Do the atheists celebrate Christmas?

Romania
November 25, 2011 1:45pm CST
I am very curious about this, now that we are closing to one of the most beautiful holidays of the Christianity, Christmas. We know that we, Christians, celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on this day and it is very important for us, because we go to the church and the whole family is together. But I wonder if the people who don't believe in God or are not Christian celebrate this day, or it is a regular day for them? Please let me know, I am very curious about it.
5 people like this
33 responses
@urbandekay (18312)
25 Nov 11
Christmas has become just a festival of greed, so why are you surprised it is celebrated by the unGodly all the best urban
1 person likes this
• Romania
25 Nov 11
Why do you say that Christmas has become a festival of greed? We live far away from each other and I want to see what the situation is in your country.
@urbandekay (18312)
25 Nov 11
People spend lots of money on presents and indulge their desires for food and drink. Children demand expensive presents, with which they soon loose interest. all the best urban
1 person likes this
• Romania
25 Nov 11
I see. That is true for everybody I guess, but in my family and I guess for many other families in my region is not the most important thing. But I can agree that for many people Christmas has become just an opportunity to throw the money out of the window.
@_sketch_ (5709)
• United States
25 Nov 11
Lol Yes, the atheists celebrate Christmas. It's a part of the culture and we still like pretty lights and presents. How many Christians even do anything religious on the day anyway? Atheists still have families that we like to spend time with, often many members of which are Christian themselves. Some atheists may not, if they choose not to. That's the great thing about being an atheist, we aren't required to do or not do anything.
1 person likes this
@yoyo1198 (3644)
• United States
25 Nov 11
Neither are Christians. It's all a matter of choice.
• Romania
25 Nov 11
I see. It is good that you, as an atheist, can celebrate peacefully with Christians. I don't know about you, but I guess where I live the majority of the people go at Church on Christmas Eve and on 25th December also, they sing Christmas carols, and learn Christmas poems which praise God. But there are a lot of things which are not related with Christianity also, but it is nice to mix them well.
@_sketch_ (5709)
• United States
25 Nov 11
Sometimes we can celebrate peacefully. I know that a lot of atheists dread the holidays, especially when they first come out because their families don't accept their views. Often they get harassed by their families. Such a shame. No, where I live, many families do go to church on Christmas in the morning, but mainly, it is about spending time with family, exchanging gifts, watching football, and then dinner. It seems like most of the families I know are more focused on the family part, rather than the church part.
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
26 Nov 11
I see very many atheists celebrate christmas.
• Romania
27 Nov 11
So you leave among many atheists. Do you happen to know what they celebrate on that day?
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
27 Nov 11
Im surrounded by them. In fact did you know that the customs of the christmas celebration is full of pagen rituals???
• Romania
29 Nov 11
Yes, I know that the majority of the customs and traditions are from other religions, but that is not so important in my opinion. The reason for celebrating is more important for me.
@Galena (9123)
3 Dec 11
for a lot of non Christians, the true meaning of Christmas is to spend time with your loved ones.
• Romania
3 Dec 11
This is what I have found out from the other responses as well. Which means that many non Christian people celebrate Christmas, but without having religious meaning.
@Galena (9123)
3 Dec 11
for me, the spiritual part is a few days before, on the day of the winter Solstice. but I still love Christmas. mostly because I love giving presents.
• Romania
5 Dec 11
That is good, if you enjoy giving presents to others. Do you give them only to your beloved ones or to other people also, who are maybe not so fortunate as you are?
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
26 Nov 11
Christmas is not a regular day for anyone. Did God intend that Christmas be either a day in which to make money or a day to spend great amounts of money to please friends and relatives with material gifts. This is a day where the Church collects money twice, once for the Service and again for the decorations. What a farce!
@mantis36 (4238)
• Philippines
26 Nov 11
the only reason is for the religion to live... if there is no donations, religions can't survive... there are plenty of religious groups who visit house to house asking for any donations held you a letter regarding religion, so the question that keep bothering me... do God need any style or types of donations in order for the religion or God to survive?
• Romania
26 Nov 11
Donations are needed in order to survive in a society built on money. Do you think that the repairing of the church, the parish or the other things which are related to the church are done for free? Does the electricity or the heating come for free? The priest has to live, and he has family also, which needs to be supported from something. This cannot be done from thin air. Church is like the school, it is the institute which keeps alive faith and religion. Without Church, many people wouldn't know much about God and other spiritual aspects, so it is necessary for the society. It is the symbol of the religion of a group of people. Therefore I cannot understand why many people think that Churches should survive without material things.
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
26 Nov 11
Any belief dependent on donations is on shaky ground. A belief that stands alone would not need money to survive. Spirituality has been with us from the beginning, and growing stronger with time, without donations, physical structures, or for that matter, Popes, bishops priests, pastors, ministers, or other Child Molesters.
• Thailand
26 Nov 11
I live in a country where Christianity is regarded with a tolerant amusement. Some wealthy people have adopted Christmas as an excuse for a party and a giving of gifts but for the average person on the street it is just another workday. With no Christian tradition there is no Christmas to speak of here.
• Romania
26 Nov 11
@Chiang_Mai_boy: It is interesting to find out how things are in Thailand regarding Christmas. It is a wrong attitude to choose a religion just for fun, because that is not the purpose of it. @urban: I don't know about Buddhism, as there are no Buddhist in my area of living, I have never met one. But I know that many rich people adhere to special religions just to be different from the majority.
• Thailand
27 Nov 11
Possibly a bit of confusion here. The wealthy embrace Christmas as an excuse for a party but not the Christian religion. They remain firmly Buddhist by religion. My experience here with Christianity here is as a volunteer English teacher with a local mission. The members of the congregation are small in number and are made up of the traditional base of Christianity in a society where The Christian church is in a distinct minority. They are the desperately poor in sad need of the largess the church has to offer and the community that is denied them by the society as a whole. My students are primarily Muslim, as is the general population in this little corner of Thailand, who attend my classes because they provide a free alternative to the costly private schools that are available. I myself am Buddhist by persuasion so at this time of year we end up with the unlikely combination of Muslim children being tought about Christmas by a Buddhist teacher.
• Romania
27 Nov 11
I see. So they are still Buddhist, just "borrow" the Christmas as an excuse to have a party. It is still wrong, I think. As for the last part is a very interesting one, I would love to attend a class where you as a Buddhist explain Muslims about a Christian holiday.
• Southend-On-Sea, England
26 Nov 11
I am agnostic rather than atheist, but I do have atheist friends. I don't really celebrate Christmas myself, but some of my atheist friends do, but they think of it as a winter festival rather than Christmas in the religious sense.
• Romania
27 Nov 11
Sorry for my ignorance, but what does agnostic mean? I don't want to offend you with this question, but I really don't know what it means. So the day when many people celebrate Christmas is a day like any other for you?
• Southend-On-Sea, England
27 Nov 11
I'm not offended at all...promise lol...agnostic is a person who isn't sure whether there is a God or not and prefers to keep an open mind on the idea of the existence of such. I'm not sure what would convert an agnostic into a believer, simply because they do have an open mind, and I'm even less sure how an atheist would cope with something which challenged their belief (or should I say lack of belief). Yes, I just treat Christmas like any other day, largely because I have to work over the holiday period. I think if I didn't live alone and had a family around me I might celebrate it though. Thanks for replying, and hoping you have a very good Christmas :-)
• Romania
29 Nov 11
Thanks for clarifying this notion which was unknown for me till this moment. I have a few friends who are agnostic themselves, but they call themselves "skeptical" if I translate it from Hungarian. Can I ask you what is your profession, if you have to work during the holidays? I also wish you a Merry Christmas, may you feel the magic of this beautiful holiday, because it is very nice.
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
26 Nov 11
Oh I'm sure they do. Many people that don't believe in God celebrate Christmas. They just celebrate it for different reasons than the religious people do. Santa Claus is not a religious figure at all and most people have their kids looking forward to Santa.
• Romania
26 Nov 11
In our culture, there is no Santa, it is the Angel which brings the gifts. But this is only for children, as they cannot wait to see what gifts they will receive. I guess the excitement is higher when you get the gift from the Santa or Angel, rather than from your parents. It gives an extra magic to the holiday.
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
27 Nov 11
When they are real young then it is kind of magical and fun. Once they reach an age where they are too old to believe then it just gets materialistic for a lot of people and here...it's not just the kids.
• Romania
27 Nov 11
It is very interesting. I thought that the idea of Santa is just for kids to have an extra magic to the Christmas gifts they receive. Of course, adults also buy each other gifts, but it is not the same, I believe.
@Christoph56 (1508)
• Canada
30 Nov 11
I am an atheist, and I'm not big on Christmas. There are some very good parts to it... traveling out to be together with family, the whole family under one roof, making giant meals together, being around eachother... some parts of the gift giving and getting are nice, too, but it's more about being with family. That is not what the Christian Christmas is about. It's about Jesus being higher then your family, about this story about a child born to a virgin, who is way more important then anything you know. That's just cruel, in my opinion. If your whole family goes that way, deeply believing in the whole thing, and caring more about a non-existent superpower, then its nice to have you all in one area... but seriously, you should be caring more about your family, then Jesus. You know what else? "Christmas" was originally a pagan holiday. At the winter equinox, people would gather together, and light the trees on fire for warmth, as they would celebrate the dawn of the new year, pass around gifts to eachother, and be together as family and friends. When the Christians started coming to power, and wanted to wipe out other religions, they took the Pagan holidays, and switched them for their own. It's really a cruel method of doing such a thing...
• Romania
30 Nov 11
I think we are celebrating it just fine. We are together as a family and we celebrate the born of Jesus also. It is your opinion that God is non-existent but I believe the opposite of it. As for priorities, I think everybody is free to set them as he wants. I know that many rituals and the date of Christmas are not related with Christianity, but like I said in many previous comments, it is not important for me. The reason is more important and the way we feel those days makes it a magical holiday.
@Galena (9123)
5 Dec 11
Winter Solstice. the Equinoxes fall in Spring and Autumn. a Solstice is the longest or shortest day of the year. an Equinox is when day and night are of the same length. personally I don't have issue with Christianity piggybacking on my festival. it's what every person NEEDS at the darkest time of the year to celebrate the coming of the light. whether they see that light as the birth of a Solar God, (check out most Solar Gods stories. they are born, grow in strength and are sacrificed willingly for the good of the world. I think Jesus fits this quite well) it could be the story of a Solar deity, Jesus or the Sun itself as a celestial being. when the year is at it's darkest, food at it's scarcest, we as human beings feel a need to be with the people we love, and as the year hits its turning point, to celebrate the fact you've made it through the fading of the year and towards the spring.
@iuliuxd (4453)
• Romania
6 Dec 11
"Christmas" was originally a pagan holiday. At the winter equinox, people would gather together...It's really a cruel method of doing such a thing... What if there was something else before that and the "pagans took the holiday from other people ? That is the rule the winner takes it all Also is wrong to say it was a pagan holiday.People were all pagans in the roman empire and they weren`t celebrating the same Gods.For example the God in my country was called Zamolxis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zalmoxis Probably even if one considers himself to be a "pagan" he has no idea who that God was.Like i don`t have any idea about other pagan gods.Probably there were also a lot of celebrations across the roman empire on that day because it is a special day.Probably there was at least a celebration every day.So yes the christianity replaced all these celebrations but that is what every religion does because a God is jealous :)
@RobtheRock (2485)
• United States
26 Nov 11
I think I knew one atheist friend of mine who did something for Christmas like buy a gift or something. What gets me though, is that there is all this noise making against Christmas, but nothing about THANKSgiving which is another Christian holiday. I'm sure it happens, but I don't hear much atheist negativity against Thanksgiving.
• Romania
27 Nov 11
We don't have the Thanksgiving holiday, but I guess the purpose of it, as seen in movies, is to praise God for everything good that happened to us during a year. Am I right? Based on the responses I've got from the atheists so far, the majority of them celebrate Christmas almost like Christians, some of them maybe even better, but the ones who fight against it are usually people who are never satisfied with anything, they just like to be against something. Because there is nothing wrong in celebrating peacefully with the family, just if you need to find the needle in hay.
• United States
28 Nov 11
Yes, after the Pilgrim event of many years ago, we essentially get together as a family and give thanks for many things good that happened during the year. We also give thanks for the bad, if the bad has helped turn someone's life around for the better. This is the time to see family and friends we normally don't see during the year and is also the best time of the year to eat a lot of food. And of course, it is the beginning of the Christmas season.
• Romania
29 Nov 11
Yes, I have seen Thanksgiving being celebrated in many movies and I guess it is a very nice holiday. I guess everybody feels very good during the Thanksgiving meal.
• United States
26 Nov 11
Of course atheists celebrate Christmas - not to say they all call it that. Most of the traditions for the holiday don't even have Christian roots (commonly, the holiday is claimed to have originated with a winter festival for Saturnalia - the gift-giving aspect certainly reflects this). As an atheist myself, the holiday has always been more about the gathering of family and being together, being able to give to others and be generous and generally happy and bringing joy to others.
• Romania
27 Nov 11
I see. I knew that many traditions are not Christian, but the reason of Christmas is the born of Jesus. I know that is not proved that he was born on this day, but that is not so important neither. As for you, being an atheist and celebrating it like you said, I guess many Christian are not celebrating it so beautifully like you do.
• United States
28 Nov 11
It's good to be giving and such to other throughout the year, but doing it right around the holiday season floods me with an extra sense of happiness. I try to encourage others to do it, even if they just donate a can of food or two, no matter their beliefs. A lot of the traditions were assimilated from other religions and cultures, probably from an attempt to make people converting to Christianity accept it easier. Even if Jesus was born on another date, I think it's a fine thing to celebrate it on the set date. Does it really matter the day, as long as those who believe can all celebrate together happily?
• Romania
29 Nov 11
Very well said. I could said it better. I also agree that the date is not so important, it is important how we celebrate, how we feel and if we are better at least for those three days, then we can say it is a real holiday.
@uath13 (8207)
• United States
26 Nov 11
I don't know about atheist but I do know most other religions have their own celebrations at that time of year. In fact most of what Christians celebrate, the Christmas tree, decking the halls & even the date, were all stolen from other religions in order to make them more easy to assimilate.
• Romania
27 Nov 11
I know that the tree is not a tradition with Christmas roots, but for the others I thought it is something which has to do with other festivals also, because people like to decorate when they are celebrating something. But the main idea of Christmas should be the born of Jesus, the other things are secular things, which are related with it.
@uath13 (8207)
• United States
27 Nov 11
Do a little more research. He wasn't even born at Christmas. Almost everything you actually DO to celebrate Christmas is stolen from another religion & given a Christian twist. That's why I say other religions still celebrate during this time of year. Christianity was never able to completely stamp them out & they still hold on to their own festivals & traditions.
• Romania
29 Nov 11
I know that the date when Jesus was born is not certainly known, but I guess that is not so important, that is not the essence of Christmas. As for the traditions and way of celebrations, I guess you are right, but still we can get the best from every religion and every culture. Maybe we celebrate the same, but with other "filling".
@iuliuxd (4453)
• Romania
25 Nov 11
I think today christmas has almost nothing to do with Jesus and the church, i think Santa is more important than Jesus.Maybe there are still people who are celebrating the birth of Christ but one day we will all celebrate the birth of Santa or something else. Good thing we have a lot of christmas carols here to remind us about the birth of Jesus
• Romania
25 Nov 11
I have doubts that Christianity will ever die out, maybe our number will be less, but I am sure that Christianity will last forever. I think that in Romania, many people still care for the religious part. You can see people filling churches, singing carols and even in the TVs there are many religious movies in that period. The Santa is an important figure, but I guess that here there are still many people who are aware of the religious meaning also.
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
26 Nov 11
Religion(Christianity) is a Scam that was invented to make Church leaders rich and Powerful, and its been successful for upward of 2000 years, and has made the Christian Church among the Richest and most powerful of any world business. Spirituality is a much older way to Glorify God, and is not dependent on money. Spiritualists do not collect money have no need for a physical House of God, and are not Child molesters. Christianity is falling by the wayside as world consciousness rises, and Christianity finally being seen for what it is.
• Romania
27 Nov 11
I do think that there is needed for a house for people from the same religion could gather, and meet each other and praise the Lord together. Even Jesus went to the church and he has emphasized the importance of the Church. I agree that there are priest from different Christian religions which don't belong there, but to generalize, it is wrong. If you generalize, then every job or every vocation is wrong, as there is no field of activity where there are no bad examples. I am sorry that you are generalizing. If everybody would think the same, nobody would send their children in schools, as there are many examples of child molesters there also.
@celticeagle (117919)
• Boise, Idaho
29 Nov 11
Christmas is not always thought of as Christ's birthday. If Athiests do not believe in God then why would they believe in Christ's birthday. But they may also celebrate Christmas on the more commercial level. Athiests come from all walks of life and must still present a good front in the business world so they may very well celebrate Christmas.
• Romania
29 Nov 11
Yes, based on other responses and comments received to this discussion, I can say that the majority of them celebrate Christmas, without having religious implications. There was also one person who is atheist, but still implements the birth of Jesus, because the story is beautiful and adds something special to the day. So I guess that many people who are atheist can celebrate Christmas in a very nice way.
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@celticeagle (117919)
• Boise, Idaho
30 Nov 11
Just as it should be.
@MandaLee (3696)
• United States
25 Nov 11
Hi Rappeter, One of my closest friends is an Atheist and another is Jewish. Both of these people know that I am a Christian and celebrate Christmas. My Jewish friend celebrates Christmas, only because her fiancee is Christian. I imagine that Christmas is just another day to my Atheist friend. Merry Christmas to you!
• Romania
26 Nov 11
I see. So your Jewish friend wouldn't celebrate Christmas, if her fiancee wouldn't be Christian? And what does your atheist friend do on Christmas? Spends it like it was a weekend?
• Romania
26 Nov 11
I also wish you to have blessed, peaceful and Merry Christmas!
@eljayo (1107)
• Philippines
9 Dec 11
Hi! They still celebrate it although they don't celebrate it fro Christ. I have asked this to a lot of atheist and they just jive with others who celebrate because they think its fun a happy day. Its too ironic that they still celebrate it even if thy deny Christ existence. This is a sad reality. Let's continue to pray fro them for enlightenment. :))
• Romania
9 Dec 11
I think that religion and belief is a matter of choice, and if there are people who don't feel the presence of God among us and they don't want to live by the rules from the Bible, we must accept that they chose to live that way. As long as they are respected people in the community and don't do anything against others and respect us, Christians, they should be respected also.
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
8 Dec 11
Why wouldnt they? First off christmas is NOT ACTUALLY ORIGINALLY christian AT ALL..and secondly, why wouldnt some atheists enjoy the family gatherings, watching their kids/family and friends faces light up when opening gifts, seeing stores, homes, etc decorated and lit up etc..The love and warmth that ripples through society (that sadly seems to ONLY happen this time of yr) etc etc..
• Romania
8 Dec 11
I agree that it is good for everybody to celebrate Christmas, even if they are not interested by the religious part. But if they can be better during those days, they can make others happy with different gestures, then Christmas has served it's purpose. As for people being good only on this period, is because they care more for making money and building up careers than being human. It's sad but true.
@Xansus (950)
• Bulgaria
5 Dec 11
Christmas does not really retain the only christian or any only other religion . The day is more of a family reunion day . Its about getting the family toghether and have some time together from a whole year when we cant get in to one place . I dont believe in religions , but i celabrate lots of family ocassions (i think ) or however do they call them :D ( ok i lost the word here :D )
• Romania
6 Dec 11
I think you are right, if you look at Christmas from a non believers point of view. But for Christians it should be important to fill their Christmas celebration with religious content also.
@thezone (9451)
• Ireland
27 Nov 11
Happy Holidays
• Romania
29 Nov 11
I wish you the same. Happy Holidays!
@Xansus (950)
• Bulgaria
27 Nov 11
Well atheists might not believe in god or whatsoever imaginary things people do believe in , but they do believe in having fun and nice time with their loved ones a.k.a family . Well to have a good time with your family its not really needed to be christmas , but thats a date its like set by default for everyone to celabrate with their family , not just christians . And its not like atheists are some i whatsoever dont care for my family ;) Everyone does , in their own way :)
• Romania
29 Nov 11
So you are an atheist, aren't you? It is okay, I have nothing against atheists, as long they respect others as well. Of course, every person loves to have a good time and I know that if a person has a wife and children it is because he wanted so. So that is logical for that person to care for his family. And yes, I think that everybody can celebrate Christmas, no matter what his belief is.