As an Atheist, should I give up Christmas?
I've recently considered the prospect of giving up Christmas. This would mean no present giving or receiving, no card sending, no christmas decorations, no christmas songs and no christmas based activities (carol singing, or anything else christmas related).
As an atheist who believes that all religions are wrong and that there definitely is no god, it has led me to the logical conclusion that celebrating what is (or what should be) a religious holiday is hypocritical, regardless of any arguments revolving around the "cultural" aspect of christmas. I recently argued that the supreme court were wrong in saying that "in god we trust" was a cultural statement and therefore isn't against the first amendment, so the argument can't realistically be used to defend my celebration of christmas as cultural.
What are you thoughts on me giving up christmas? Should I do it? Would you find it unusual that someone doesn't celebrate christmas, or do you support my reasoning that it is hypocritical for me to do so? Should all atheists stop celebrating christmas?
I do not think that you are being antithetic towards Atheism at all if you eat a nice dinner and exchange gifts with family or friends. I know a handful of people that are atheist and about half celebrate Christmas just not as a Christian holiday. They celebrate it just since it is a nice day where everyone is happy, eating, and getting different gifts that they wanted. If you look at it in that perspective you are not worshiping the birth of Jesus just having a nice day. I sometimes forget why I am getting all of these gifts and eating a nice dinner. I hardly ever think about the birth of Jesus during Christmas day. I like Christmas since it is a day of joy and togetherness not specifically since Jesus was born on that specific day.
I agree. All of my immediate family is atheist and we celebrate Christmas. Christmas provides us with a chance to break out of our normal routine and do something different. It serves important societal functions, such as bringing the family together.
And I think for most people, Christmas hasn't really been about Jesus for a long time now.
Sounds to me like your considering making a philosophical stand.
And if you can actually pull off not celebrating Christmas, I say more power to you.
Here's why I would love to not celebrate Christmas,
1. While it has been commercialized, and Santa, lights, elves, and big glutonous dinners have absolutely 0 to do with Jesus (infact he would have probably been against 99% of what all the "good christians" have turned it into, and wouldn't want a big deal made out of his b-day anyway) Christians still use it as some kind of weird validation that their insanity is global and thus sane. And I hate that.
2. I'm not a crazy person. So I think that celebrating something that is completely made up, with another made up dude in a red suit, leaves deep psychological scars I'm not sure 365 days is enough time to heal from.
3. It's a huge pain in the ass. I hate malls, shopping, the gifts I get, and people in general.
Now why I wouldn't want to,
1. I have a 6 year old niece.
And that's pretty much all the pros I can come up with right now.
If you don't have any rugrats in your family though who may get hurt 'cause they're the only kid on the block who didn't get something,
I say cancel Christmas.
I think we've been going through the same thought process then.
In regards to kids, there are none in my family. When I have kids, I would begin celebrating Christmas again. My reasoning for this is that everyone's religious views are their own, and as such I don't wish to push my non-religious beliefs on my kids any more than I would want someone to push their religious beliefs upon them. Kids should just be taught how to make decisions and then leave it to them, rather than making the actual decisions for them. In that respect, and until a child can make rational decisions about this kind of stuff for themselves, I feel it would be best if a kid is involved to stick to what is considered the cultural normality; which is to celebrate christmas.
I fully support your reasoning that Atheists should not take part in any holiday or celebration in which they do not believe. Christmas is, after all, celebrated as the birth of the Christ child. It is not, nor will it ever be secular. It is a Christian holiday. Christians do not celebrate the holidays of other religions, although they may mark the day in some fashion but as a rule, they do not participate. No one would think less of you if you did not celebrate Christ's birth. I should think you were being true to yourself and, therefore, think more of you as a person.
The commercialism of Christmas is nothing remotely new and has little to do with the 'melting pot' aspects of this country. It wasn't quite as bad when I was a kid but today it has become horrendous and tantamount to a mockery of the day. People have made it this way...not the church nor the story of his birth vis-a-vis the small gifts that were brought to honor Him by Kings!
It's quite simple...if you do not believe and cannot respect it, leave it be.
Christmas was not celebrated here 9000 years ago Pyggy and it is not, exclusively, an American Holiday! America is not that old but Christmas has been celebrated the world over for centuries.
Side: Yes give it up with no qualms
To your last question ("Should all atheists give up Christmas")...no. From my point of view, Christmas doesn't even relate to religion at all. Even when I was a Christian I didn't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. I think if you think about Christmas as a time for giving and family and what not, then yeah, go ahead a celebrate it. However, if you think of Christmas as a religious holiday...well then don't.(?) It all depends on how deep you want to get with it and how you think of it. I find it silly to give up something such as Christmas just because some relate it to the Christian religion. If nothing else...make an Atheist holiday. :]
Side: Yes give it up with no qualms
As a no-God believer myself, I still grew up celebrating Christmas. But it had nothing to do with God in my family. But rather a traditional, habitual, yearly celebration based on Pagan and consumer influence. I just ignore the whole God concept of it every Christmas; usually, anyway. If I'm with my husband's family, I get shoved into going to Church xmas eve, and they do prayers and stuff, but I just sit there pretty effin miserable realizing I don't blend in with it all (which makes me feel like I should commit suicide). But anyway, I don't see why you should give it up if you like the holiday overall and are use to it. You can easily still have fun with it while ignoring what it really stands for because, let's admit it, it's SO un-religious related these days that you kinda forget it has anything to do with Jesus anyway.
No, stupid question. I'm an Atheist and I don't mind the "Christmas spirit" or getting presents. If anything it can take our minds off the child rapists and 90 year old virgins we usually associate the church with. We can look past the fact that these people are crazy and think their invisible "friend" is watching over them. If you don't believe in Santa should you give up christmas...no...and God's no different than a Santa for stupid grownups.
Well it's a personal decision, but I'll give you some reasons why you shouldn't.
-I know you don't live here, but in the U.S. Christmas is a nationally recognized holiday and therefore secular. That means people who are not Christian can celebrate it without actually accepting the Christian faith.
-Christmas has deviated so far from the Christian story of the birth of Christ that you can practically ignore the religious part. The exchanging of gifts, and the story of Santa Claus are much bigger parts of the holiday. Occasionally someone will put a manger on their front yard, but other than churches themselves, most people celebrate the holiday commercially.
-The idea of giving to those you love is not necessarily religious and can be appreciated by everyone regardless of faith.
-This reason is kinda shallow but I'll include it anyway: everyone else is doing it. Celebrating Christmas, and possibly doing something with your friends or family can be enjoyable even if your not into the religious part of the holiday.
There you go...those are my reasons for celebrating Christmas as an atheist, but once again it's a personal decision.
It doesn't sound to me like you celebrate Christmas at all.
You (like allot of people) say that you celebrate Christmas but probably just celebrate lights presents and trees. Thats not Christmas.
It sounds like your trying to belittle Christianity, ... again.
You already gave up Christmas a long time ago.
Trust me I celebrate Christmas. I go to relatives' houses, eat big meals, give gifts and sometimes sing a little bit. This year I even wore a Santa Clause hat to school.
Now maybe this doesn't count as celebrating to you, but as I said in my previous argument Christmas is a nationally recognized holiday.
Nationally recognized=secular=not religious
So I don't have to celebrate the birth of your savior, in order to celebrate Christmas.
As for belittling Christianity, do you disagree that Christmas has become more of a commercial celebration of giving than a religious holiday? I mean, this is America we're talking about, right? I'm not sure why you take offense to me stating the obvious.
Its funny but i have been debating with this very same thing. Giving up Christmas. But the legend , behind Santa ,and his cause was real. I am not religious either , but my family is , and even though they are hypocritical with practising their religion , they absolutely absorb in the spirit of christmas. I myself dont mind missing out on the receiving of gifts , but i think the children and some of the adults in my family would be most upset if i stopped gifting them. I really only gift the kiddies , because of the joy that christmas or rather gift giving seems to brings the children. I really love how some parents,who dont follow christian celebrations , due to religious/cultural differences will still allow their child who is friends with mine through school etc , to receive gifts from my child . If only we could follow the lead of most young children . We wouldnt have to concern ourselves with issues like racial / cultural / religious differences. They just dont seem to care about things like that :),................... yet. :( Personally i have delighted in accepting invites to share in some of my multicultural circle of friends varying cultural / religious celebrations. Its been fun. So really , giving up christmas because your an atheist , is your choice.But if you dont eliminate it completely , theres nothing wrong with that !........btw...."I recently argued that the supreme court were wrong in saying that "in god we trust" " -- I always get a loud gasped hush of silence when i refuse to swear on the bible in court. I still make an oath to tell the truth though....:) (not that that stop the glares they give , as though they want to trial me as a witch , for refusing to swear on the bible. :( ) Ps- All the best for the New Year ! :)
Don't celebrate it as a religious holiday. Say merry xmas to people down the road if you want but in todays world it is a time when family gets together, eats, play some games have fun. Presents are just a way that they can spoil each other and show their love. It has nothing to do with religion. Not anymore anyway.
Side: r u nuts
Well...Christmas originated as a pagan celebration. It was made into a Christian celebration by early Christians, then made into a holiday that includes the non-religious by Americans. My point is, the holiday has different meaning for different individuals. if the holiday has meaning to you, then it is not hypocritical for you to celebrate it. If the holiday does not hold any meaning for you, and you have no good reason to celebrate it, then don't. It's absolutely a personal decision, as andsoccer said.
Side: r u nuts
Im an Atheist,since I was 13, I do "celebrate"christmas but not the way most people do.
To me,christmas is the day I'm glad to say, I just dont give a rat's ass about Jesus. Its the day I'm very proud that I'm an Atheist.
To me its a day that reminds me why i dont beleive and why Im glad i dont beleive. :)
Side: r u nuts
The celebrations that takes place in the holiday season are as old as recorded history regardless of what they are being called now. Most of the actual celebrating has nothing to do with Christianity. The current incarnation of Santa Claus was a Secular invention with roots to old Europe. Gift giving came from the Roman's Saturnalia. The Christmas tree, mistletoe toe, roasting chestnuts, family gathering, jolly drunkenness, all have nothing to do with Christianity.
Europeans were CONVERTS to Christianity. Remember that. They never threw away their older customs they just assimilated them. They assimilated them in the same way as we should assimilate those aspects of these celebrations that have meaning to us.
Traditions do not require religious backing.
Side: r u nuts
There is a prodigious number of Atheists that go in with the part takeings of Christmas but when you think about it why are they? If I'm a christian I do not light a bunch of candles to keep the demons away like the Jewish do. I do not celebrate the New Year in January like the Japanese I celebrate it in December. So yes you should it is going against what you believe in.
If you like Christmas you should still celebrate it. It is a family tradition and a cultural gathering that doesn't have to have religion attached to it. If you want to do something (e.g celebrate Christmas, eat pork etc.) you should do it, thats the beauty of being an Atheist. Having the freedom to live without the restrictions other people (religious) have.
Side: Who cares
To be honest, i don't give a fuck what you celebrate. This is America God Damn It.
I celebrate Christmas even though I would often criticize Christians for their beliefs because it's an awesome, American holiday. Plus, it's fun to give (receive is cool too, but people usually buy shitty gifts).
and the whole In God We Trust thing... it is cultural. it was put there to show how we're better than the Commies. it's like Ground Hog's Day and shit like that.
Side: Who cares
I was kind of going more for a debate on the perception of christmas and whether it is hypocritical for those who deny god's existance to celebrate christmas, but thanks for adding to that great sense of community we have here at CreateDebate.
I personally believe that it isn't cultural, as it was actually included after a letter sent by a christian minister, but we won't get into that. Simply used that as an example to show why I personally can't use that same excuse for celebrating christmas (something that benefits me) when I say it can't be used for "in god we trust" (something that doesn't benefit me at all). That would be hypocritical.
Also it's not "America God Damn It," it's the internet, god damn it. And if you really think christmas is American, you're an idiot.
Side: Who cares
I was referring to how in America, you can do celebrate w/e the fuck you want...
and Christmas is really Roman, but it's been celebrated in America for over 9000 years, so it is an American tradition. It brings people together and encourages spending and keeping our economy strong. Spending is highest during the Holiday season, and Christmas is the most influential holiday in America (besides 4th of July).
Side: Who cares