whatever we call it, or whatever we celebrate,
is cultural thing now, celebrated all over, even by nonchristian countries and families.
It's just fun.
It often represents a time to focus on bonds we have, family, friends, love, sharing, and merrymaking. Nothing to do with religion.
What does this holiday mean to you?
HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE?
WHAT ARE YOUR CUSTOMS OR TRADITIONS??
I guess what it means most to me is some kind of respite, not too much celebrating, a time when everything is closed and I curl up, probably with a good book, at home...
lol, there are many atheists who feel just like you do. A good way to find other local atheists, (well, nonchristians, anyway)
is visit a chinese restaurant on December 25th........it seems to be becoming a bit of a custom for many atheists!! lol!
sounds like a great idea... thanks for posting !
It's funny you mentioned Chinese food. I've done a couple of times. It's difficult to break the turkey tradition. I always get resistance.
Speaking of Chinese food, I'm disappointed with American Chinese food. Now that i'm back in the bay area I'll be able to talk my family and friends into going to China Town (SF) for christmas dinner.
Peking duck is delicious,
YUM! So Chris, although i so so share your love of chinese food, i've never done the "go to a chinese restaurant on Dec 25th" thing, although my local athiest group did meet together at one on Dec 25th, -----------,so are the chinese restaurants full of atheists on Dec 25th? lol, guess there is no way to tell, we do look just like everyone else, haha!
turkey? i know most folks do eat turkey, but we never ate turkey on Dec 25th, we just ate turkey on Thanksgiving, always seems redundant to me.
lol, our food is lasagne,
xmas = lasagne.
I think there would be a lot of Jews there too.
The holiday means a lot me actually. Growing up my parents never celebrated it. My father never liked the holiday saying it was a waist of time and money. My mother recognized it as pagan saying Santa Clause ( Calling him Satan Claws) had nothing to do with God or Jesus and made sure I didn‘t believe in him.
The only holiday we celebrated was Thanksgiving, but on Xmas we did go to my Aunt house where they would celebrate it and I got to watch them do it, a terrible thing to do to a child, I thought, but It wasn’t all that bad though, I did get to play with friends and family and eat the best home cooked meal ever.
My Aunts house I considered "My childhood home" not because I lived there but when I was there I was free. Sadly the house burned down a couple years ago and my Aunt moved away, but I go to my grandmas house now to celebrate. It's not the same but it's still enjoyable.
Mark, i so understand, how a childhood memory makes the holiday something you view fondly. It is the same for me, too. Nothing whatsoever to do with jesus, for me, it's about family, partying, joy, gathering together with those we love most, emotional warmth, caring, sharing, cooking, partying, re-connecting with family, THAT kind of stuff.
btw, Mark, your parents sure had a kind of hard line on xmas, lol. I can imagine, it might have felt odd to be just a child, and seeing other kids have xmas, while you did not get the chance to fully revel in the fun of the season.
I raised kids as atheist, but we had tree, presents, parties, the whole shebang. (no nativity scenes, no angels, etc, but Santa ruled, lol) My kids understood we were celebrating love and family and friends, not an ancient jewish zombie, but they loved it all anyway and looked fwd to it all month long, same as any theist kid, just no jesus is involved.
we had many many customs, the same exact cookie recipe that we made and delivered house to house to our pals and neighbors.....we made them while we played video "It's a Wonderful Xmas" on the video recorder---we knew every line of that movie, and used the lines in conversations with each other all the time, like a family joke.
"Bert,Mom, do ya know me?" is hilarious, "Zu-zu's petals!" just tons of lines we threw out all the time as we talked about things ..dawg, the lines of that movie, tons of 'em got recycled at my house.
Lots of lil customs, the knitted mouse that goes atop my tree every year since i was 18, the same decorations and recipes year after year,
cutting out paper snowflakes together and gluing them all over the windows,
the yearly matching sweaters that they mostly didn't wear once the photo was taken, but they did laugh hard about and expected every year,
the orange in their xmas stockings every year,
opening the new pair of pajamas every xmas eve,
the parties, even certain lil favorite ornaments they know so so well, lots of lil "customs" i know my now grown kids always still remember at this time of year.
and as i am now the older gen in the family, (more responsible to create the joy & customs for the younger families to go to, imo)
and now i AM "the aunt",
i do this, for many many years now: http://atheistuniverse.net/group/have-a-cool-yule/forum/topics/is-y...
my kids are both grown atheists now, and they both still love xmas, and both decorate their homes for the season, with winter decor, reindeers, snowmen, wreaths, holly, snowflakes, all that stuff, and put up trees, too.
they both given me "It's a Wonderful Life" ornaments, too, which i now hang on my tree. And some 'mouse' ornaments, to commemorate our tree mouse.
That sound great! My dad had some terrible experiences being poor when he was growing up which kind of turned him off the whole thing. People would make fun of him as a kid cause hes family was on welfare and he had to get his own tree. I understood my dads side of things, but my mothers was purely religious based. My dad isn't religious any more, turned Atheist a while back, man was that relief lol. My mom is a bit more liberalized now that she has meds ( I love you mom) but she still holds to her beliefs. Tried to give me the xmas she never gave me growing up, but I was a little older now, a little late, but I appreciated the sentiment and still do.
you're cool, Mark. I admire when ppl find a way to try to understand others, to feel benevolence, even when maybe they've had some hard times over it, speaks very well of you, Mark.
my most religious relatives have same trouble as your mother did, with the whole santa claus/commericialization thing, too. I understand this type of reaction. My parents sort of worried about the jesus being left out of xmas, too.
i grew up very very poverty stricken, like your dad did. We had 7 ppl living in 1 bedroom basement apt. My parents were educated, and dad had decent job, but gave all his cash to "god" (church). I was 13 years old when i got my first "store bought"/ never-worn-before outfit. I can still tell you what it looked like!
at xmas, we kids got 1 small gift each, but, as kids we didn't even fully realize we were poor, cuz eveyrone we knew was poor, too, for miles around.
for many years, when 1st married, my hubby and i had tradition of "stealing" our xmas tree, we'd go out into forest and cut one down, but, we didn't know or ask who owned the forest. We thought this was very fun at the time.
Now we use artificial tree, when one of my kids made me realize the stupidity of cutting down a tree for no good reason(lil pagans..).
But i did love the smell, the adventure of tromping through the woods, picking just the right one, the crackle of the pinecones when they warmed up, the look of it, the absolute beauty of a real tree....
but now, i know better, thanks to my kids.