't even an accurate portrayal of Jesus' supposed birth. I used to really look forward to christmas; I loved everything about it like presents, spending time with family and christmas lunch. Now I ry to avoid it like the plague. I have offered to work both christmas and boxing day and am not looking forward to swapping presents around the tree. However, I live at home and my younger sister and brother really look forward to it and I remember how they feel. I don't want to be a grinch and ruin it for them. So I just go along with it and pose for a few christmas photos every year, even though I'd rather be anywhere but there. For you non-believers- do you still feel obliged to celebrate christmas?
10 people like this
31 responses
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
24 Nov 10
Christmas is very much a day for the kids. It is a day for all the family to be together. The kids are happy with the Christmas tree and their presents. And we use the opportunity to have a marvellous lunch. Definitely one of the best meal during the whole year. I have never been a religious person. For me, Christmas represent the holiday season. I would often work until the 24th. And then I took 3 weeks holiday. But since I am alone, I don't bother with Christmas anymore. For me, it is just another day.
3 people like this
@derek_a (10903)
24 Nov 10
I am not keen on Xmas either as to me it does not belong to Christianity. It was once a festival of the dark months that begins on 31st October with Samhain (modern Halloween) that is the start of the Celtic New Year. Pagans believed that on this day all life begins in the darkness and stillness. It is a time for contemplation and to honour the year that has gone before. It goes through to December 21st As a Zen practitioner, I see many similarities. For instance, stilling the mind and seeking the Great Void in zazen (meditation). The Underworld was regarded as and symbolised by the womb of the Goddess that would regenerate our souls ready for our next life. In meditation on the stillness and the "Great Void", we can be refreshed and regenerated and discover compassion and at-one-ness for all life. So you can say that this is my way of contemplating not Xmas day, but the winter season as a time of rest and deep regeneration. Later the Underworld got re-named as Hell by the Christians so that the practitioners of the "Old Religion" would be quashed. Xmas is something that happens, and it is something that I acknowldge. As a Zen practitioner I don't have beliefs, but use the discipline to get authentic experiences that the human being is much more than anything he/she believes but at the same time, fully acknowledge and accept the beliefs of others, if that makes sense. We are all on a spiritual journey leading to ultimate truth, but are just coming to it on different paths, with difference "scenery". _Derek
2 people like this
@appalo (33)
• United States
25 Nov 10
Christmas means Christ born and for that reason I will not say 'xmas' or happy holidays.
• Australia
28 Nov 10
appalo- *if* jesus existed, his birthday wouldn't be until February anyway. derek- Thanks for that information. I did not know that the christians also took over the Underworld. So to recap- both *christmas and *hell were actually oringinally Pagan holidays and christians came along and took over and renamed it. Not very fair! So I pose a new question- do christians feel comfortable celebrating what is really a pagan holiday and nothing to do with jesus at all?
1 person likes this
• Australia
28 Nov 10
Sorry he would have been born in September. September the 1st according to this researcher: http://www.herealittletherealittle.net/index.cfm?page_name=Jesus-Birthday
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
24 Nov 10
Baw Humbug, I don't believe in Christmas! I never give gifts, and would be embarrassed if I ever received any. Christmas is a huge racket, and a big Scam. I once went to a Catholic Christmas Service,at the Basilica, and they took up 3 collections. The last was for the decorations! This obviously was not about Christmas, but all about raising money! The men who passed the buckets were carrying side arms. Christmas dinner is the only good thing about this Pagan Festival!
2 people like this
• Australia
28 Nov 10
Word. Three collections and one for decorations? That says it all right there. Disgusting. It's theft.
@marguicha (83896)
• Chile
24 Nov 10
Chistmas in Summer - Grandchildren play while presents and handed down.
I´m an agnostic. But even if I wasn´t, I would not place Jesus as the only son of God. But I accept Jesus as one of the grestest Masters we have had. And the real meaning of Christmas, the get together with love, the family and the joy are something I like to celebrate. I only but a small present to the little ones but do not feel Christmas should be centered in buying things but around giving out love. Thus, I give everyone of my closest family and friends things that I make. I recycle jars all year and give them jams, pickles and relishes. We spend it together in one of my daughter´s home. The children open their presents on Chrismas eve so they can play and as our Christmas is in Summer, we usually have a barbecue.
2 people like this
@voldrox (7205)
• India
25 Nov 10
I am believer. But, not very religious, as i feel i tend to look forward to God mostly at bad times. Anyways, i want to follow Christianity the way it is meant to be. Being a born Christian doesn't make one a Christian. During the time i was sick for a month and half, i have received His blessings and that gave me strength to get through it. I just want to be a true Christian. Anyways, i should be getting to your discussion. I enjoy Christmas every year, meeting many people. Having a nice time. The early morning Church in a cold winter day. I don't think much about when Christ was born. Why not just celebrate His birthday, for He came to open the gates of Heaven for us? It is not important when He was born, it is important that He was born for us. And if you ask me what i think of non believers. Well, why not have a nice time for a holiday? Sure, why not have a nice time, when things are little different and people more joyful ?
1 person likes this
• Australia
25 Nov 10
I believe that when it comes to christmas it means alot weather you're a Jew or a Gentile, coz for us all it's a time for celebration when a whole year comes to an end.its like an ocassion everyone looks forward to towards the end of the year,one thing we should keep in mind is when we make it through to another christmas were just lucky to be alive
1 person likes this
@paula27661 (15900)
• Australia
25 Nov 10
I am not particularly religious either but I do like Christmas because to me it is a special time for giving and being with friends and family. Since I’ve had a child Christmas has been magical and fun although this year is the first year that my daughter no longer believes in Santa; it will still be fun for her though. I think Christmas is way too commercial these days and so many people spend too much on gifts. It does depend on how you look at it I guess. You can enjoy Christmas even if you are not religious, there can still be love and fun to be shared on the day!
1 person likes this
@carmelanirel (21108)
• United States
24 Nov 10
Wow great discussion coffeeshot, one I talk about every single year. My husband said he might be able to give up Easter, but still holds strong to Christmas. But we are believers, just not in what Christmas stands for. It did come from pagan ways and has become too commercialized. But the most important reason is my beliefs that yes, Jesus came to earth in December, but it wasn't until 9 months later that he was born. His birth also follows a biblical feast, Sukkot, where as Christmas follows no biblical feast. (This comes from Easter that follows the biblical feast, Passover. Or Pentecost Sunday that follows the Biblical Shavuot. Why would G♥d change and not have His son's birth follow a Biblical feast?) So as a believer, I don't view Christmas the way most other believers do. When I do observe it, I observe it as the conception, and not his actual birth.
• Canada
24 Nov 10
I have atleast one none-believer in my family, and she celebrates all of the secular aspects of Christmas. Then I ahve some "extreme" believers in my family, and they celebrate none of the secular. The rest of my family is more moderate with aspects of the religious and the secular combined. Jewish American composer Irving Berlin used to celebrate Christmas because "it's what Americans do."
1 person likes this
@saivis (1)
• Latvia
27 Nov 10
?????, ??????????, ??????? ? ?????!
• Australia
28 Nov 10
What a cheater....
@MikeW7 (11)
• Philippines
27 Nov 10
Christmas is a chance for us to rekindle the times when we were young and all we looked forward to during the season was to be with our loved ones and share the magic of the season. Everytime we celebrate Christmas, it's like we become young again and your heart is filled with love. So I hope you don't lose that joy in your heart and remember what it was like when we were young. Think about it? We didn't have a lot back then, but it didn't stop us from enjoying the holidays. All we needed was our loved ones and a few delicious meals...and we were ok! All I can say is, "Cheer up!"
• Australia
28 Nov 10
I will always have fond memories but when millions of dollars are spent on cr@p like christmas decorations, tortured animals (turkeys, chickens etc) and toys from big corporations, I can't cheer up! It's depressing!
@Memnon (2173)
25 Nov 10
Believer or not, it has been hijacked by corporations who are trying to extend it year by year. The only people that will benefit are those in boardrooms.
• Australia
28 Nov 10
word memnon, word.
@ElicBxn (60427)
• United States
30 Nov 10
I am a Christian, but since I don't have children, I find the whole gift stuff a bit over done, I would rather be in church than the whole hype about gifts and Santa and the like.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
29 Nov 10
I never grew up religious but I loved Christmas as a child for all the presents and the summer holidays too of course. But these days, it is too commercial and the whole thing is just a big money spinning gimmick. We do participate in it as minimal as possible for our kids, but I am not a huge fan of it. We do take the kids out every year to see the best lit up streets in the city. It is incredible the amount of effort that some people go to in order to make their house more decorated than their neighbours. They must have to rent storage sheds for all the stuff during the year, there is so much of it! I know what you are saying about Jesus and his birth being not accurately represented by Christmas. I learned a few years ago that he was not even born on that day or even at that time of year!
• Philippines
28 Nov 10
even if not u can really celebrate christmas and do what ever u want christmas is for everything !!
• United States
27 Nov 10
i grew up religious and am now not a religious person and it seems to me that ive seen more people that are religious reject christmas than non believers.. im not talking about strict religions but some that are in pretty leaniant beliefs but yet they think christmas is evil for some reason.. where as non believers seem to like the whole giving and shopping part of it and not much seems to be around to remind them of it being a religious holiday so they wouldnt think anything about it.. but thats just my observation im not speaking from a whole
• Philippines
26 Nov 10
Once obliged then therefore there is no such thing as celebration and once you cease believing on something then so as its existence. Christmas is not an invented holiday but a symbolic and a manifestation of the continuous longing of humans pertaining to a certain explanation of his weakness in search for happiness, thus, the so-called Christmas can happen everyday in no particular time and place depending on how you look at it. Not celebrating Christmas is simply a gesture of avoidance of the essence but not of its existence. A man may avoid Christmas but it does not mean to say that he no longer believes in it - avoidance is the ultimate evidence of existence for you can only avoid to the things that really exists. Thus, avoiding the celebration of Christmas is just like saying that you believe in it.
26 Nov 10
You dont have to be a believer just to party!
• Philippines
26 Nov 10
The Encylopedia Americana says: Most of the customs now associated with Christmas were not originally Christmas customs but rather were pre-christian and non-christian customs taken up by the Christian Church.
@la_chique (1499)
26 Nov 10
I celebrate Christmas, but not out of religious means. Its more of a time to get together and give gifts. I have to say, I dont enjoy it as much as I used to as a kid. Its lost a lot of the fun of santa etc. I cant wait until I have children of my own though, as I just love to see how excited little kids get over it all, and Christmas really is a time for them more than us adults. I've lost my faith entirely. I feel very uneasy that my mother tried to bring me up to idolise a 'being' that I have no proof of ever existing. If that being is real, then he HATES me and my family anyway. The last straw for me was when I attended my niece's christening back in September and during this Catholic ceremony, the priest performed an "exorcism" on the lovely little thing. I detest how much I felt like I was in a cult. I hated watching my brother and sis-in-law robotically rattle off what they were told to, when they are not married, dont go to church and dont particularly belive in God. I dont understand why babies are born with 'sin'. Anyway, sorry, thats my little rant. In answer to your question though, I'm not religious, but I enjoy the corporate excitement of the holiday season.