A question to Atheists. What is Christmas to you?

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    Nov 30, 2009 10:01 AM GMT
    Yep, we had discussions on this subject before. Christmas being of pagan origins, Saturnalia and so forth. But it is still the most celebrated holiday in the year. Yet it's to do with the birth of a man child in a small village two thousand years ago, a rather insignificant event, yet a start of something that would change the world for ever.
    This question is aimed for RealJock members such as Chuckystud, Sedative, Musclequest, Tapper and all others who disregard spiritual things in their lives.
    What is Christmas to you?
    Would you be celebrating it?
    Or just pass it by as another working day?
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    Nov 30, 2009 3:36 PM GMT
    would be interesting to see the responses.
  • KepaArg

    Posts: 1721

    Nov 30, 2009 3:46 PM GMT
    While raised quasi -catholic (went to catholic school, but never went to church). I personally I´m more agnostic then atheist, and reject the theory of god, jesus, allah or one supreme being.

    Back to the question, my family and I, get together for a large dinner on the 24th (there is no thanking or recalling of jesus and no prayer). We exchange gifts, share laughs over great food and good wine. We never have those holiday fights as seen in American movies. At about midnight my cousins and I meet with our friends and party the night away usually returning home at about 7am hahaha, and spending actually christmas day hung over by the pool. icon_cool.gif
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    Nov 30, 2009 3:50 PM GMT
    A celebration of the renewal of the light perhaps, quality time with your family and friends. Reason to stay in and stuff your face.
    Just some thoughts.
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    Nov 30, 2009 3:57 PM GMT
    Isn't this when jesus comes out of his cave and if he sees his shadow, there's only 6 weeks of winter left or something?
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    Nov 30, 2009 3:58 PM GMT

    A time for me to try and steal it again.

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    Nov 30, 2009 3:58 PM GMT
    the birth of our lord Cartier
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    Nov 30, 2009 4:04 PM GMT
    On Thanksgiving I go see my parents, eat food I shouldn't, and drink to stay sane.

    On Christmas I do the same thing and my atheism doesn't hinder either.
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Nov 30, 2009 4:10 PM GMT
    McGay saidIsn't this when jesus comes out of his cave and if he sees his shadow, there's only 6 weeks of winter left or something?


    Good lord, I think I just witnessed an apparition. McGay just appeared to me icon_eek.gif
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    Nov 30, 2009 4:11 PM GMT
    Ciarsolo7 saidthe birth of our lord Cartier


    Did Sophie make her choice then? LOL
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    Nov 30, 2009 4:13 PM GMT
    Ganymede80 said
    Ciarsolo7 saidthe birth of our lord Cartier


    Did Sophie make her choice then? LOL


    I'ma give you a noogie now!
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    Nov 30, 2009 4:21 PM GMT
    NotThatOld saidYep, we had discussions on this subject before. Christmas being of pagan origins, Saturnalia and so forth. But it is still the most celebrated holiday in the year. Yet it's to do with the birth of a man child in a small village two thousand years ago, a rather insignificant event, yet a start of something that would change the world for ever.
    This question is aimed for RealJock members such as Chuckystud, Sedative, Musclequest, Tapper and all others who disregard spiritual things in their lives.
    What is Christmas to you?
    Would you be celebrating it?
    Or just pass it by as another working day?


    This is a very naive question. Firstly, the appalling excess of consumption surrounding Christmas has nothing to do with religion at all; the holiday has been almost fully secularized, in the same way that Thanksgiving has become an excessive display of gluttony.

    Secondly, it suggests to me you do not understand the difference between "spiritual" and "religious". Humanity, whether religious or atheist, is spiritual--it is an inseparable part of our psychology.

    As an atheist, I find religious institutions to be hypocritical, intolerant, untangleable from dubious history and a poor basis for morality. I have no need of them.

    And so, like I suspect the majority of Christians, Christmas is for me an opportunity to visit my family since the University is closed (fair enough!); I certainly do not indulge in the consumerism or gluttony.
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    Nov 30, 2009 4:22 PM GMT
    x-mas is essentially thanksgiving 2.0. Tons of food of the same variety, but also a shitload of presents for kids to unwrap. That's about it, there's never been any kind of religious overtones or undertones to it, though my family would claim to be christians.

    Late December Consumerism Day(s) has a nice ring to it doesn't it?
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    Nov 30, 2009 4:22 PM GMT
    My whole family still uses it as an excuse to get out of a week and a half of work LOL! But seriously, we make it one of the more-important family get-togethers of the year, and it's nice not to have to deal with all the retail bullshit.
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    Nov 30, 2009 4:26 PM GMT
    I can't believe nobody has yet mentioned that it's also time for the annual walmart stampedes/consumser sacrificial rites, otherwise known as the American Running of the Bulls.

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    Nov 30, 2009 4:30 PM GMT
    5 days off work
    an excuse to eat a sinfull amount of food, turkey and anything chocolate
    oppertunity to get drunk at several holiday parties
    a rational reason to buy things I can't afford



    Jesus shouldn't have to be born in a trough to give me humanity the excuse for a celebration but I'm not complaining

  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Nov 30, 2009 4:41 PM GMT
    I'm really more agnostic than atheist -- I lack the core certainty of a lack of divinity, though I find an atheistic universe far more plausible than a theistic one -- but Christmas has always been a big deal to me. I've been culturally brainwashed to relate the supposed anniversary of the birth of a baby in the desert (which, assuming there's an historical component to the story, most likely would have happened in late March as the only reason to spend the evening out in the fields with the sheep is if they're giving birth which happens in the spring) with pine trees and snow, but who said holidays need to be logical.

    I essentially grew up in a Norman Rockwell painting, and Christmas turns me into a non-materialistic 4-year-old. Decorating the tree, setting up the lights, helping set up my mother's Christmas village, baking cookies and the like all set the stage. Christmas Eve itself always revolved around carols, the last of the baking, wrapping presents, a candlelight church service primarily featuring religious carols, and a walk home looking at the lights, often accompanied by snowfall -- there are certain advantages to having grown up in the suburbs of Buffalo. It's a little different these days; my mother died some years back, and now my father lives in Florida in the winter so I spend Christmas where it's in the 60s and the natives still wear scarves and mittens despite that, but some of the emotional attachment still exists. And some of the traditions, like our standard Christmas morning breakfast (fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, and polish sausage all cooked in the same skillet), still hold.

    Christmas is one of the few times a year when the majority of people try to reach beyond their normal limitations and be a better person. Charitable giving spikes, and not simply because others are watching, but because many take the time to reflect on how good they really have it compared to what could be, and decide to help out the less fortunate be it with time, money, or possessions they no longer use very much but others might. It's also the only time I can count on my brother, father, and me all being in the same house; it happens some summers, but less reliably. Many Christians complain about the secularization of Christmas, but I think it's important to make a distinction between the secularization and commercialization, and it's really the latter that most of them mean.

    For those of your worried about the lack of religion in the holiday as celebrated by many, I suggest you turn your worry to Easter instead. From a religious Christian perspective, Easter is the much bigger holiday. As my dad likes to say "Everyone's born. Remarkably few come back from the dead."
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    Nov 30, 2009 4:53 PM GMT
    It's a day to spend time with my family, appreciate having them around (even though we're likely to fight and bicker all day), and cook/eat awesome food.

    One of the best parts for me though is seeing how happy a few simple gifts can make someone.

    Finally, my inner drag queen absolutely LOVES all of the flashy lights and tacky lawn decorations.
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    Nov 30, 2009 5:16 PM GMT
    NotThatOld said...Christmas being of pagan origins...
    It was as a Christian that I rejected Christmas, it having nothing to do with the birth of Christ. Christmas was, to me, a commercialized, pagan assault on my core belief, which had Jesus wanting to be remembered with the body & blood thing ("Take this, my body, and eat it...do it in remembrance of me..."), not a birthday bash.

    My atheist incarnation has no comment on Christmas, other than to take joy in the season Bill O'Reilly's head nearly explodes because for some reason the Jews and the atheists are the REAL threat to Christmas.
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    Nov 30, 2009 8:28 PM GMT
    You are very wrong to say that those of us who reject belief in a god are not sensitive to spiritual concerns. It´s a typical Christian thing. It´s somewhat annoying.

    Since the death of god I have looked to the solstices and equinoxes to give shape to the year. The winter solstice this year is on the 21st Dec at 17:47 GMT. The sun then stops moving and is "reborn" on about the 25th.

    xmas will be with family.
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    Nov 30, 2009 8:35 PM GMT
    Christmas = capitalism working it's magic.
  • ChilaxinJOCK0...

    Posts: 1513

    Nov 30, 2009 8:36 PM GMT
    McGay saidIsn't this when jesus comes out of his cave and if he sees his shadow, there's only 6 weeks of winter left or something?



    Hahaha! damn thatss wrroong...but funny
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    Nov 30, 2009 8:48 PM GMT
    McGay saidIsn't this when jesus comes out of his cave and if he sees his shadow, there's only 6 weeks of winter left or something?


    If Jesus were smart he'd stay away from us. Humans are dangerous!
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    Nov 30, 2009 8:56 PM GMT
    Punxsutawney Christ.
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    Nov 30, 2009 9:02 PM GMT
    McGay saidPunxsutawney Christ.


    Cue banjos.