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Atheists and Christmas

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posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 08:28 PM
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I know we got a lot of atheists on this board (myself included), so I wanted to get an idea about my question.

Are there any atheists here who celebrate Christmas? I'm sure, if you do, you just celebrate the holiday itself and don't put religious meaning to it. Otherwise you'd be religious.......


If you don't celebrate "Christmas", do you celebrate something similar? If so, did you make it up? What's it called? How exactly do you celebrate it?

And just to get our religious friends involved, any Christians have an issue with atheists celebrating Christmas?

I've wondered this for a while, because I'm atheist, so obviously I don't believe in, nor do I attach, any religious significance regarding Christmas, but I do celebrate Christmas in the sense of the family, dinner, and gifts.

I personally think you celebrate what ever you want to celebrate, but does anybody think it's wrong, or possibly ignorant, for an atheist to celebrate Christmas?




posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 08:31 PM
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Like you, I'm an atheist that celebrates Christmas. I take the oppurtunity to spend time with my family, enjoy a wonderful dinner and feel the positive energy that surrounds the holiday.

I think a lot would agree with me, christians even, that Christmas is more of a traditional holiday in the states these days. Much like Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July.



posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 08:41 PM
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A lot people see Christmas as a commercial event where you get caught up with spending money, possibly go into some amount of debt and worry about what gifts you may receive. For these reasons my family has decided not to do the gift thing (some for kids though) and concentrate on Jesus and the true meaning of the celebration. There will be lots of Love, Church, music (symphony..etc), eating, family and reflection. It will be one of the best seasons yet...



[edit on 11/7/2007 by kinglizard]



posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 08:41 PM
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I'm a Christian but I don't celebrate pagan holidays (holy days). Christmas is a pagan holy day. Since the kids have 2 weeks out of school during that time and I usually have to work the actual day, we have always just had "family day" sometime during that 2 weeks. We have family day several times a year. It's a time to do something special for one another, make each other little token gifts, eat ourselves into a coma, etc. We don't do the tree or get involved in all the trappings but we do celebrate the opportunity we have to be together as a family.

I know your question was directed more towards atheists but I wanted to clarify your assumption that Christians celebrate Christmas. Not all of us do.



posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 08:53 PM
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Originally posted by Roland Deschain
I think a lot would agree with me, christians even, that Christmas is more of a traditional holiday in the states these days. Much like Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July.


Yep, it certainly is. I don't have a problem with it being that way, but that may just be my atheist bias talking.

I think most people, religious or not, celebrate it as an opportunity for family and gifts and spending time with each other, more than recognizing it as a religious holiday.

 


Originally posted by kinglizard
A lot people see Christmas as a commercial event where you get caught up with spending money, possibly go into some amount of debt and worry about what gifts you may receive.


Absolutely. It should just be recognized as a holiday to spend time with family while exchanging gifts, especially for the kids, and people can attach religious significance if they would like to.

But yeah, you're right, some people get a little carried away, and some put far too much stock in the material possessions they may or may not receive.


reply to post by whitewave
 

That's very interesting to hear. That's basically what my family does. It's a 'family day' so to speak, but under the veil of Christmas, because it's the big recognized holiday.

It's interesting to hear unique concepts and celebrations of the idea of a Christmas type day. Thanks for sharing that.




[edit on 11/7/07 by NovusOrdoMundi]



posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 09:59 PM
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Fellow heathen here.

I love the Christmas season. Everybody is nice to one another for at least a week, maybe even the whole month. Seems to give the Abrahamic religions a chance to conduct themselves as their religion dictates. The family isn't bad either. The deterioration of the family structure is pretty significant in the U.S. If this gives my family a reason to come together, I'll be in favor of any holiday.

We stop bombing, famlies come together, homeless get a warm meal. I can't see any wrong in that, Athiest or not.



posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 10:05 PM
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You don't have to worry that you're celebrating anything religious.

Santa Clause has already ruined the original meaning of the holiday. Stupid jerk.

[edit on 7-11-2007 by thehumbleone]



posted on Nov, 8 2007 @ 05:05 AM
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i celebrate festivus, which just happens to fall on my birthday, instead. i've also told my friends and family not to get me anything for the holiday and to donate to charity if they feel the need to do something for me.

and humble... santa is more true to the "original" meaning of christmas than jesus. jesus was added to a pagan holiday...



posted on Nov, 8 2007 @ 10:37 AM
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Originally posted by kinglizard
A lot people see Christmas as a commercial event where you get caught up with spending money, possibly go into some amount of debt and worry about what gifts you may receive. For these reasons my family has decided not to do the gift thing (some for kids though) and concentrate on Jesus and the true meaning of the celebration. There will be lots of Love, Church, music (symphony..etc), eating, family and reflection. It will be one of the best seasons yet...



Originally posted by thehumbleone
Santa Clause has already ruined the original meaning of the holiday. Stupid jerk.


You people are really grinding my gears.

en.wikipedia.org...

It's PAGAN!

Easter is too. In fact thats why Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate any holidays.



posted on Nov, 8 2007 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by Kacen
You people are really grinding my gears.


Why me sharing what my family will be doing this holiday season "grinds your gears" is lost on me.


Originally posted by Kacen
It's PAGAN


I am not a pagan nor do I celebrate anything pagan. Christmas is a time when we Christians Celebrate the birth of Jesus. Many cultures of the past had winter celebrations but I happen to belong to the current time and practice fairly modern Christianity for obvious reasons. We recognize December 25th as the day Jesus was born to this world and celebrate just that. I assure you we Christians won't be thinking about Ishtar and Mithra during this time. You may think we are, but we aren't.




[edit on 11/8/2007 by kinglizard]



posted on Nov, 8 2007 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by thehumbleone
You don't have to worry that you're celebrating anything religious.

Santa Clause has already ruined the original meaning of the holiday. Stupid jerk.



lol Now now Christmas and Easter was actually brought up by you know who.

*coughscatholicchurchcoughs*



posted on Nov, 8 2007 @ 11:37 AM
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'Bout that time again, isn't it? The Christmas Thread controversy. I'll play...

I think we all are aware there are two things going on around "the holidays". There's the Christian celebration of Christ's birth (although we really don't know when that was, or ever received any particular instruction to celebrate it). There's also the traditional decoration, presents, tree, mistletoe, holly, egg nog, wassail, family & friends get together.

As to the question, do Christians "think it's wrong" for atheists to "celebrate" Christmas?

I can speak only for myself, and the answer is - of course not. Does it make you happy? Do you enjoy it? Is it a positive experience? Anything that causes positivity and good feelings to be released into the world is a good thing.

Of course, I might look at it as another example of the power of Christ moving in mysterious ways to bless the atheists with happiness and good cheer, and if you don't mind that I have that belief, then it's all good.



posted on Nov, 8 2007 @ 01:15 PM
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Originally posted by yeahright
'Bout that time again, isn't it? The Christmas Thread controversy.


Well, this is my first Christmas on ATS, so I wasn't aware this was a common occurrence



Originally posted by yeahright
Of course, I might look at it as another example of the power of Christ moving in mysterious ways to bless the atheists with happiness and good cheer, and if you don't mind that I have that belief, then it's all good.


Nope, I don't mind at all that you have that belief. I think everyone should celebrate Christmas for what ever purpose they wish to celebrate it for.

What I like about Christmas is, like DeadFlagBlues said, it's pretty much the only time of year that everyone is nice to each other. It's sad that that seems so foreign to us to see everyone nice to each other for a week or two.



[edit on 11/8/07 by NovusOrdoMundi]



posted on Nov, 8 2007 @ 01:22 PM
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Christmas and Easter are not pagan holidays. Sure they borrowed some pagan traditions from Yule and Ostara to incorporate into the holidays to help the pagans transition into Christianity. But Christmas is still the celebration of the birth of Christ and Easter is still the celebration of his ressurection.

As far as the Santa Claus thing, that is Christian too although I don't think they ever intended on bringing him into the Christmas holiday. However St. Nicholas' (The saint of theives and children) Saint Day is very close to the Christmas holiday and that's how he was included into the mix.

I am agnostic and I celebrate Christmas. Although I don't believe in Jesus as the begotten son of God, I still believe in him as a prophet, a teacher and a philantrophist so I have no problems celebrating his birthday. But like many, I mainly use it as a time to spend time with family and spoil my kids. I don't get too carried away though, enough to make them feel special but not too much to where they feel it's their God given right.



posted on Nov, 8 2007 @ 06:51 PM
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Well I am also an atheist and I do celebrate Christmas. It is a religious holiday to most of my family and I guess growing up celebrating it I have grown accustomed to the holiday. I do give out presents and hang out with family, even put up a tree, but it holds no religious meaning to me personally.



posted on Nov, 9 2007 @ 10:55 PM
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Kacen,

You and I dont often agree on much but I have to hand it to you. My hat is off to you . You are correct. Christmas has its origins in a pagan holyday. It is a variation of the death of the sun god..on December 21/22. The shortest day of the year and the sun god dies. Three days in the grave and the sun god is raised, Resurected . Reborn again in the newness of life.24/25 December.
Same with Easter and other "holydays." All of them pagan in origins.
The origins of many of these so called Holydays can be found in

Alexander Hislop's "The Two Babylons"

As a Christian who reads the "Word" I came to understand that there is no instruction both Olde and New Testament to celebrate a birthday....ever. This would be self glorification. It is also a tradition recorded in the nations surrounding Ancient Israel. Pagan nations celebrated birthdays. It was never in the instructions to the Hebrews to so do. This did not change with the advent of Christianity.

When I came to understand this I gave up all this nonsense about holydays....birthdays too. I have no objection to as Whitewave appropriately states...bringing the family together on any day or many days through the year.. and breaking bread. I think this is a great thing..especially in todays high speed fast food lane speed of life.

There is only One who is Holy...all day ..every day..not to be substituted or hijacked by the traditions of men.

Oh..and in case the Christians on this board dont get what I am getting at ..the significance of Jesus is not his birth per se...but what and for whom he died.not his birthday. Somehow so many Christians get this simple fact backwards. It is His death and shedding of His Blood on the
Cross...not his birth which is so significant to us.
If his birthday was so important it would be clearly stated in the Word as to when it was. What is clearly stated is that he died for His people..not his birthday.

An intresting side light of this christmas buisness is that some 30 miles northwest of me is the city of Williamsburg, Virginia. In Williamsburg they have a reconstructed Colonial side where they do some things in these shops the olde ways..you know ...silversmiths, weavers, wheelwrights, blacksmiths, gunsmiths etc etc.
Of intrest seasonally are the interviews where they interview the Colonial Williamsburg historians about christmas. THese television interviewer often make the mistake of asking how the Colonialists would have decorated thier homes for christmas. These historians will hem and haw around before admittign that they have no records of how the colonialists decorated their homes... "but we think they would have decorated thier homes like this!!" The then proceed to demonstrate and dramatize how they think it would have been done. What a joke!! What a scam!!
They will go to such great lengths to keep us on the treadmill and not knowing that the colonialists did not celebrate christmas nor decorate.

HOw far will your priest, preacher, or pastor go to keep you on this line of non thinking too??

If this is in fact true..and so many of us claim Christianity ...yet we have it backwards ..it gives certain veracity as nonbelievers, to the positions of Kacen's and Madnessinmysoul's beef with Christians. They do have a point here.

One more thing on the merchandizing side of this nonsense. I dont agree with these blue laws. I think most of them have died out in many of the states. About time too. If a buisness man wants to close on a particular day to go to worship..bon appetit. More power to them. I think they should be able to adjust their buisness schedules accordingly...no matter what day or time. That is their buisness..It is not the buisness of the state. Nor is it the buisness of the church if someone wants to open or close their buisness on certain day.

However...conversely...I see nothing honorable about making a so called holy day a excuse for a huge sale as so many buisnesses are wont to do.
As some posters have alluded here...it cheapens so much for those who can think further than conveneince. To me this fingerprint is no different than the money changers plying thier trade in the temples...both pagan temples and also the Hebrew temples.

Well stated in your post Kacen,
And for once I agree with you,

Thanks,
Orangetom

[edit on 9-11-2007 by orangetom1999]

[edit on 9-11-2007 by orangetom1999]

[edit on 9-11-2007 by orangetom1999]



posted on Nov, 10 2007 @ 08:21 PM
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Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.....
Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.....
They are vanity, and the work of errors.....(Jer. 10:2)

Still, the light displays are nice.




posted on Nov, 11 2007 @ 03:29 AM
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Whitewave,

I thought about posting that portion of the Word but decided not.

No Baal Mass/Yule tree for me thanks.

Early morning here in Va. On day shift today for 12 hour shift. Than back to 12 hr shifts on nights on Monday. It is like a yo yo here changing shifts. Hind parts dragging. By tonight..."The Force will not be with me."

Good to see your posts again. I did not know until your post above that you were not into all that holiday "Tradition."

Good for you. It simplifys alot of things.

Gotta get ready to shove off again,
Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Nov, 11 2007 @ 02:54 PM
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reply to post by NovusOrdoMundi
 


We don't celebrate Christmas. Not at all. No messy tree, no obligatory presents, no commercialism, no lights and decorations, no hassles.


We don't celebrate ANY holidays or other yearly remembrances. We usually miss our anniversary and our birthdays consist of a favorite meal out (which we do many times during the year, so it's not special). I don't have any problem with Christmas and the other holidays (except for maybe the stores being crowded - but I work around it) we just don't choose to do it.

I LOVE not having the hassle of holidays. They don't make sense to me and they have become so commercialized that that seems to be what they are all about.



posted on Nov, 11 2007 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by Roland Deschain

I think a lot would agree with me, christians even, that Christmas is more of a traditional holiday in the states these days. Much like Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July.


Very true. You wouldn't believe how many jewish people I know that celebrate christmas instead of hannakuh. It does seem more like a traditional holiday with each passing year.




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