Christmas vs Xmas

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Christmas vs Xmas

Ok sorry again if this is in the wrong area, please move it if it is.

 With that said, I'm going to put forth my views, as an agnostic (or agnostic atheist, whatever you want to call me), on christmas. I will probably get some responses telling me how non-atheist/theist my views are but hear me out. Christmas, as is acknowledged presently, can be split into two sides. On one side (going straight out of tradition/myth/legend/bible), is Jesus's birthday, a huge religious festival, and generally viewed as one of the most important days of the year in the christian circle. On the other side, theres Santa Claus, gift giving, christmas trees and egg nog. I understand why many atheists view christmas as a christian holiday and something to be shunned/destroyed/abandoned etc. But I'm still under the opinion that we can keep the non-theist, non-christian aspect of it and still be happy in our atheist views. Yay consumerism. I personally have to problem buying and giving xmas presents to people. I have no problem enjoying xmas dinner with my family next to the xmas tree. It's an amazing time. And if you think about it, for a lot of people (just a personal observation) xmas has nothing to do with the christian christmas. It's just a joyous time to be celebrated with family. 

Now I'm not saying atheists should be like "yay christmas" cuz that usually involves something christian. But if xmas is so seperated from christmas, why bicker about it. Why not enjoy your egg nog, happy with your new presents, and sitting around the tree? Maybe we should just change the name to "Winter Holiday". Oh by the way, on a side note, I work for Starbucks, and this past xmas, instead of having the "Christmas Blend" of coffee like they usually have, they also added "Holiday Blend" (in a blue package rather than red or green). It was the same coffee, just a different package. I thought it was rather funny, maybe you don't, but whatever. Thought I would add it.  


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What to do about holidays

What to do about holidays is something that a lot of us think about.  While the family gathering is dandy and the big meal is always nice, it can get uncomfortable for some when the holiday leans toward the xian celebration instead of "celebrating" consumerism.

There are some thoughts about that in this thread and also in this thread.

Sounds like Starbucks is a bit more progressive in several areas, too.  There are some interesting posts in this thread.

By the way, I've had Starbuck's Holiday Blend and it's quite nice.  If I'm working at "my" local theater in November/December, I always take a big bag of Holiday Blend to share with the cast and crew during rehearsals. 

 

 

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To be completely honest, I

To be completely honest, I celebrate xmas as a secular and commercial holiday. There was never any mention of christianity during the xmas season while I was growing up, so I never equated it to christianity until I was in my teens. At which point I simply shrugged and continued doing what I'd always done.

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Keep in mind that the "X"

Keep in mind that the "X" in x-mas is just shorthand for "Christ", so you're not really separating the religious from the secular by calling it xmas. Aside from that, I agree with your point.

Though I am growing to despise religion in its many forms, I am a bit of a sucker for tradition in other aspects. And the winter holiday is a tradition from long before Christianity took it over. We can thank our pagan ancestors for refusing to give up the tree, gifting, egg-nog and such.

As for myself, when I am in a position to throw my own winter shin-digs, it will be on the day of the winter solstice, and it will be full of non-religious traditions.

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Welcome to the forums, Max

Welcome to the forums, Max Wilder!

When you get a minute, we'd love it if you'd hop over to General Conversation, Introductions and Humor and introduce yourself.

 

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Meh, I still celbrate

Meh, I still celbrate christmas with the family as well. To me its like another Thanksgiving or July 4th, but with presents too.

Spending time with the family, eating good food, giving each other stuff. What's not to like about that? We just happen to do it on a day some people think Jesus was born on and is a national holiday.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Max Wilder wrote: Keep in

Max Wilder wrote:
Keep in mind that the "X" in x-mas is just shorthand for "Christ", so you're not really separating the religious from the secular by calling it xmas.

I was merely saving myself from typing an extra 5 letters.

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That was meant for the

That was meant for the original poster. Smiling

But it is a problem. What do we call it? Winter Holiday? Not only is that boring and generic, it includes the work holiday which is a concatination of "holy day", which it is not.

Should we call it a festival? A solstice feast? Perhaps a secular hero we can name it after? I'm leaning toward something with the word solstice in it, since that is an undenyable astronomical event.

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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Meh, I still celbrate christmas with the family as well. To me its like another Thanksgiving or July 4th, but with presents too.

Spending time with the family, eating good food, giving each other stuff. What's not to like about that? We just happen to do it on a day some people think Jesus was born on and is a national holiday.

 

Me too.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Meh, I still celbrate christmas with the family as well. To me its like another Thanksgiving or July 4th, but with presents too.

Spending time with the family, eating good food, giving each other stuff. What's not to like about that? We just happen to do it on a day some people think Jesus was born on and is a national holiday.

  Exactly. Me too. That's why I didn't like a video by someone from this forum criticizing passive atheists for celebrating Christmas and stuff.


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Max Wilder wrote: That was

Max Wilder wrote:

That was meant for the original poster. Smiling

But it is a problem. What do we call it? Winter Holiday? Not only is that boring and generic, it includes the work holiday which is a concatination of "holy day", which it is not.

Should we call it a festival? A solstice feast? Perhaps a secular hero we can name it after? I'm leaning toward something with the word solstice in it, since that is an undenyable astronomical event.

 

call it "giftmas." 

Rill


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xmas has always been just

xmas has always been just about giving gifts and being with family, for me. my parents are very casual christians (leaning toward agnostic) and not once during my childhood did they ever bring up christ during the holidays. honestly, santa and frosty are a hundred times more fun than baby jesus. why ruin a nice family holiday worrying about ridulous xian symbolism?

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Max Wilder wrote: That was

Max Wilder wrote:

That was meant for the original poster. Smiling

But it is a problem. What do we call it? Winter Holiday? Not only is that boring and generic, it includes the work holiday which is a concatination of "holy day", which it is not.

Should we call it a festival? A solstice feast? Perhaps a secular hero we can name it after? I'm leaning toward something with the word solstice in it, since that is an undenyable astronomical event.

Festivus.

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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Meh, I still celbrate christmas with the family as well. To me its like another Thanksgiving or July 4th, but with presents too.

But Christmas or as some have called it "xmas" is not a holiday.  Considering it is a holiday is contradictory.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Spending time with the family, eating good food, giving each other stuff. What's not to like about that?

OK one very HUGE problem with that....why aren't you doing that the other 364 days of the year?  The reason the commercialization of Christmas is bad is for that exact reason....we'd rather do it one month of the year and think that redeems us from the rest of the year of ignoring family or friends due to our selfish purposes.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
We just happen to do it on a day some people think Jesus was born on and is a national holiday.

Now this is where you shouldn't generalize because you are dead wrong...

Anyone with half a brain knows that Jesus was not born on the 25th day of December.  It is the day that was set aside for those who do believe in him to celebrate his birth(day).  It would be just the same if your birthday fell on a Tuesday and you decided to celebrate it on the weekend instead; everyone knows that's not your day yet so you can have everyone united for your day you pick a date and go from there.  

Oh...and please don't get into the pagan celebrations because that's not my point. 

 

 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak

razorphreak wrote:

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Meh, I still celbrate christmas with the family as well. To me its like another Thanksgiving or July 4th, but with presents too.

But Christmas or as some have called it "xmas" is not a holiday.  Considering it is a holiday is contradictory.

If you believe in the religion it's based on perhaps. But just holding it as a secular holiday is not problematic, considering that christianity lost control of it a couple decades ago.

razorphreak wrote:

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Spending time with the family, eating good food, giving each other stuff. What's not to like about that?

OK one very HUGE problem with that....why aren't you doing that the other 364 days of the year?

 

Who says he isn't? However in this day and age, with families spread around the globe, it is rather nice to have a day recognized in a significant number of countries to allow families to get together for a short time before returning to their daily lives.
And good food tends to cost money. If we ever embrace socialist democracy it may be possible to have all families eating good food all the time, but right now the number of people who have a good meal on a daily basis is horribly low.

razorphreak wrote:
The reason the commercialization of Christmas is bad is for that exact reason....we'd rather do it one month of the year and think that redeems us from the rest of the year of ignoring family or friends due to our selfish purposes.

Only if we actually believe that. For me xmas is a time when the family can gather itself up from across the country and get together for a day or two. It has nothing to do with how we treat each other seperately from that day.

razorphreak wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
We just happen to do it on a day some people think Jesus was born on and is a national holiday.

Now this is where you shouldn't generalize because you are dead wrong... Anyone with half a brain knows that Jesus was not born on the 25th day of December.

I think most people with half a brain have more important things to consider, but I'll grant you this. Still, I'm sure you admit that some people do in fact believe this is the case.

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Vastet wrote: If you

Vastet wrote:
If you believe in the religion it's based on perhaps. But just holding it as a secular holiday is not problematic, considering that christianity lost control of it a couple decades ago.

It lost control because of the fear of lawsuits on not being politically correct and making sure we don't offend anyone else to make sure that stores retain profits so that everyone who would like to participate in the "holiday" will spend money.  Imagine how much business would be lost if you limit christmas spending to only christians? 

Vastet wrote:
Who says he isn't? However in this day and age, with families spread around the globe, it is rather nice to have a day recognized in a significant number of countries to allow families to get together for a short time before returning to their daily lives. And good food tends to cost money. If we ever embrace socialist democracy it may be possible to have all families eating good food all the time, but right now the number of people who have a good meal on a daily basis is horribly low.

Oh I'm not saying he wasn't but his post sure didn't portray that.  If you want to set a date to enjoy family, why not make it May 18th?  My point here is that Christmas was never meant to be a "holiday" but rather an observance.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: Vastet

razorphreak wrote:

Vastet wrote:
If you believe in the religion it's based on perhaps. But just holding it as a secular holiday is not problematic, considering that christianity lost control of it a couple decades ago.

It lost control because of the fear of lawsuits on not being politically correct and making sure we don't offend anyone else to make sure that stores retain profits so that everyone who would like to participate in the "holiday" will spend money.  Imagine how much business would be lost if you limit christmas spending to only christians? 

True enough, but that is the very crux of the matter. It isn't any longer a christian and only christian holiday. And frankly, I'm uncertain as to how much success one might have in trying to reverse the trend.

razorphreak wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Who says he isn't? However in this day and age, with families spread around the globe, it is rather nice to have a day recognized in a significant number of countries to allow families to get together for a short time before returning to their daily lives. And good food tends to cost money. If we ever embrace socialist democracy it may be possible to have all families eating good food all the time, but right now the number of people who have a good meal on a daily basis is horribly low.

Oh I'm not saying he wasn't but his post sure didn't portray that.  If you want to set a date to enjoy family, why not make it May 18th?  My point here is that Christmas was never meant to be a "holiday" but rather an observance.

Again, true enough. But for the sake of convenience, xmas happens to be one of the most if not the most globally recognized "holidays". I'm not about to find out just how many nations recognize it as a holiday, but I feel confident in asserting it is the most common day which is recognized around the world. Thanksgiving is unique to Canada and the US. And we don't even celebrate them in the same month, let alone the same day. Canada day and Independance day are both nationally unique. Easter isn't as recognized as xmas, and also doesn't have the same corporate and social appeal as does xmas. It's more of a kids holiday than an adults holiday(and yes, it does have the same problems you refer to with xmas). Civic holidays tend to be unique even to provinces and states, let alone nations. The one and only day which may have anywhere near as much appeal and recognition as xmas is the new year. But the new year has the tone of friends and lovers more than extended family, at least in my experience. If you could point at one day where family spread throughout Europe and the Americas could easily and conveniently convene, it would be xmas.

Besides, May 18th is the day before one of the Star Wars days, and would be inconvenient(episodes one and three were released on the 19th).

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Vastet wrote: True enough,

Vastet wrote:
True enough, but that is the very crux of the matter. It isn't any longer a christian and only christian holiday. And frankly, I'm uncertain as to how much success one might have in trying to reverse the trend.

Oh I gave up on that idea a long time ago.  For me the only issue is when there are others that are asking Christians to stop celebrating Chrstmas for the birth of Jesus. 

Vastet wrote:
Again, true enough. But for the sake of convenience, xmas happens to be one of the most if not the most globally recognized "holidays".

Oh I agree but the REASON it is is what I believe to be important. 

Vastet wrote:
Easter isn't as recognized as xmas, and also doesn't have the same corporate and social appeal as does xmas.

Some Christians would disagree with you...especially those who are Christian only those two days of the year.  (Oops...did I just write that?)

Vastet wrote:
Besides, May 18th is the day before one of the Star Wars days, and would be inconvenient(episodes one and three were released on the 19th). :P

BAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAA......all hail George Lucas. 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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christmas vs xmas

Max Wilder wrote:

Keep in mind that the "X" in x-mas is just shorthand for "Christ", so you're not really separating the religious from the secular by calling it xmas. 

 

Hi Max I just started reading this thread and had to stop to say I'm not sure about that.  My sister is a born again christian.  She gets very upset when I type/write x-mas instead of christmas.  Finally I asked her why and she said I am taking out christ when I do that.  She also added I am x'ing out christ like he doesn't matter.  The way  I see it is if you're secular/atheist then write xmas if you're christian/religiuos then write chrismas.  I still say christmas instead of happy holidays though.  Hard to stop what I have known all my life.


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brights wrote:  Hi Max I

brights wrote:

 Hi Max I just started reading this thread and had to stop to say I'm not sure about that. My sister is a born again christian. She gets very upset when I type/write x-mas instead of christmas. Finally I asked her why and she said I am taking out christ when I do that. She also added I am x'ing out christ like he doesn't matter. The way I see it is if you're secular/atheist then write xmas if you're christian/religiuos then write chrismas. I still say christmas instead of happy holidays though. Hard to stop what I have known all my life.

Brights, your sister needs to spend a little time learning a some background.

From Answers.com:

X·mas (krĭs'məs, ĕks'məs)
n.
Christmas.

[From X, the Greek letter chi, first letter of Greek Khrīstos, Christ. See Christ.]

USAGE NOTE   Xmas has been used for hundreds of years in religious writing, where the X represents a Greek chi, the first letter of Χριστος, “Christ.” In this use it is parallel to other forms like Xtian, “Christian.” But people unaware of the Greek origin of this X often mistakenly interpret Xmas as an informal shortening pronounced (ĕks'məs). Many therefore frown upon the term Xmas because it seems to them a commercial convenience that omits Christ from Christmas.

"Xmas" and "X-mas" are common abbreviations of the word "Christmas". They are sometimes pronounced "eksmas", but they, and variants such as "Xtemass", originated as handwriting abbreviations for the pronunciation "Christmas". The "-mas" part came from the Anglo-Saxon for "festival", "religious event": Crīstesmæsse or Crīstemæsse. This abbreviation is widely used but not universally accepted; some view it as demeaning to Christ, whilst others find it a helpful abbreviation.

The word "Christ" and its compounds, including "Christmas", have been abbreviated for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern "Xmas" was commonly used. "Christ" was often written as "XP" or "Xt"; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as 1021 AD. This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters χ and ρ), used in ancient abbreviations for Χριστος (Greek for "Christ&quotEye-wink, and are still widely seen in many Eastern Orthodox icons depicting Jesus Christ. The labarum, an amalgamation of the two Greek letters rendered as ☧, is a symbol often used to represent Christ in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian Churches.

Some people believe that the term is part of an effort to "take Christ out of Christmas" or to literally "cross out Christ"; it is also seen as evidence of the secularization of Christmas, as a symptom of the commercialization of the holiday (as the abbreviation has long been used by retailers). It may also be used as a vehicle to be more inclusive, see political correctness.

The labarum, often called the Chi-Rho, is a Christian symbol representing Christ.

  


The occasionally held belief that the "X" represents the cross Christ was crucified on has no basis in fact. St Andrew's Cross is X-shaped, but Christ's cross was probably shaped like a T or a †. Indeed, X-as-chi was associated with Christ long before X-as-cross could be, since the cross as a Christian symbol developed later. (The Greek letter Chi Χ stood for "Christ" in the ancient Greek acrostic ΙΧΘΥΣ ichthys.) While some see the spelling of Christmas as Xmas a threat, others see it as a way to honor the martyrs. The use of X as an abbreviation for "cross" in modern abbreviated writing (e.g. "Kings X" for "Kings Cross&quotEye-wink may have reinforced this assumption.

In ancient Christian art χ and χρ are abbreviations for Christ's name. In many manuscripts of the New Testament and icons, X is an abbreviation for Christos, as is XC (the first and last letters in Greek, using the lunate sigma); compare IC for Jesus in Greek. The Oxford English Dictionary documents the use of this abbreviation back to 1551, 50 years before the first English colonists arrived in North America and 60 years before the King James Version of the Bible was completed. At the same time, Xian and Xianity were in frequent use as abbreviations of "Christian" and "Christianity"; and nowadays still are sometimes so used, but much less than "Xmas". The proper names containing the name "Christ" other than aforementioned are rarely abbreviated in this way (e.g. Hayden Xensen for the actor name "Hayden Christensen&quotEye-wink. Pop artist Christina Aguilera is known to spell her first name as 'Xtina'.

his apparent usage of "X" to spell the syllable "kris" (rather than the sounds "ks&quotEye-wink has extended to "xtal" for "crystal", and on florists' signs "xant" for "chrysanthemum"[4] (though these words are not etymologically related to "Christ"; "crystal" comes from a Greek word meaning "ice", and "chrysanthemum" from Greek words meaning "golden flower", while "Christ" comes from a Greek word meaning "anointed&quotEye-wink.

In the animated television show Futurama, which is set in the 31st century, Xmas is the official name for the day formerly known as Christmas (which has become an "archaic pronunciation&quotEye-wink.

In Japanese media and goods, Xmas/X-mas is commonly misspelled as "X'mas" in what amounts to an instance of wasei-eigo, or English made in Japan.

 

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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Meh, I still celbrate christmas with the family as well. To me its like another Thanksgiving or July 4th, but with presents too.

Spending time with the family, eating good food, giving each other stuff. What's not to like about that? We just happen to do it on a day some people think Jesus was born on and is a national holiday.

 

I agree. I think everyone should be free to PRIVATELY celebrate the holiday however they like, provided no one pushes it on anyone.  I don't care if people want to go to their churches, as long as they don't demand I join them or demand I say "merry christmas" to everyone instead of "happy holidays" (though I have no problem saying "merry christmas" to people I know are christians or "happy hanukah" to peole I know are jews). as for the national holiday, I think in december people should be free to take certain time off for whatever holiday they celebrate (I guess if you don't you can just take random days off if you want Smiling), so if you're christian you can take xmas off, jewish you can take hanukah off, etc. but there should be no national holiday, so if you want to work on xmas you can (which I have done before, there are some jobs that will let you). make sense? I know some will say I'm being "too nice" but I'm really pretty live and let live unless you get in my face. and that goes for everyone not just theists. I've always loved the excuse to eat good food with family and give presents, so if some people want to attach their own meaning to it go ahead, just don't hurt anyone or demand that I do it too.


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christmas vs xmas

Susan thank you for this information.  I never knew about this and I sure my sister doesn't either.  Shoud be interesting to hear her response.  I'm sure she will get some half assed answer from her pastor on how to respond.  Get this my sister bakes a cake and puts happy birthday jesus on it, everyone sings happy birthday to jesus, blows out the candles and yell out yay.  The last time they did this our big brother immediately right after yelling out yay said and a partridge in a pair tree.  I nearly fell over laughing when he said that.   the children enjoy singing happy birthday no matter who it's for and of course can't wait to eat the cake.  It's all magical fun for them with lots of presents.  xmas was always big in my family.  We do get together for just about every other occasion such as childrens b-days, some anniversaries, weddings, etc.  We that is myself and my parents with big brother who said partridge in a pair tree never got together for easter but since our dad died we have been getting together for dinner on easter.  This year I put a stop to it, I only went along to please my mother but now it's time for her to accept that I just don't want to celebrate easter.  Especially since we never did before.  Xmas  I will celebrate but that's mostly because I like and need the money she gives us lol.  I like the food and getting together but I hate the fairytale and gift giving between siblings, neices & nephews.  I don't have children and really can't afford to give gifts to them.  My mother says she gives me extra $ for that but she really doesn't.  The amount just isn't enough to cover the expense with 9 of the them to buy for.  Not to be selfish but I buy each one their individual gift and get one gift back from each family.  Sheesh that get's expensive.  Only one of my big brothers wife gives me a b-day gift but I buy and give money for all the childrens b-days even when I can't be there.  I'll be glad when they are all 18 yrs old, that's the age we all chose to stop giving to the children.

 

Anyway I am on a rant here and again thank you for taking the time to share this information with me.  I will let her know thisLaughing


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brights wrote: Not to be

brights wrote:

Not to be selfish but I buy each one their individual gift and get one gift back from each family. Sheesh that get's expensive.

Been there. Done that. But in my case it used to be with friends that were couples and families.

With family "holiday" I bought or gave cash for all the nieces and nephews (the brothers and sisters decided long ago to not exchange gifts) and got nothing in return. Sometimes not even a "thank you".

brights wrote:
Only one of my big brothers wife gives me a b-day gift but I buy and give money for all the childrens b-days even when I can't be there. I'll be glad when they are all 18 yrs old, that's the age we all chose to stop giving to the children.

You got a birthday gift? You have me beat. Unfortunately there isn't a family rule about when to stop with the niece/nephew birthdays. They all started getting married and having families. You know what comes next, so I stopped right then and there.

I did, however, get great gifts from close friends. In December, I would just pile all the boxes in the corner of the dining room and wait for some time alone. I would sit in the middle of the room and open my gifts. (The nice thing about being alone when you do this - if it's a crummy present, you don't have to fake it and pretend to love it. However, one must still write a glowing Thank You note. Smiling )

I finally just went on strike and told everyone (friends and family alike) I wasn't doing gifts any more. The realization of the stress involved in getting everyone the perfect gift and getting it to them hit me when I spent $240 at Mail Boxes Etc getting everything mailed.

A couple of years later I stopped sending cards. I was spending way too much on postage and stressing to be sure I got everything out on time.

There were a few people I enjoyed trading cards and letters with because that was the only time I would hear from them. Interestingly, the first year I didn't send cards, I didn't hear from them at all, so I guess it wasn't that important to them.

The only exception to any of this is my father. He's in a care facility now. We don't have the big family to-do so I go and have dinner with him and his roommate at the facility. It really is quite good! I always take them a big basket of goodies that they can have like granola bars, diet soda, fresh fruit, etc. Something that will be used up and won't take up any room because space is at a premium.

Now, if I see something "just perfect" for someone and I'm in the mood, I go ahead and give them a gift. No reason. It's just because.

My stress leves went down considerably and my wallet doesn't have quite so many moths in it.

brights wrote:
Anyway I am on a rant here and again thank you for taking the time to share this information with me. I will let her know thisLaughing

Looks like I ranted right back at ya. Eye-wink

Isn't it interesting that your sister gets so bent out of shape due to an assumption on her part?

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razorphreak wrote: But

razorphreak wrote:

But Christmas or as some have called it "xmas" is not a holiday. Considering it is a holiday is contradictory.

I would love to hear how you figure that! If the day of celebration for the birth of the messiah is not a holy day, then exactly what is?

Oh, and thanks for the backup on the X-mas topic, Susan. Smiling

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Max Wilder wrote: I would

Max Wilder wrote:
I would love to hear how you figure that! If the day of celebration for the birth of the messiah is not a holy day, then exactly what is?

I didn't say "holy day" but holiday, i.e. vacation, day off from work, etc.  It became such for commercial reasons or what seems to be more of a way to fix family issues with a special "season" that will some how negate the other 11 months of the year.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: Max

razorphreak wrote:

Max Wilder wrote:
I would love to hear how you figure that! If the day of celebration for the birth of the messiah is not a holy day, then exactly what is?

I didn't say "holy day" but holiday, i.e. vacation, day off from work, etc. It became such for commercial reasons or what seems to be more of a way to fix family issues with a special "season" that will some how negate the other 11 months of the year.

Are you British or something? The word "holiday" is a concatenation of the words "holy" and "day". In England its primary usage is "vacation", but in America it still retains most of it's original meaning, which is that of a day set aside for religious observance. Of course we use it to mean "a day off work", but we know that it's mostly because of religious purposes, with a few exceptions like the 4th of July, and sometimes (though rarely) days like Memorial Day and Labor Day.

I hear what you are saying about people who ignore family for the rest of the year, but there is no telling whether those people would be better off without a set holiday or not. Perhaps they would ignore their family year-round. Isn't it better in that case that there is a time when people are especially encouraged to re-engage with their families? I certainly disagree if you are implying that winter holidays encourage people to ignore their families for the rest of the year.

And as for commercialism... that is a natural outgrowth of the gifting tradition, and I would not have it any other way. I'm not religious, but I love the feeling of giving somebody a gift I know they will like, and I think it's great to have an excuse to give. When I was a kid I used to love to get presents, but now I find that I get much more satisfaction from giving rather than receiving. I think the hatred of commercialism is transferrence from some other problem people may have with the occasion. Perhaps the feeling that they can't afford to give as much as they'd like, or that they feel a lack of reciprocation. Those are just my personal suspicions, though.

 

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Max Wilder wrote: Are you

Max Wilder wrote:
Are you British or something? The word "holiday" is a concatenation of the words "holy" and "day". In England its primary usage is "vacation", but in America it still retains most of it's original meaning, which is that of a day set aside for religious observance. Of course we use it to mean "a day off work", but we know that it's mostly because of religious purposes, with a few exceptions like the 4th of July, and sometimes (though rarely) days like Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Umm what??  Where the hell did you come up with that?

Max Wilder wrote:
I hear what you are saying about people who ignore family for the rest of the year, but there is no telling whether those people would be better off without a set holiday or not. Perhaps they would ignore their family year-round. Isn't it better in that case that there is a time when people are especially encouraged to re-engage with their families? I certainly disagree if you are implying that winter holidays encourage people to ignore their families for the rest of the year.

As far as implying winter for whatever....umm no.  Again where did you come up with that?

People are using Christmas like no other time for family unity thanks in HUGE part to the commercial side.  If we were to remove this, in theory Christians would use Christmas for celebration of Jesus and non-Christians would consider it just another day.  Right?

Max Wilder wrote:
And as for commercialism... that is a natural outgrowth of the gifting tradition, and I would not have it any other way.

Ah but that's the primary issue.  For any Christian, Christmas should not be about gift giving AT ALL.  Of course thanks to Santa and all the other whoopla surrounding it, spend one season without giving a single gift and see what happens.  Not even a die hard Christian would attempt this because of the social repercussions.

Max Wilder wrote:
I'm not religious, but I love the feeling of giving somebody a gift I know they will like, and I think it's great to have an excuse to give.

So why not do it the other 364 days of the year?  I'm not saying you don't but my point here is why have a special day of the year for just that?  But again, so much for trying to reform to that idea.

Max Wilder wrote:
I think the hatred of commercialism is transferrence from some other problem people may have with the occasion. Perhaps the feeling that they can't afford to give as much as they'd like, or that they feel a lack of reciprocation. Those are just my personal suspicions, though.

You know you bring up a good point; social jealousy?

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: Max

razorphreak wrote:

Max Wilder wrote:
Are you British or something? The word "holiday" is a concatenation of the words "holy" and "day". In England its primary usage is "vacation", but in America it still retains most of it's original meaning, which is that of a day set aside for religious observance. Of course we use it to mean "a day off work", but we know that it's mostly because of religious purposes, with a few exceptions like the 4th of July, and sometimes (though rarely) days like Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Umm what?? Where the hell did you come up with that?

Where did I come up with that? It's etymology! Back in the 14th century, when people were speaking old english, they just started running the words hālig (meaning holy) and dæg (meaning day) into one word, hāligdæg, where it meant both "holy day" and "day of recreation". hālig developed into holi, then holy. dæg developed into dai, then day. I don't know why that isn't intuitively obvious for you. The word holiday is only one letter different from holy day, and the letters i and y are used almost exactly the same in the English language.

razorphreak wrote:

Max Wilder wrote:
I hear what you are saying about people who ignore family for the rest of the year, but there is no telling whether those people would be better off without a set holiday or not. Perhaps they would ignore their family year-round. Isn't it better in that case that there is a time when people are especially encouraged to re-engage with their families? I certainly disagree if you are implying that winter holidays encourage people to ignore their families for the rest of the year.

As far as implying winter for whatever....umm no. Again where did you come up with that?

People are using Christmas like no other time for family unity thanks in HUGE part to the commercial side. If we were to remove this, in theory Christians would use Christmas for celebration of Jesus and non-Christians would consider it just another day. Right?

I don't get your point. You sound like you don't want the commercial aspects of Christmas, but you also say the family unity is because of the "commercial side". What are you saying? What is wrong with having a time of year when family unity is especially encouraged?

razorphreak wrote:

Max Wilder wrote:
And as for commercialism... that is a natural outgrowth of the gifting tradition, and I would not have it any other way.

Ah but that's the primary issue. For any Christian, Christmas should not be about gift giving AT ALL. Of course thanks to Santa and all the other whoopla surrounding it, spend one season without giving a single gift and see what happens. Not even a die hard Christian would attempt this because of the social repercussions.

The reason why Christmas is observed in December near the solstice is because that's when everybody was having a party anyway. It was called Saturnalia, and it was a celebration of the rebirth of the sun after the solsitce. That's where the gifting tradition came from. The early church wanted to convert people, and the people didn't want to give up their traditions, so they put Christmas at the same time as the other festival and let them keep the fun parts so long as they stopped worshipping Saturn. If it was truly a celebration of the Christ's birth, it would be in the late spring or early summer probably. That is the time of year that he was most likely born.

I agree that Christmas should not be about gift giving. It would be great if Christians would move it to some other day so it wouldn't mess up the party atmosphere. Maybe we could go back to calling it Saturnalia.

-----
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- Douglas Adams, Salmon of Doubt


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Max Wilder wrote:

Max Wilder wrote:
Where did I come up with that? It's etymology!

Still sounds reaching either way...

Max Wilder wrote:
You sound like you don't want the commercial aspects of Christmas, but you also say the family unity is because of the "commercial side". What are you saying? What is wrong with having a time of year when family unity is especially encouraged?

Yea you completely missed the point.

My whole point in this is Christmas is about Jesus, not gift giving. And the one thing that is wrong about having a time of the year for family unity is that there shouldn't be a single time but rather every day of the year.

Max Wilder wrote:
The reason why Christmas is observed in December...

Blah blah blah yes I know why it's obvserved in December.

Max Wilder wrote:
If it was truly a celebration of the Christ's birth, it would be in the late spring or early summer probably. That is the time of year that he was most likely born.

OK I'll say this as simply as I can...

If your birthday fell on a Tuesday how often would you celebrate it full blown that day (now I'm making the assumption that as an adult, you'd probably like to go out drinking with buddies or a special person, stay out late and party.  Now I know this might not be you exactly but I know you know people who do this so if it's not you, pretend for a minute that it is)? Typically what happens? You'll plan a big thing for the weekend before or after the specific day and on that specific day you'll do the basic thing of cake and phone calls. You birthday wasn't the preceding Saturday or Sunday or whatever day you chose to observe it and for the most part, you'll be ok with that.

My point here is Christmas isn't about the SPECIFICS of Jesus' birth but rather the celebration of his birth. So really does it really matter WHEN it's celebrated so long as it is? For Christians, the answer is NO. Why? Because the celebration and recognizing of Jesus is what was important and continuing to do so throughout the year. The obvious jab at the importance of Christmas being in the wrong season is just flat out silly.

Max Wilder wrote:
I agree that Christmas should not be about gift giving. It would be great if Christians would move it to some other day so it wouldn't mess up the party atmosphere. Maybe we could go back to calling it Saturnalia.

Wait a minute...tell me why would you ask Christians to do such a thing since really any non-Christian doesn't have a single reason to be celebrating that day at all? Sounds to me you have been brain washed by the commercial system into believing that Christmas is about a family affair and "party" when you really should have been ignoring it from the start.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: Max

razorphreak wrote:

Max Wilder wrote:
I agree that Christmas should not be about gift giving. It would be great if Christians would move it to some other day so it wouldn't mess up the party atmosphere. Maybe we could go back to calling it Saturnalia.

Wait a minute...tell me why would you ask Christians to do such a thing since really any non-Christian doesn't have a single reason to be celebrating that day at all? Sounds to me you have been brain washed by the commercial system into believing that Christmas is about a family affair and "party" when you really should have been ignoring it from the start.

Ha! You defend observing the birth of the messiah 6 months late, and then you call me brainwashed? If Tuesday isn't convenient for holding services in honor of the birth of your lord and savior, there's nobody stopping them from at least being in the right month! The winter solstice has been a time of celebration long before Christianity crashed the party, so you really have no leg to stand on.

The one and only reason Christmas is December 25th is so that Christians could integrate all the traditions you want to be rid of. You should be campaigning to move the date rather than dismissing the notion as "silly".

I'll keep the tree, yule log and the wassail, as well as the days between solstice and New Years. You can have your church services in some other season.

-----
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- Douglas Adams, Salmon of Doubt


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Max Wilder wrote: Ha! You

Max Wilder wrote:
Ha! You defend observing the birth of the messiah 6 months late, and then you call me brainwashed? If Tuesday isn't convenient for holding services in honor of the birth of your lord and savior, there's nobody stopping them from at least being in the right month! The winter solstice has been a time of celebration long before Christianity crashed the party, so you really have no leg to stand on.

And?

Again, I'm not ignorant to WHY Christmas is on the 25th.  You keep spouting off facts for your own entertainment it seems.  Relax dude..

As to the example of your birthday, why did you twist it?

Lastly, I guess you forgot all the other stuff I wrote about the realization that Christmas for AMERICANS (i.e. atheists and theists alike) is never going to change.  The "war on Christmas" is nonsense for the simple reason of trying to be controversial when goodwill should be goal anyway.

Max Wilder wrote:
The one and only reason Christmas is December 25th is so that Christians could integrate all the traditions you want to be rid of. You should be campaigning to move the date rather than dismissing the notion as "silly".

I'll keep the tree, yule log and the wassail, as well as the days between solstice and New Years. You can have your church services in some other season.

I questioned as to why any non-Christian would have anything to do with the celebration at Christmas and you responded with "move the date".  Nice dodge.

If it got moved great.  If not, so what.  Because of what society has transformed Christmas into, you really think that's going to happen?  It isn't so what does it matter to even debate it?  Now I know this is going to sound like the "no true Scotsman" bit, but the intention of any Christian should be to celebrate Jesus every day since Christmas is one of those "traditions" not necessary to prove one's faith.  I call it silly because you seem to target it out of hate for theists instead of using it for possible human solidarity.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: As to

razorphreak wrote:

As to the example of your birthday, why did you twist it?

I'm twisting it to show you how weak that argument is. You are trying to use the word "observance" to justify celebrating Christmas on December 25th, when it has no religious justification for being on that date.

razorphreak wrote:

I questioned as to why any non-Christian would have anything to do with the celebration at Christmas and you responded with "move the date". Nice dodge.

It isn't a dodge, it is the core of my point. Everything you seem to dislike about Christmas is not Christian. Stop blaming society for ruining Christmas! It was never the pure thing you imagine it was. It was specifically put on that date by your religion's forefathers to incorporate all the things you don't like, traditions that were in place well before Christ.

You ask why any non-Christian would have anything to do with the celebration at Christmas? Because the traditions are fun and heartwarming, and they're not Christian. Very simple.

I have no hate for theists, I'm just tired of people like you who act like Christmas has been spoiled by all these secular traditions, when it is clearly the opposite.

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- Douglas Adams, Salmon of Doubt


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Max Wilder wrote: I'm

Max Wilder wrote:
I'm twisting it to show you how weak that argument is. You are trying to use the word "observance" to justify celebrating Christmas on December 25th, when it has no religious justification for being on that date.

OK one more time...

I KNOW IT DOESN'T HAVE ANY RELIGIOUS JUSTIFICATION.

OK? 

I KNOW.

I'm asking you something else entirely and you twist it because of that reason?  That justifies your position of things that society does to observe a special day for an individual that do not merit a...uh oh...holiday?  

Max Wilder wrote:
It isn't a dodge, it is the core of my point. Everything you seem to dislike about Christmas is not Christian. Stop blaming society for ruining Christmas! It was never the pure thing you imagine it was. It was specifically put on that date by your religion's forefathers to incorporate all the things you don't like, traditions that were in place well before Christ.

You ask why any non-Christian would have anything to do with the celebration at Christmas? Because the traditions are fun and heartwarming, and they're not Christian. Very simple.

I have no hate for theists, I'm just tired of people like you who act like Christmas has been spoiled by all these secular traditions, when it is clearly the opposite.

 I never said Christmas was "spoiled" by the commercialization or the traditions as you call them.  What I said was Christmas is about the birth of Jesus (again ignoring that it isn't the actual date of birth) and the recognition of.  So by all means, enjoy the tree, enjoy the presents, enjoy the tales of Santa or the egg nog or whatever.  You know what, I enjoy them too.  The difference between us however is I understand WHY the day is special outside of all that other "heartwarming" events.  I didn't tell you to stop doing them, I just asked you why you follow those celebrations when they weren't part Christmas to begin with?  Hell man, to be honest I question why you hate Christmas for all that is Christian...I've never heard one solid answer.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: I

razorphreak wrote:

I didn't tell you to stop doing them, I just asked you why you follow those celebrations when they weren't part Christmas to begin with? Hell man, to be honest I question why you hate Christmas for all that is Christian...I've never heard one solid answer.

Can you please re-state your question in the form of a question?

 

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- Douglas Adams, Salmon of Doubt


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There has been no harm and

There has been no harm and no foul, but I'm just stopping by to remind everyond that this is the Kill 'Em With Kindness Forum.

No insults.  No name calling.  No cussing.

Please keep the arguments at a level that would make your grandmother proud.

Carry on.

 

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Susan wrote: No insults.

Susan wrote:

No insults. No name calling. No cussing.

Please keep the arguments at a level that would make your grandmother proud.

You don't know my grandmother. Hehe. Tongue out

But point taken.

Razorphreak, sorry, but I don't understand what you are asking. I don't hate Christmas or Christians. I just wish the fun winter traditions could remain without the religious aspects that I don't believe in.

If there is something else you would like a solid answer for, please ask again and I will try.

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- Douglas Adams, Salmon of Doubt


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Well I hate Christmas. It's

Well I hate Christmas. It's like someone took the worst of Christian appropriation of pagan holidays and mixed it together with the worst forms of crass commercialism.

Bleh! Bah! Humbug!


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Max Wilder

Max Wilder wrote:
razorphreak wrote:

I didn't tell you to stop doing them, I just asked you why you follow those celebrations when they weren't part Christmas to begin with? Hell man, to be honest I question why you hate Christmas for all that is Christian...I've never heard one solid answer.

Can you please re-state your question in the form of a question?

 

 

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Max Wilder

Max Wilder wrote:
Razorphreak, sorry, but I don't understand what you are asking. I don't hate Christmas or Christians. I just wish the fun winter traditions could remain without the religious aspects that I don't believe in.

If there is something else you would like a solid answer for, please ask again and I will try.

It must be my fault because while I've asked a direct question, it didn't register, even when I asked it twice.

So the question is in consideration that Christmas is a CHRISTIAN celebration, why would any non-Christian have a reason to celebrate?  Christmas is about Christ's birth, PERIOD.  The point you make of traditions remaining without religious aspects in concern to Christmas is a complete contradiction of itself - there would be no Christmas without the religious portion and, for that matter, without Christianity.  

So again, why does any non-Christian recognize Christmas?  No Hindu does, no Buddhist, no Muslim, not even Jews (even though they are celebrating Hanukkah).  Remove Christmas, which by definition is about Jesus Christ, and what do you have left?  Nothing.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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razorphreak wrote: Max

razorphreak wrote:
Max Wilder wrote:
Razorphreak, sorry, but I don't understand what you are asking. I don't hate Christmas or Christians. I just wish the fun winter traditions could remain without the religious aspects that I don't believe in.

If there is something else you would like a solid answer for, please ask again and I will try.

It must be my fault because while I've asked a direct question, it didn't register, even when I asked it twice.

So the question is in consideration that Christmas is a CHRISTIAN celebration, why would any non-Christian have a reason to celebrate? Christmas is about Christ's birth, PERIOD. The point you make of traditions remaining without religious aspects in concern to Christmas is a complete contradiction of itself - there would be no Christmas without the religious portion and, for that matter, without Christianity.

So again, why does any non-Christian recognize Christmas? No Hindu does, no Buddhist, no Muslim, not even Jews (even though they are celebrating Hanukkah). Remove Christmas, which by definition is about Jesus Christ, and what do you have left? Nothing.

I have answered this question several times, but let me try to say it in a different way.

I grew up celebrating Christmas in a Christian home. After I decided that I no longer believed in Christ, of course I didn't want to celebrate his birth. But almost all of the traditions that I enjoyed growing up are not Christian in origin. I see no reason why I should stop enjoying things like tree decorating and gift-giving. They are cultural traditions, not religious. Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and Jews may or may not have their own winter traditions, but because I am of European decent, I inherited the traditions which have become identified with Christianity. Well, I have no problem taking the Christianity right back out of my Saturnalia and Yule festivities.

I practice the winter traditions because they are fun. There is no conflict with my atheism.

I hope that made sense.

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- Douglas Adams, Salmon of Doubt


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Max Wilder wrote: I grew up

Max Wilder wrote:
I grew up celebrating Christmas in a Christian home. After I decided that I no longer believed in Christ, of course I didn't want to celebrate his birth. But almost all of the traditions that I enjoyed growing up are not Christian in origin. I see no reason why I should stop enjoying things like tree decorating and gift-giving. They are cultural traditions, not religious.

That is not true.  In American society anyone who was not raised Christian does not celebrate Christmas.  Jews do not.  Jehovah Witnesses do not.  Mormons do but don't.  Muslims do not.  And I'd venture to say that homes that were raised atheist do not either.

Christmas by DEFINITION is the celebration of the birth of Jesus and hence religious.  Your answer is illogical. 

Max Wilder wrote:
Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and Jews may or may not have their own winter traditions, but because I am of European decent, I inherited the traditions which have become identified with Christianity. Well, I have no problem taking the Christianity right back out of my Saturnalia and Yule festivities.

I practice the winter traditions because they are fun. There is no conflict with my atheism.

Your decent is from a Christian home and is the only reason you are even aware of such traditions.  If you were raised any other way you would not be aware until you became socially active as a child and, as families which are not Christian have shown, would not participate in such RELIGIOUS traditions.

If you wish to celebrate them go right on ahead, frankly I have no issue with you on that.  My point here is that your explanations as to why you do celebrate them however do not change the FACT that argument against Christmas is illogical because you are arguing against a Constitutionally granted right.  It is my right to celebrate Christmas because I am Christian and hence my use of "Merry Christmas" or any faith based reference to such is protected to be part of this society.

Being an atheist you should acknowledge that you do not believe in any religion or God and hence it is illogical to follow any said religious based traditions, that is if you were 100% religious free in your life.  Now that is not a slam on you being an atheist because you do follow them and frankly you are free to do so HOWEVER the fact that you wish you argue against the religious portion of what Christmas is while following Christmas traditions is a contradiction of your life as an atheist and more so denying Christians their 1st amendment right to do so.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


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It is clear to me now that


It is clear to me now that you are actively ignoring my arguments, so this will be the last post I make in answer to you unless you make a logical counterargument.

razorphreak wrote:
...the fact that you wish you argue against the religious portion of what Christmas is while following Christmas traditions is a contradiction of your life as an atheist and more so denying Christians their 1st amendment right to do so.

I have never, NEVER suggested that anyone should be denied the right to celebrate Christmas in any way they choose! However much I would like Christians to move the date to some other time of year, I would vehemently oppose any law designed to force that. Don't you DARE suggest that I would deny anybody their constitutional rights!

 

razorphreak wrote:

Christmas by DEFINITION is the celebration of the birth of Jesus and hence religious. Your answer is illogical.

Though you say you understand the history of Christmas and the traditions that surround it, your replies show that in your mind you cannot separate tradition from religion. I have that ability:

Christmas:
· Advent
· Christmas eve church service
· Christmas day church service

Not Christmas (originally):
· Gifting
· Decorating the house with evergreens
· Large family meals
· Drinking with friends
· Singing door-to-door
· Holding these traditions around the winter solstice

These are European traditions (ie. not Jewish, not Muslim, not Hindu, not Buddhist) from BEFORE CHRISTMAS WAS INVENTED! You say you understand, you are tired of me repeating myself, but you keep writing as if they are all an inseparable part of Christmas. They are not. Just because European culture has been primarily Christian for many centuries, that does not make all of our traditions inherently Christian. Certainly not the things we have done from before Christianity.

In my life, I have dropped the "Christmas" section above, and have lots of fun stuff left to do from the "Not Christmas" category, which is entirely non-religious. THERE IS NO CONTRADICTION.

Now, unless you can show me where this rational explanation is faulty, I'm done.

-----
I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.
- Douglas Adams, Salmon of Doubt


razorphreak
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Max Wilder wrote:

Max Wilder wrote:
I have never, NEVER suggested that anyone should be denied the right to celebrate Christmas in any way they choose! However much I would like Christians to move the date to some other time of year, I would vehemently oppose any law designed to force that. Don't you DARE suggest that I would deny anybody their constitutional rights!

Then understand that on an online forum, it's easy to misconstrue your words. Now the problem then becomes not all atheists believe the same thing. Remember the removal of Christmas plays about the nativity in PUBLIC or for that matter any public reference to Jesus during Christmas?

Max Wilder wrote:
Though you say you understand the history of Christmas and the traditions that surround it, your replies show that in your mind you cannot separate tradition from religion.

Yes I can because if you paid attention you should remember when I said "My point here is that Christmas was never meant to be a 'holiday' but rather an observance." The non-Christmas traditions that you love so much I would rather skip because they are not part of the observance of the day. Don't keep twisting the point.

Max Wilder wrote:
In my life, I have dropped the "Christmas" section above, and have lots of fun stuff left to do from the "Not Christmas" category, which is entirely non-religious. THERE IS NO CONTRADICTION.

The contradiction is because Christmas, that VERY WORD, is not about the pagan traditions or parties. The fact that you even call it Christmas is contradictory. This is what I've been trying to say from my first post on this thread and I keep repeating myself because I really don't think you understand my position (or are unwilling to).

Now that aside, do what you want. My personal belief is not going to change the world or your desire to do the gift exchange, which I'm pretty sure I've repeated several times also.

Edit: by the way, those Christian traditions miss the point of Christmas too. 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


Max Wilder
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Ok, I think I see where the

Ok, I think I see where the misunderstanding is. Perhaps I wasn't clear in my earlier posts:

I do not celebrate Christmas.

I celebrate the Western European, non-religious traditions surrounding winter solstice.

Though many people in this country consider them to be the exact same thing, I do not.

If you look at my early posts in this thread, they are concerned with the name we should give those traditions, since they are not Christian. There are atheists who say (in this very thread) that they celebrate Christmas, but they don't. Like me, they celebrate the non-religious traditions, but there just isn't a commonly used word for that, so it's easier to say Christmas, and most people will know from the context what is meant.

I think we wold both be happier if the word Christmas was only used to mean those pure religious services you enjoy, and there was some other word meaning all the other traditions that I enjoy. Something simpler than "winter solstice secular traditions".

I think we are in agreement here, we just need to use the correct words.

 

razorphreak wrote:
Remember the removal of Christmas plays about the nativity in PUBLIC or for that matter any public reference to Jesus during Christmas?

Though the religious right would like you to believe this is an attack on Christmas, it is not. This is an issue of the separation of church and state. Those public displays you are talking about were on government property, and the government should not be supporting one religion over another. That's what the first ammendment is about. If you want to spend public money or use government land for a religious display, you must give equal time and funding to all other religions. Since that is impossible, we must make sure that it doesn't happen for any religions. In the long run, this is just as much for the protection of Christians as any other group. You are free to make public displays on your private property or church property.

As for the removal of public references to Jesus, maybe that was also in government sponsored displays. I'm not familiar with that case. Where did that happen?

-----
I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.
- Douglas Adams, Salmon of Doubt