If Jesus isn’t your savior, Christmas shouldn’t be your holiday

“Keep Christ in Christmas!” is the familiar refrain of Christians who fear the secularization of the holy day celebrating the … Continued

“Keep Christ in Christmas!” is the familiar refrain of Christians who fear the secularization of the holy day celebrating the birth of Jesus, their savior.

But in America, non-Christians often celebrate Christmas.

According to a recent poll by the Christian group LifeWay Research, “A majority of agnostics or those claiming no preference (89 percent), individuals claiming other religions (62 percent), and even atheists (55 percent) celebrate Christmas along with 97 percent of Christians.”

Do you need to be Christian to celebrate Christmas? What is Christmas all about?

Way back in 1984, this Catholic-turned-atheist stopped celebrating Christmas because it was no longer the birthday of anyone I knew. Ever since, I’ve put in a full day’s work whenever Christmas fell during the work week (this year, it doesn’t). So I’m intensely conscious of how many of my fellow atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, and freethinkers keep the Christian holiday in some form. So do many devout Americans who belong to non-Christian religious traditions. I think they’re all shooting themselves in the foot. Despite its many pre- and post-Christian components, Christmas is an inherently Christian festival. It ought to be recognized as such, meaning that non-Christians should steer clear of it, and that Christians who try to paint Christmas a “universal” holiday should get called out for their cultural imperialism.

Yes, I know that most of what goes on in the churches at holiday time is really of pagan origin, and much that’s accreted onto the holiday since the time of Dickens is largely post-Christian. (See my 1993 book, The Trouble with Christmas, which if it were still in print would make an ideal holiday gift, nudge nudge). Still, the holiday as a whole has a relentlessly Christian aura. And it has centuries of experience in assimilating and thereby Christianizing practices from other traditions.

The conflict between the holiday’s sacred and profane sides is itself our oldest Christian tradition: we know it as the clash between commercialism and reverence, while the third-century church father Origen knew it as the clash between Christianity and paganism. (In Origen’s case, he objected to the idea of Christmas as a birthday celebration. Early Christians marked the date when one died as a Christian and, presumably, went to heaven; the notion of observing any birthday, even Jesus’, was an import from paganism, specifically Mithraism. For whatever it’s worth, Origen was right.)

Indeed, the fuzzy idea that Christmas is somehow universal is one of the most effective tools Christian conservatives have found for concealing the fact that Christianity is actually losing influence in our culture. From Jews who put up a “Hanukkah bush,” to humanists who observe the Winter Solstice, to Zen Buddhists who pick December 25 to exchange gaily wrapped presents, non-Christians who publicly indulge in any “me-too” sort of observance this time of year commit what I regard as a profound strategic error. For one thing, they make themselves disappear: However unintentionally, they contribute to the myth beloved of rightists that “everyone’s a virtual Christian at Christmas time,” inadvertently normalizing acts of Christian cultural hegemony that would otherwise be seen as outrageous.

For non-Christians to “coat-tail” the Christians’ birthday festival also flies in the face of everything we’ve learned since the mid-twentieth century about how minorities ascend the ladder of social acceptance. It’s not by assimilating, or conforming themselves to the WASPish norm, that outgroups improve their situation. Rather it’s by being proud about their differences and gradually compelling mainstream society to redefine “normal” in a way that includes them. We for whom Christmas is an alien festival should make no bones about that fact.

It’s no more “normal” for non-Christians to celebrate Christmas than it is for non-Muslims to observe Ramadan or non-Hindus to keep Diwali. Devout or otherwise, I think all non-Christians should take advantage of this annual opportunity to heighten our visibility by opting out of the Christians’ birthday celebration more openly.

By the way, happy just another day!

About

  • gladerunner

    Well, I find myself, an atheist, at odds.

  • lepidopteryx

    I decorate an evergreen, I give wrapped gifts, I bake seasonal goodies, I hang mistletoe, and it’s not in celebration of Jesus, but of the solstice.

  • nolarobert

    While I understand where Mr. Flynn is coming from I have to disagree. While I understand there is no supernatural significance for the 12/25 celebrations I look forward to the Winder Solstice as it means the days will start getting longer as we head for Spring. This ebb and flow of the seasons is embedded in our DNA and I think it is only natural to celebrate the return of longer days and the promise of the coming warmth of Spring. Our ancestors lived this cycle of life brought by the Spring rebirth of vegetation and their crops, the growth and maturity during Summer, the Harvest in the Fall followed by the death of Winter, then the Winter Solstice and repeat the cycle ad infitnitum. It is clear why & how resurrection cults started around this seasonal cycle culminating in the Christ Myth but that doesn’t impact my enjoyment of the Winter Solstice.

  • WmarkW

    I must admit, I don’t really do anything event-appropriate to celebrate MLK’s Birthday, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day or Veteran’s Day, either, so I’m not going to sweat this one.

  • headshaker

    @gladerunnerSo it’s all about you, and the fact that you get a day off work.If don’t want to participate in the reason for the season, then why should you benefit?

  • gladerunner

    headshaker:Federal law… 1870 congress declared a legal federal holiday called ‘christmas’ That was decided way before my time…don’t blame me. . .

  • areyousaying

    Look at this hateful old theocon fart who is unwilling to share the original pagan holiday his Christians “coat tailed” on to do their original conversions.A lump of coal for you, Mr. Grinch. When do you start at Fox News?

  • areyousaying

    oops typo – hateful old secular fart…

  • Fate1

    Tom Flynn wrote:What a crock. I too am a former Catholic now atheist (funny how Catholicism makes so many atheists…). Christmas has no religious component even for those christians who celebrate it, unless they bring it into the festivities. My family, most from northern Europe, have been celebrating Christmas traditions for eons. It is the christians who should give up christmas. It is not their tradition. It was incorporated, by force, for the political purpose of spreading christianity. Check out Greece, where Christmas trees for the most part are not set up. Their traditions involve basil and a wood bowl. Just because the powerful Church stole my ancestors traditions and made them their own is no reason for me not to celebrate them, even in their present form with christianity attached as it is. I grew up on Christmas traditions, as it seems you did, but tossing them away since they have the tinge of Christianity is akin to avoiding charities since many are religious based. If christians all started wearing glasses as part of their faith would you throw your pair out? By tossing your Christmas traditions you are cutting off your own traditions to spite a church you do not believe in. I just decorated my tree tonight, and the angels hanging from it are no different than the reindeer, santa, elves, or other mythical characters that make up this magical season, magic created long before the church and in my family will long outlast the church.

  • Fate1

    “oops typo – hateful old secular fart…”Yea, sometimes its hard to tell the difference. Farts are farts no matter what type of wall they are trying to build between people.Merry Christmas from an atheist, and a second lump of coal for little Tommy Flynn, who just ended up on the naughty list.

  • CultureClub

    IF we really wanted to celebrate Jesus (or whatever his name really was remember in the Jewish language there are no J or vowels so his name would not have been Jesus) we would celebrate this festival in the Spring–the days in which Jesus is supposed to have been born. And remember July/August were months added after Jesus’s life –we have no sense of what we are celebrating. But all the traditions are pagan in origin–our favorite Christian holidays are. This is a holiday to celebrate happiness in the darkest days and it is needed. The Republicans just won.

  • jdsolano

    I am an atheist -former Catholic too. I can be an atheist any day of the year. But…How do I tell my children to reject any gifts from their grandparents?How do I tell my wife to reject her mom’s invitation for dinner?How do I go around growling at those people who happen to smile to me?That would not be rational behavior. Yes, we all know Christmas is a myth. So what? We all enjoy the gifts, the food, the company.We, rational people, should use our intelligence to make friends and enjoy our finite time on Earth, not to ruin other people’s lives.Peace and Happiness!!!

  • rah1962

    I am an atheist who also refuses to celebrate “christmas”, and to take the opportunity to answer a rhetorical question which commenter Fate1 poses above, I also refuse to patronize religious charities – as there are so many other charities from which to choose.It is important for those of us who are non-believers to make ourselves known as abstaining from any holidays with religious content, and why we are doing so.

  • paul6554

    If Christians can co-op symbols and traditions of paganism, most notably the Christmas tree, than I as a non-Christian can co-op Christmas.Furthermore, if Christmas weren’t celebrated by non-Christians, retail America would take a crippling body blow. Got that Christian conservatives? Christmas is ours too, and you ought to thank us for our participation.

  • FLTransplant

    The reality is that Christmas has become a secular holiday for 95% of Americans. There are many who, as part of their family rituals, attend church services for the only time that year in connection with the holiday, but they’re there for the pagentry and connection with their childhood (“we always go to midnight Mass–it’s so unique, with the incense and procession and everyone singing Christmas carols. And then we go home and all open up a gift before going to bed! The kids love it–it’s so different!”)The Christmas America celebrates–with Santa Claus, Christmas trees, Black Friday, office parties, outside decorations, radio stations going to 24/7 Christmas carols the day after Thanksgiving–isn’t religious. People work to stretch our traditions out of shape to try to fit them on a religious frame–Santa Claus is really a medieval saint! Christmas trees are really symbols of religious faith, brought over here in an ancient German tradition! We buy 40% of the annual retail sales to give as gifts because three wise men brought the Christ child gifts, and we’re doing the same!–but it doesn’t work.When the religious celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday and purge themselves of the secular trappings then I’ll consider it a religious holiday–until then it’s secular.

  • Aerowaz

    Christmas for a lot of so-called “Christians” means begrudgingly going to church for the second time during the year (the other being Easter). What a charade.

  • JohnSmith7

    The thing about Christmas is that it brings out the Christian in everyone. And how can that be a bad thing? For just a very short period in a very long year, people of all faiths get a glimpse at understanding that what makes Christianity so different from any other faith is that it isn’t all about ‘how to survive’ in this difficult and confusing world. It isn’t about how to make do or how to make better. Or anything else that is so ‘human’ and centered around self-preservation of one self or one’s family or one’s nation or one’s ethnic group. It’s ALL about helping others … and hoping that by doing so, what goes around comes around, and what will come around, will be something good. Christmas may be Christian, but if the other folk only get this one very short time in a very long period to get a glimpse at what it can mean for all of us to sacrifice for the greater good, then Christ won’t have died in vane … or just for one small slice of humanity … but for all folks …even if they only walk away with the thought ‘now isn’t that nice … putting others before myself? … why haven’t I ever heard that anywhere before … ” Merry Christmas.

  • CellBioProf

    I’ll be lighting the luminaries in our driveway tomorrow night. I wonder if any of the neighboring Christians who have covered thir homes with gaudy lights will notice my Solstice observance?

  • MrMeaner

    Christ was born in late September, during Sukkot. His name was Yeshua. It is the same name as Joshua in the OT.

  • antispy

    I don’t celebrate it, but my wife does celebrate it. For her it’s about decorating a tree devoid of any religious meaning. I’m pretty sure if I asked her, she’d have no idea what Christmas is celebrating.Just because you are an agnostic/atheist doesn’t mean you can’t have fun doing the same activities as religious people. If I were really hungry, I wouldn’t mind downing a bunch of Eucharist crackers. That certainly doesn’t make me Christian. Though maybe it means I might one day resort to cannibalism. :-)

  • dangeroustalk

    Despite the fact that Christian fundamentalists often claim to own the entire month of December, there are actually other holidays during this time of year. Even Christmas is a pretty secular holiday prompting “On Faith” to ask, Is Christmas Christian?Interestingly enough Christmas is not Christian and you don’t need to be Christian to celebrate Christmas either. Jesus is not the reason for the season and sorry to disappoint my fellow atheists, but today’s winter solstice is also not the reason for the season (although I am excited to see the eclipse). No, the reason for the season is much more obvious and basic.You can read the rest of my response to this topic:I will be responding to every issue posted in the ‘On Faith’ section. If you would like to be notified when my new response is up, please subscribe.

  • smt123

    What does Christ have to do with an evergreen tree? Nothing obviously. The evergreen is a northern European symbol of the life that persists even in the dead of winter.

  • smt123

    What does Christ have to do with an evergreen tree? Nothing obviously. The evergreen is a northern European symbol of the life that persists even in the dead of winter.

  • scaserta11

    Ok Ok, I do not comment on most articles, I prefer to be a fly on the wall. But I have to pipe up for this one. I was a Catholic as well, but am currently looking at alternatives due to my problem with Jesus not being a diety in my mind, but a great prophet. I looked at Christmas this year with, “what the hell am I supposed to do now?” My entire family is Christian, and though they do not understand my beliefs, they do respect it. But they do still require me to participate in family traditions, and Christmas is one of them. Easter as well. So what should I do? Ignore years of family tradition because I do not believe in a “savior”? Why would I do that? Christmas is simply about getting together and enjoying family and friends. What ever other belief you want to suscribe to this season is on you and your family. Why should I not participate? You are asking me to give up on Holiday classics like Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas (which in reality all have nothing to do with Christmas being Christian, but about family and friends). Now that is simply unfair. My beliefs have changed not my family. To add another point… Going back to what gladerunner said, Christmas was declared a federal holiday. Has been for over a hundred years. By making it a federal holiday, they quite literally took the Christianity out of Christmas… since government is not supposed to sanction a particular holiday. They made this time of year an American Holiday rather a Christian one… why shouldn’t those of us who do not adhere to Christianty but are American celebrate a FEDERAL HOLIDAY?

  • gibsonpolk

    Let’s all wish for peace on earth and good will toward men, at this time of year and all year long. But if this wish is ever to go beyond being just a seasonal platitude, we need to teach the legends and myths of religion not as a factual record of history, but as a beautiful literary legacy, an echo of telling and retelling of ancient stories that precede recorded history, and that connect us to our origins and our common humanity.

  • darkglobe5

    What a grinch. “Sorry son, you can’t have fun at the plays and parties and get lots of presents like all your friends because I need to make a statement to society!” The Catholics really did a number on your head, dude. Time to get over it.

  • lepidopteryx

    So if I’m not Catholic, I can’t drink green beer on St. Patrick’s Day either? (Although truth be told, I find the idea of dying beer green revolting. I’d much rather just have a good Irish beer – Guinness if at all possible).

  • jsmith4

    Gibsonpolk makes wise comments. Religious holidays like Christmas and Ramadan and Passover are times to celebrate and remember the cultural history of the peoples of the earth, of their characteristic strife and occasional moments of peace.And to realize that the celebrations are rituals, metaphors. “Giving gifts” is a nice thing, both literally and metaphorically. “Divinity” is in many ways a nice thing, almost purely metaphorically.And if history has taught us anything about Messiahs, it is that they are illusory and provisional. You have to do the work yourself, in the company of your fellow fallible humans.But let’s give each other gifts whenever we can. And it is better to give than to receive.

  • bobdog3

    If Christmas is only for Christians, then let’s get rid of it as a national holiday and earmark it as just another religious high holy day, like Ramadan or Yom Kippur, that is celebrated by a particular religious sect. That way Christians can take the day off as a vacation day to celebrate all by themselves. We pagans still get Boxing Day (in Canada) though. Jesus didn’t do anything on Boxing Day except exchange the gifts of the Magi.

  • Pramster

    Why do you have to consider Jesus your personal savior to celebrate his supposed birthday? Atheists and agnostics alike might appreciate the message of Jesus, even if they don’t believe that a God exists. Do you have to be black to celebrate Martin Luther King day? Do you have to consider George Washington your personal savior to celebrate President’s Day?

  • jobandon

    We got dangerous toys. This could put an eye out, be carful with those chemicals kids. If I push X buttons X number of X’s I hope I can find keys. What happens next? I want a faster machine and more dangerous toy now. Savior of time and reindeer fly.

  • landl47

    Christianity has always seemed illogical to me ever since I was able to understand the meaning of the word ‘infinite’. However, I enjoy carols, Christmas trees, gifts, lights, stories, some of the movies and both giving and receiving good wishes. Fortunately, I don’t believe that my obvious hypocrisy in this will lead to my having to endure everlasting torment in hell. Here on earth, I have never felt, or been made to feel, guilty about enjoying Christmas- not even by you, Mr. Flynn.

  • gfoster56

    You would do most of us a favor if you would get on a boat with your like minded buddies and find a nice little island to colonize and practice whatever you please, in isolation preferably. Leave my Christmas alone, thank you very much. I’ll not tolerate someone telling me how I should think or act. This seems to be the ultimate in Christian culture wars. When I was young being Christian was about being open minded and helpful. Nowadays Christians want absolute adherence to particular practices. No thanks. See ya.

  • ray032RayJosephCormier

    When Jesus saw the Sweet Business deal between the Priests, Bankers and Merchants in The Temple at Jerusalem, he freaked out and for the 1st time in his Ministry, became a violent terrorist in overturning the Banker’s money, both the secular currencies from the various parts of the world, and the Temple currency with which to buy the “Kosher” Merchant’s merchandise at twice the price it was available off Temple property.And said to them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.Jesus was condemned as a criminal in a middle of the night trial while the City slept, and was executed according to the Law for that action later that day before the people could react..In the 2000 years since then, the Bankers and Merchants, with the misguided or asleep religious leadership, up until the financial meltdown/economic Pearl Harbour-tsunami in the Fall of 2008, regained control of the Temple in getting an irreligious Society psyched up year after year to buy each other presents for His Birthday but leaving him out of it. Talk about miracles.

  • schnauzer21

    What parts of the American Christmas celebration are actually christian in origin? Christmas tree? Nope, part of the pre-christian germanic tribe celebration of Yule. Family gatherings? Nope, winter fesilvals of Solstice and Sol Invictus were times for gathering and feasting to celebrate the return of the sun (longer days and the re-birth of the land). Carols? Nope, Yule again. The nativity scene and going to church services are the only bits with actual christian origins so as long as you are not doing those (and I can’t imagine why a non-christian would, other than being polite to a christian friend or family member who requests your presence at a service) celebrating the holiday season as Americans do, all the celebrating done on and around 12/25 has nothing to do with christianity at all.

  • frodot

    Late December seems like a good time for some sort of celebration and more or less coordinated temporary respite from daily labors. Days are getting longer, at least on the northern half of the globe. Hurray! The religious overlay is historical and traditional, not quite irrelevant, but not particularly portentious, either. The commercial overlay is more recent, pretty well established as a habit, if not a tradition. Find an excuse to be warm and happy during short, cold days, and enjoy it if you want to.

  • MrMeaner

    What does Christ have to do with an evergreen tree? Nothing obviously. The evergreen is a northern European symbol of the life that persists even in the dead of winter.Hosea 14:8

  • Dadrick

    American Christians sold Christmas, and now they want it back. Too late.By insisting on Christian hegemony, from creches in town halls and the 10 Commandments in courthouses, conservative Christians got what they wanted – Christmas for everyone. You don’t want to let anyone else share your glory (except maybe a Jew or two who can put up a Menorah in the corner). So now Christmas is a watered-down, semi-religious, one size fits all national celebration, and it’s your fault.Like the court cases that ruled that “In God We Trust” on coins isn’t really religious because the words are meaningless slogans now, you deflated your own religion in the process of promoting it. So stop whining, this was your doing.

  • gardedgarton

    I think most Christians are aware that Christ was not born on December 25th and that much of the traditions that are followed are an accumulation of lots of fun stuff from pagans, other religions, and whatever else has come alone. Its a celebration of life and lights during the darkest part of the year. Mr. Flynn, if you don’t want to celebrate a holiday, don’t. But why tell everyone else how to act and what to do? I guess its an atheist thing; so sure of one’s self and aware of everyone else’s certain failures. How about Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day? Is every day that brings friends and families together a problem?

  • LeeH1

    I am an atheist -former Catholic too. I can be an atheist any day of the year. Actually, it would be rational if you are an atheist. Giving, sharing, smiling are all Christian virtues, but there are no virtues in an atheist world. There is no sin, either. By being rude, you may be breaking a cultural norm, but you are not committing a sin.Accepting gifts from believers when you are not a believer is also a good thing to do. Since hypocrisy is not a sin to an atheist, accept the gifts in all apparent sincereity. Your children, of course, will do the same to you as they grow up.Giving up Christianity also means giving up the good as well as the bad. Since there is no central god to tell atheists what is right and wrong, every atheist is entitled to their own opinions as to how to deal with other people.Christians celebrate Christmas as a time of loving and giving. If the atheists give that all up, in very little time these ideas will go away as well. That would not be a sin, but it would be no virtue, either.To Christians, men are prone to selfishness, greed and cruelty. Christians try (many don’t succeed, but they try) to be kind, loving and giving. Why is that? Because God and Christ told them so. Atheists have no lord to tell them right from wrong, and so have no loyalty to any creed. They can do what they want, and not be judged in the after life.If they get their way, soon they will run the country. We will all then be the loser.

  • lepidopteryx

    LEEH1, where do you get the idea that atheists hav no ideas concerning right and wrong, that they are all amoral?The atheists I know love their families, and are generous and compassionate toward others.

  • karlmarx2

    This essay is just too stupid.Solstice holidays are ancient beyond human memory. Just because christians hijacked this culture’s solstice celebration doesn’t mean I have to go without. Why not make the christians give up this time of year? It was never theirs in the first place.

  • lifeonmars

    I’ve been an atheist most of my life. My parents stopped going to church when I was 5, and in fact renounced religion and for a time even stopped celebrating Christmas. Their reasoning was much like Mr. Flynn’s – it’s a religious holiday and we aren’t religious.My grandparents never stopped giving us gifts even though my parents voiced disapproval. Over the years the Christmas tree snuck back in the house, and small gifts were once again exchanged. We were all home, so a big meal was made and the family enjoyed time together. The “Christian” part of the holiday never came back, but celebrating the winter holiday was and still is a pleasurable way to get together as a family, share food and drink and company, and exchange a few well-chosen gifts with each other. The focus is on being together, relaxing and spending time in a way that we can’t really do for most of the year with jobs, children in school and other committments. The gifts, the trees, lights and other accoutrements are nice but for us don’t have religious significance. If anything there’s a pagan overtone as we look forward to winter’s loosening grip.I think that each secular family has to make a choice about what works for them. As we all know, Christians co-opted existing festivals and celebrations in order to facilitate acceptance of Christianity. That doesn’t mean that we have to abstain from marking any of those occasions as secular people. Personally I like the idea of taking back the seasonal holidays and marking them as we choose, not as others would dictate – and unfortunately, as much as I admire your work that includes you, Mr. Flynn.

  • sux123

    I am an atheist and have been for many years. On xmas, I eat good fodd, drink egg-nog, decorate a christmas tree, vist friends and exchange-gifts, give to my local animal shelter,wait for Santa to come and bring toys to my son and see him light up! I reserve the right to be a non-beleiver all year and don’t pretend to believe during the holidays. Religion has nothing to do with it for me, but I find it hard to consider all this Holiday fun a “strategic error”. lighten up!

  • rungus

    So, Mr. Flynn, “It’s no more “normal” for non-Christians to celebrate Christmas than it is for non-Muslims to observe Ramadan or non-Hindus to keep Diwali”? In fact, one of my happiest holiday memories is attending a delightful Diwali celebration with my Muslim friend who designed the celebration for his Hindu friends.

  • joe_allen_doty

    Jesus is my Savior; but, Christmas (Christ’s Mass) is NOT my holy day. In fact, the early church in the 1st Century AD didn’t even observe religious holy days of their own. Christmas is an adaptation of a pagan winter festival and has no connection with Jesus’ birth.

  • cb11

    Heighten visibility by opting out openly? That sentence doesn’t even make sense. More nice sound but completely meaningless rhetoric.

  • kisna

    Let us face the fact; Christmas is no more Christ’s Mass. It has become “Santamas”. We are Hindus. However we celebrated Christmas when our kids were young because like their other Christian friends they expected Santa to visit our house too and bring them the gifts. Now that the kids have grown and left the house, we do not have the Christmas tree in our house any more, although we do occasionally put the lights up as we are looking forward to the New Year. The Christians may complain about the hijacking of their holiday however they are the one who brought Santa Claus in. How many Christian kids are thinking about Jesus around this time? It is all about Santa. One of my Christian friends is so upset about it that he does not let his children talk about Santa. After corrupting their holiday, the Christians should be the last one to complain.

  • flonzy1

    The only Christian part of American Christmas is the part about going to church which I skip (agnostic).Christmas trees, holiday lights, gift giving, family dinners these are all cultural practices outside the Christian part that Christians have adopted over time, why should I give them up?

  • blasmaic

    Christmas is a holiday that has something to offer everyone. For those celebrating the holiday per se, it is what it is. For those who don’t celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, then it is often a busy retail season or a chance to earn triple-overtime by working.

  • maryannevans2

    And a Happy New Year to you, too.

  • Capn0ok1

    I can’t say I buy into any of the fairy tales that surround this holiday, but any excuse to spend some time with friends and family during an otherwise rotten season works for me. What does disturb me is that it has become a celebration af accquisitiveness, when it should be a time when we pay most attention to those among us who are hungry and cold. I beleive this is a sentiment to which the Bearded One would approve.

  • Capn0ok1

    I can’t say I buy into any of the fairy tales that surround this holiday, but any excuse to spend some time with friends and family during an otherwise rotten season works for me. What does disturb me is that it has become a celebration af accquisitiveness, when it should be a time when we pay most attention to those among us who are hungry and cold. I beleive this is a sentiment to which the Bearded One would approve.

  • flipper49

    What do you care, Mr. Flynn? Christmas has gotten so commercialized…even among Christians…that it bears little resemblance to the sacred event it supposedly stands for. I say “supposedly” because it’s a well-known fact that Jesus wasn’t born in December, so the holiday was plugged into a pagan holiday to make it “special.”Just as it’s up to the individual to decide whether (s)he will be a born-again son or daughter of God, so should every atheist, agnostic, et al, decide for himself/herself whether to observe Christmas. Why are YOU afraid of it, Mr. Flynn? If you weren’t afraid, you’d “live and let live” and drop this nonsense of trying to categorize everybody else. Who’s categorizing YOU?You don’t want us Christians telling YOU what to do, so what-in-the-world right do you have telling others what to do? Are you that insecure? It sounds that way, sir, and I can certainly relate to that. So whether you like it or not, I’ll be praying for you.Mr. Flynn, I truly wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or whatever it is that suits you.

  • 39durham

    My family celebrated Christmas long before my mother returned to the Catholic faith. My father is agnostic (and so is most of his family) and they all celebrate Christmas. As a practicing Catholic (grew up in The Church aroung 3rd grade) I see nothing wrong with celebrating both the secular and religious parts of the holiday. In fact, many of these secular tradtions are that, not based on any Christan or even pagan traditions but are from Twas the Night Before Christmas and Coca-Cola. Honestly Christmas is one of the best holidays ever and is one of my favorite. I don’t care about the commercialization (it has always been there) or non-Christans celebrating the holiday. The more, the merrier! And a blah humbag to anyone who trys to take ownership of X-Mas, just be happy with your family and love ones.

  • samscram

    Incredible nonsense. Out of one side of their mouth these so called christians claim that this is a Christian Nation yet from the other, claim that no one but they should celebrate it, which suggests they don’t believe the universality of its source.Which isn’t surprising since they piggy back on the the pagan rites and accouterments and trappings of the winter solstice, including the yule log, yule tree, and the debauchery of the Saturnalia. In fact the Puritans banned it for just that reason.Anyway, I grew up saying Merry Christmas, giving and receiving gifts and “God Rest Ye Merry” and I’m not going to let the Christians co opt it now.

  • jes1014

    Growing up in a strictly religious family, I was forced to sit in the hall while my elementary school class had their Halloween party and to make a “fall collage” when they made haunted houses. I have never had Halloween candy that I collected myself – it was all given to me by friends who felt sorry that I couldn’t trick or treat. I don’t want my son to feel that same level of ostracism. We celebrate Christmas as a time of family and light, not the birth of anyone. No angels, no creche. I don’t feel that I am betraying my beliefs or becoming a “Christian by default”. I am, however, not scarring my 4 yr old and am providing him with some wonderful family memories.

  • pgibson1

    You have yourselves tangled in your own bunched-up panties, Xtians.First, you expect EVERYONE to convert to Xtianity.Then, simultaneously, you regret doing so.I have a idea – get a religion that makes sense.Save your sobs for someone who actually believes in this horseradish, passing for the latest fad belief system off as reality.So when I was celebrating Xmas, not being one xtian, those thoughts of ,”what a dumb holiday this has turned out to beGive up the holy sanctimoniousness of those who clearly beleive they have cornered the market for winter solstice celebrations.you have not. It’s slipping and you know it.And as time goes by, you are seeing just how bunched-up your panties really are.Give up these petty articles that just confuse your dumb flock even more.

  • MarkDavidovich

    People celebrate Christmas for many reasons. It’s really mnoronic for someone who doesn’t celebrate it to tell us that there is only one legitimate reason to celebrate it.

  • rah1962

    CB11 seems to be confused:”Heighten visibility by opting out openly? It makes perfect sense. It’s easy to be an atheist 363 or so days out of the year, but the perfect chance to advance the ideas and ideals of atheism are during the “easter” and “christmas” holidays. When someone asks me what I’m doing on “christmas” or why I’m not going to the company “holiday” party, I take the opportunity to explain (in a pleasant and rational tone, not argumentative in the least) why I choose not to participate in their religious holiday. I figure these are my best chances to help people find the road to perhaps lead them away from belief in their fictional god.

  • rbyrone1

    OMG Flynn!And yes, as an atheist who thinks the word “atheist” is “theist-centrical”, I appreciate the tiny irony in OMG-ing. It’s obvious that you’re a ‘born-again’ atheist, therefore possessed of the habits and behaviours of a Christian evangelist (all christian sects being evangelistic to some extent), and being a white guy on top of it, of course you think everyone should think and believe as you do. The part where you make a big deal out of ‘putting in that full day of work’ on christmas in order to make some kind of point to people who, I assure you, don’t give a poop what you do, makes you an ‘Observant Atheist”, which, I gotta say, I find DELICIOUSLY hilarious.But being a ‘rational’ atheist as opposed to a ‘believing’ atheist predisposes one to butt-the-eff out of everyone else’s bidniz, which makes it kind of weird that I’m even bothering to comment at all. But, had to, since it’s my business you seem to feel entitled to be all up in.Flynn, you said:”Despite its many pre- and post-Christian components, Christmas is an inherently Christian festival. It ought to be recognized as such, meaning that non-Christians should steer clear of it, and that Christians who try to paint Christmas a “universal” holiday should get called out for their cultural imperialism.”Sweetest hypocracy of all. You use the words: ‘ought’ once, and ‘should’ twice in one SENTENCE!!! Am I the only grown-up who gets tired of other people telling us what we ‘ought’ and ‘should’ do? Who’s the ‘cultural imperialist’ now? Oooh! How about this? I’ll stay out of your business, and you don’t worry about the fact that my family and I hang crap that we LOVE on an over-priced dead tree that we have a BLAST picking out in the rain every year – all without the slightest lip service to the pagan origins or the christian co-opting of a particular date. Or, you know what??? Go ahead. Worry yourself into a snit about it; it won’t matter in the slightest. Not one person will ever be affected by what you think they ‘should’ do. Not one.

  • polysciprof

    For the same reason I say “happy holidays” instead of the longer Merry Christmas Happy New Year Happy Hannukah Happy Kwanza, I say “I celebrate Christmas” instead of “I celebrate the spirit of generosity and love in all religions and in the hearts of good people everywhere.” I’m just lazy.

  • slipuvalad

    Any American, indeed anyone, can join and participate in the ‘SAVAGE SERVILITY’ of Christmas’s crass commercialism.

  • letemhaveit

    How can any thinking person believe such ridiculous superstitions? How? Clearly it’s not brains because we all have that. Is it because those who are not religious / superstitious use their brains more? Were it left to the religious superstitious leaders there would not have been a single advancement in any arena. Religion is specifically designed to keep people stupid. (I am the offspring of a Presbyterian Pastor.) I do enjoy christmas music and really enjoy the season.

  • crete

    My question is why do Christians celebrate Christmas? If there was any band wagon jumping it was the Christians who did it. The Winter Solstice, gift exchange, gifts appearing from dodgy characters, lighting up the tree were all non-Christian parties long before the baby in manger was added to skit. Christ’s birth is of relatively little importance in Christian theology, other than serving as a connect the dot to old testament/Jewish prophecy. The New Testament really only focuses on the last 10% of his life. Christmas the holiday is a non-event in the Christian calendar. If the author really was concerned about encroachment on a Christian holiday he’d be fuming about that Wascally Rabbit showing up at Easter.

  • kperl

    I’m a Jew, I don’t celebrate Xmas.That said, the bombardment of ads for Xmas starting in early November is for a celebration of something other than Xmas.

  • ThomasBaum

    creteYou wrote, “Christ’s birth is of relatively little importance in Christian theology”Not even close, God becoming One of us, living as One of us and dying as One of us is what Christianity is all about.You then wrote, “Christmas the holiday is a non-event in the Christian calendar.”If Jesus wasn’t born, how could He have done any of the rest?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • vklip

    Frankly, Mr. Flynn, you have no right to decide or dictate who should or should not celebrate Christmas in whatever way people choose to celebrate. It’s none of your business, sir. You’ve expressed your opinion, and it just that, your personal opinion. I speak as a Christian who spent a lot of years sorting out for myself what I do or don’t believe in terms of my personal faith. One of the things I believe, which has nothing to do with faith, is MYOB (mind your own business). That you don’t celebrate Christmas because you have decided such celebration doesn’t fit with your atheism is your personal decision. Whatever other people choose to do is their personal decisions, not yours.

  • abbyandmollycats

    Does anybody outside equatorial zones not celebrate something at the winter solstice? Has any culture in these areas ever not celebrated something at that time? Just because Christians chose to begin the liturgical year in the weeks leading up to the winter solstice doesn’t mean the rest of the world can’t celebrate at that time. And if you happen to like the non-religious trappings of Christmas, join in. What’s not to like about carols and cookies? Christmas is a holiday of hospitality, so enjoy the choir concerts and the lights and have another cookie. Hospitality should be extended to all, not just members of the group. Merry Christmas. (or have a nice day on Dec. 25, if you prefer)

  • hohandy

    then it shouldn’t be a holiday, Christian pastors should have absolutely no business leading legislative bodies in pre-session prayer, and every other way that the Christian religion is shoved down American’s throats should be abandoned. Christianity enjoys a special legal place in our country because the Supreme Court consistently rules that it has cultural heritage as opposed to religious heritage in our history – but if the religionists insist on having their way that it can ONLY by religious, then definitely, please – strip Christianity of the perogatives that it enjoys because of its cultural history.HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!!

  • darkasnight1234

    Interesting argument my Catholic Atheist friend. But you see, neither for you nor I is it an alien festival, since we’ve both experienced it as children and enjoyed it. We can discard it like so many childhood clothes and toys or we could accept it as part of who were are and not let who we want to be force us to ignore our childhood selves. lol.And by suggesting that those who do not accept Christ as the Savior should not celebrate Christmas you do realize that you are only throwing out those Jews who are not Messianic Jews (the Muslims also, curiously enough, accept Christ as their Savior and await the second coming), now, coming from a former Christian now an Atheist as you, would that not be seen as suggesting that the believers of a religion you have discarded should now make their religion more exclusive like orthodox Judaism or Hinduism? Is it our place to suggest to those who need to believe how exclusive they must make their religions? lol. But I get your point, I am secular (religion neutral, non-religious), so I am always in the minority. Now, if Paganism wasn’t a religion I’d love to be a Pagan and drink and dance naked around a bonfire and engage in fornication with Northern European natural blond blue eyed women (its their religion) under the full moon in the forest – I could pretend to believe in Paganism, would that make me a bad person? lol.

  • DidiB

    Hmmm, not so sure I agree, for what better way for us non-theists to insinuate our way into the cultural than degrading the overall religiousness of holidays.

  • magellan1

    To all of our Muslim friends – Happy Ramadan!To all of our Jewish friends – Happy Chanukkah!To all of our Black friends – Happy Kwannza!To others (you know who you are) Happy Holidays!Okay. Stupid “progressives” insist that we be diverse, multi-cultural and in tune with the inferior feelings of others. Just don’t discriminate against me while you are mitigating your do-gooder guilt.I’ll accept, if I must – TO ALL OUR CHRISTIAN FRIENDS – MERRY CHRISTMAS!I want to hear it NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN and FOX! Let me hear you say it – even if you choke on it, Libtards!

  • veerle1

    It’s all the Catholics’ fault.They’re the worst of the vermin that infest this world with their stupid ideological bull. There never was a Jesus, no creation, no heaven or hell.Xtians are just as stupid as those allah worshipping muslims.

  • US-conscience

    Its not about the manger, where the baby laid

  • senbilboredux

    As a devout Republican and Christian, I suggest you secular humanists, atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, Pagans, Animists, etc., etc., spend Our Lord’s birthday contemplating the eternal damnation that awaits you, which will seem mild in comparison to the living hell that’s coming after we seize complete control of the government in 2012.

  • allamer1

    I have never seen so much overthinking of something so simple. If you enjoy Christmas, then celebrate! If you don’t care about Christmas, you are under no obligation to celebrate it. See. No problemo!

  • Catken1

    “I’ll accept, if I must – TO ALL OUR CHRISTIAN FRIENDS – MERRY CHRISTMAS!I want to hear it NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN and FOX! Let me hear you say it – even if you choke on it, Libtards!”Not a really good Christian, are you? Or you would know that Jesus told you to be polite to those who are rude to you, not to insult others and then demand they be polite to you. Yay, though, for your grudging admittance that others exist and deserve some respect. That’s progress.And in the spirit of your Christ, who is so unlike your sort of Christian, Merry Christmas!

  • doyouktt

    Wow, reading these posts is enough to make you sick. The fact that people who are not followers of Jesus Christ want to have a good time does not confuse me, it is the fact that all the haters and bigots that are anti Christian don’t even have the brains to do the research and see if he was who he claimed to be. they are too caught up in religion and stereotypes and spend more time berating and belittleing people who actually did the research instead of watched NatGeo or Discovery or read Dan Brown’s book. And the majority of them are MBA’s and teachers and artists and engineers that are willing to spend countless hours reading about things that have no eternal meaning. I wish that people who wanted to enjoy Christmas day would just take the time, study the facts about the history, archeology, and prophetic evidence of who he claimed to be and then get on here and rip people. it is easy for a non-christian to swear and curse and demean the faith by barking out “jesus christ” and yet have not a clue of who he was and why he was here. for being so educated, not understanding the topic you are trashing doesn’t seem too bright. oh well, we can all be wrong but we cannot all be right. I hope your Carl Sagan platform turns out to be correct, if not, eternity is a long time to spend outside the loving and caring arms of the creator. Merry Christmas..

  • fromkin

    Festivus for the rest of us.

  • ohiggins51

    Come on, if you are not Christian and you want to celebrate Christmas, hey do it! If you don’t want to celebrate, then don’t, some people get in a twist over nothing. Let people enjoy what they want!

  • NYPocho

    Jeepers who celebrates Christmas — we are all celebrating Saturnalia….and I for one: hand out my saturnalia et sigillaricia (small gifts), put on my coenatori (synthesis – who wants to wear a toga to dinner), and our course stick my pileus on my head.And above all — I enjoy my eight days of frolicking!So happy holidays — opps that is — enjoy the feast of Saturnalia!

  • karlmarx2

    @Un-conscious – Wow, that is truly awful poem. But it perfectly expresses the sickness, dullness and mean-spiritedness that the xian religion has become. So thanks for sharing.On the other hand, if you don’t get too caught up in buying junk, the Solstice/Christmas season can be a very nice holiday. There’s a lot of beauty and wisdom to be found in the myths and songs and traditions.You don’t have to believe anything – just have a desire to be decent to your fellow human beings. Find light in the darkness however you can and you’ll be celebrating just right.

  • CHAOTICIAN101

    Oh get real! Christmas is a bacchanal of greed and sleaze, excesses and drunkenness, pseudo piety and public relations charity wrapped in an advertising patina of Christian superstitions and willful ignorance!

  • dragondancer1814

    Like so many people here, for us Christmas is a secular holiday rather than a religious one. As Wiccans, our religious holiday is Yule, but we still enoy celebrating the secular aspects and traditions of Christmas. It is a day to exchange gifts with family and friends, feast, and enjoy the companionship of loved ones. We have the tree up, but putting it up and decorating it are part of our Yule traditions, not Christmas. The stockings are hung on the foyer banister (we don’t have a chimney or a fireplace with a mantel, so we improvise), and the kids look forward to seeing Santa and finding out what he brought in the morning. So our celebrations have nothing to do with Jesus or the Christian religion, so friggin’ what? I’m the offspring of an agnostic Presbyterian and a lapsed Episcopalian, yet they still celebrate the secular aspects of Christmas too. Are you saying that we should treat it as just another day? Yeah, right. If nothing else, it’s FUN, and it’s a welcome break from the clockwork routine of day-to-day business. Besides, Christmas has its true origins in the pre-Christian solstice celebrations of ancient cultures and religions, so what’s the flap about non-Christians celebrating it? There’s very little about the holiday or surrounding trappings that is genuinely Christian! If you celebrate it as a religious holiday, knock yourself out. If you celebrate it as a secular one, have fun and enjoy as well!To people like Tom Flynn who say that Christmas is a Christian holiday and anybody who doesn’t believe in Jesus shouldn’t have anything to do with it, I shall reply with the quote of “Bah, humbug!” from Ebenezer Scrooge, and say that the mistletoe hangs from my coattails!

  • Bethesdan

    Meh. I celebrate it because people are in a good mood, a day off from work, there’s little else to do (it’s too dang cold outside), and because I like the glow of a lit-up tree. It’s kind of like Labor Day, except colder and with presents. Plus, it really helps distinguish the religious nutjobs from those of us who just like an excuse to take the foot off the pedal for a few days.So, too bad true believers, you can’t have christmas back. We want our candy canes, trees, presents, and ugly sweaters. P.S. Look up the historical facts of when Jesus was born, it was nowhere near December 25.

  • csintala79

    Your recognition that the Christian Christmas celebration includes many pagan traditions is at the crux of the matter. It would be more apt to chide Christians for capturing the various pagan winter solstice celebrations in a crass PR ploy to increase membership. Non-Christians coincidentally celebrate Christmas; they are just continuing a custom that predated Christianity by a couple of thousand years or more. For them Christ is incidental to the celebration; it would be the sign of boorishness to quibble about the inclusion of Christ in what our Puritan ancestors recognized wasn’t really a Christian celebration at all; for a number of years they banned it. It wasn’t a fest of the early church, and it owes most of its traditions, in Europe and its colonies, to the pagan Germanic and Celtic tribes. It was co-opted as a Christian holiday when the church went mainstream, i.e., the Great Apostasy. It is really devout Christians that err by celebrating the holiday, doing so they descend into paganism.

  • FarnazMansouri2

    Gee, I don’t know. It gives a lot of people the opportunity to stuff their faces, shop in a Maenad frenzy, swill the booze (and drive), sex it up, bilk taxpayers for grotesque lighting and tree displays, force office and bank closings, etc. And to top it all off, we get days of mindless tv shows and movies, an OnFaith week entirely devoted to Christmas.Why complain?Personally, I prefer Hanukkah. We light the candles, give small gifts, go about our lives. It is quiet and it makes us smile. :)

  • SilverSpringer1

    As a Jew who takes her religion, and all religion, seriously, all I can say is, “Amen, Mr. Flynn!”

  • Kaelinda1

    So Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t born on December 25th. And even if he was, the Gregorian calendar moved the day forward a couple of months when it added July and August to the calendar. But what difference does it make WHEN we remember his birth, as long as we DO remember it?On the Saturday before Christmas, all of our kids and their spouses and their kids and THEIR spouses and kids get together for our Christmas celebration. We exchange gifts, we have a wonderful feast, and enjoy each other’s company for four or five hours.I am part of a very large family. My husband, myself, our nine children (3 of whom are foster kids who ‘stuck’ to the family after they got kicked out of the foster system because they turned 18) and their spouses and their children and now, this year, there are even 4 great grandchildren. We celebrate birthdays in our family twice a year. All the people who have birthdays between January 1 and June 30 get cards and/or presents at our Easter camp-out – the first camp-out of the year. All the people who have birthdays between July 1 and December 31 received cards and/or gifts at our Hallowe’en camp-out – the last camp-out of the year.On Christmas Eve, everyone contributes to a ‘gift basket’ which contains a 5′ – 6′ tree, strings of lights, boxes of ornaments, tinsel and garlands, two gifts for each member of the receiving family, and a turkey or ham complete with all the trappings and trimmings of a great Christmas feast. We receive a name from the local Catholic church (the local protestant church doesn’t have such a program) and before we go to mass, we deliver ‘Christmas’ to the needy family we blindly selected. Then off to Midnight Mass. After mass, it’s home to hot chocolate and toast before we go to bed.The next morning, each nuclear family has the morning to itself, opening presents with their own children. Then in the afternoon, they go to an in-law’s house for another gift exchange and another feast. They don’t have to drag their kids over to our house, because we celebrated Christmas early – so that there is as little stress and strain on the mamas and the papas as is possible on such an exciting day. My daughters and daughters in law are especially thankful for the arrangement we’ve made for celebrating Christmas. They love not having to drag the kids to both our house and their own parents’ house, or having to choose which parents to visit, or taking turns year after year visiting first one, then the other set of parents. I think we celebrate Christmas in a rather idealistic way. It isn’t the date on the calendar that is important – it’s a celebration of love for one’s family and friends – and for strangers, too. There’s no real excuse for forgetting the strangers at Christmas time, is there?

  • slowe111

    everything we’ve learned since the mid-twentieth century about how minorities ascend the ladder of social acceptance. It’s not by assimilating, or conforming themselves to the WASPish norm, that outgroups improve their situation. Rather it’s by being proud about their differences and gradually compelling mainstream society to redefine “normal” in a way that includes them. WHAT a well stated observation. Women, gays, Blacks, and now atheists ….. redefining “normal”. I love it. What’s next?

  • Rongoklunk

    Christmas is not a Christian Holiday in origin. Christ was not born in December. Christmas is merely the old Pagan holiday that was called Yule. It celebrated the winter solstice, or December 21, which is the shortest day of the year, and conversely the longest night of the year. The tradition was to burn the Yule log, i.e. a large log cut from the trunk of a large, old tree, through the longest night of the year. Yule was a form of nature worship in general and tree worship in particular.When Christianity was spreading across Europe, the people being converted did not want to abandon their old, traditional holidays. The old pagan holidays included Yule (winter solstice or December 21st), Samhain (November Eve or Halloween), Imbolic (February 1st, but now celebrated on February 2nd as Groundhog Day), and Beltaine (May Eve or April 30, which is still celebrated widely on May 1st as May Day). So instead of eliminating the old pagan holidays from the calender, the catholic church simply incorporated these holidays into the Christian calender by superimposing Christian symbols and beliefs onto the old pagan framework.Hence, we have Christmas trees, and wreaths, and mistletoe, and Santa Clause with his flying reindeer, which are all clearly fragments of tree worship remaining from Yule, and have nothing to do with Christianity at all.In fact, Christmas has always been so utterly unchristian that it was illegal to celebrate Christmas in Massachusetts until well into the 19th century. So no wonder it’s so hard to be a Christian at Christmas.Merry Christmas to all Pagans and atheists.

  • secondsoprano

    For most people, Christmas about as much to do with Christ as Thursday has to do with Thor. Both were named after mythical beings, neither of which I believe in.At Christmas I celebrate the end of the year, family, friends, good health and summer holidays!!! (My commiserations to you suffering through the northern winter). Jesus has nothing to do with it.

  • ray032RayJosephCormier

    Merry Christmas Everyone! Not only on December 25, but every Day.

  • amelia45

    Well, Bah! Humbug! to you, too, Mr. Flynn.Don’t celebrate if you don’t want to. But this time of year is the christian christmas or the pagan birth of mithra or just a time to celebrate winter solstice when others are celebrating other things. You could celebrate the winter solstice, couldn’t you? That is non-religious. It would be a recognition of hope, of making it through another cold until the spring comes again and we can grow food. A recognition of community working together: the butcher, baker, candlestick maker, who could each be christian, mithran, or agnostic, but who each take a time out to thank each other for what they contribute.In my family we not only enjoy and celebrate each other, we will also pray. But, rather than pray, you could simple thank your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors for what they have contributed to you and the rest of the world.

  • trambusto

    all Christian holidays are rip-offs from pagan holidays. It is how the Church managed to win hearts and minds — by borrowing from that which was already familiar and adapting it to the new tenants of the Christian Church. While contemporary Christmas is a Christian holiday, it is more a holiday of Western civilization, and that is why non-Christians in Western socities would want to continue observing it, irrespective of their personal religious preferences. While I myself am a Buddhist, I choose to honor the celebration and festitivites because it is an occassion of celebrating with my family, friends and coworkers and marking the passing of the seasons and of the year, and sharing our good tidings and joy. While it may sound cliche, it is important to all of us as a culture and a society to share these experiences together in a holiday called Christmas.

  • garoth

    Hey, here’s an idea: let’s celebrate Christmas, Ramadaan, Hanukkah, and all of the holidays! It would certainly be a lot more fun, and we could honor those who choose to live out lives of faith, whether Christian or not! I think that would be far more preferable to the present practice of denigrating everyone who isn’t like us, engaging in cultural wars, and using the holiday for another round of bashing everyone and everything. I think God would be more pleased with that as well. So to everyone out there – Merry Christmas, Happy Hannakah, Merry Kwanza, Happy Festivus, and Happy Holidays to all people – whatever your beliefs. As a believer in God myself, who believes that Jesus revealed God’s heart to us – I wish you God’s blessings. If you do not believe in God, I wish you well anyway – may you know beauty, joy, and the happiness of family and friends; may the New Year bring you closer to those things you most long for, and our world closer to realizing peace, hope and love.

  • themoderate

    “Christmas is not a Christian Holiday in origin.” Absolutely right. It was not of Christian origin, and Christians don’t own it. We do participate in it an celebrate our own version, but we do not own it.”Christ was not born in December.”Also right.Christmas is merely the old Pagan holiday that was called Yule.Actually, the most direct Pagan holiday was Saturnalia. When Constantine was making Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, the people of the Roman world did not want give up their traditional Saturnalia festival near the darkest part of the the year.So Merry Saturnalia to all on this day of rejoicing. And happy Solstice, Hanukkah, and Happy New Year to all. And oh yes… last but not least Merry Christmas to all.

  • jnik

    As the above posts stated; everything we do at “Christmas” (including the date it’s celebrated) was stolen from other cultures by the Christian Church. Christians didn’t even start celebrating it until the 4th Century, when the Christian faith started to expand.

  • theFieldMarshall

    The tradition was to burn the Yule log, i.e. a large log cut from the trunk of a large, old tree, through the longest night of the year. Yule was a form of nature worship in general and tree worship in particular.Posted by: Rongoklunk————————————Strange way to worship nature and trees, killing a long lived one and burning it.

  • Carmlgrl08

    I’m a Christian and I will say that there is a lot of paganism within Christianity.All Christians need to examine the veracity of our most loved traditions. With that said, as a Christian I choose to worship Christ in spirit and in truth on Christmas by avoiding most of the pagan roots and deciding to focus on God instead. But,as we all know Christmas has enough non-religious tradition for all atheists,agnostics,other religions and inbetweens. I’m sure those people can enjoy the season and participate without worrying about compromising their faith (or lack thereof).

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