An old-fashioned Atheist Christmas

Im with you SageRat. Where’s Howdy?
Was not coereced into the belief madness, and do not subscribe to any worship, or celebratory misguidedness. The sooner it is stopped, the sooner we will advance. :smack:

Apparently, you guys missed the lettering on the car wash down the street from my house, in which it clearly states, “Jesus is the Reason for the Seas0n”.

I just like to celebrate it as a crazy winter solstice kind of thing. . .a time to give/receive a couple gifts that you need a little more of an excuse for, get together with others who you don’t see as often because it’s cold out, hear some familiar, cheerful music, put a TREE in your house (that’s fun), ogle bright lights and shiny baubles.

I celebrate Christmas with gifts and trees and Santa like most everyone, but I also love the Christian “Christmas story” and Christian Christmas carols. I don’t think of these things as historical though, I think of them as folklore (I adore all kinds of folklore, parables, and morality tales). I’ve been chided many times over the fact that I have a nativity scene or that I once sent cards with the madonna and child on it. People have accused me even of doubting my state of non-belief, which makes me angry.

Atheist, and grew up in an atheist family. Have now married an atheist, who’s family is also atheist.

Both families have always had trees, presents, decorating, and a big dinner. It has been for one simple reason–kids love it. I’ve met the occasional family that refuses the holiday altogether, but at the expense of confusing and alienating the kids who get left out, especially when all of their friends at school get piles of new toys to show off.

Our christmas tree also has ornaments of angels, nativities, etc. They look just fine grouped with all of the other fanciful critters like santas, elves, frostys, flying reindeer, etc. I don’t see an angel or a jesus as being any different than a santa, so why get hung up about excluding a specific set of myth icons while keeping others. We also have bunches of david stars, menorahs, kwanza candles, celtic runes…even a cthulhu :slight_smile: All of the old gods are welcome on our tree.

Not only do I celebrate all of the secular aspects of Christmas, I love Christmas Eve church services. The music, the candles, the little kids doing the nativity scene…I don’t believe in God, but that stuff still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Doesn’t the gift giving harken back to Bethlehem?
Three kings? Gold, frankincense and myrrh?

My neighborhood seems to have some sort of weird contest to see who can get the highest electric bill in January.

I am so doing this. I owe you one Bobo

I’m Jewish and atheist. Before I got married, I basically ignored it. My parents used to give us Christmas presents when we were very young, but no tree. When I was about 6 or 7 they changed to Hanukkah, but it wasn’t a big deal. I still light the lights out of tradition.

My wife and her family had mostly nonreligious traditions. A tree but no religious symbolism, since her father’s an atheist. She used to go to church to listen to carols with her mother. When the kids were little they went also (so her father and I could move the presents around) but now they stay home and she goes with our daughter’s boyfriend, who goes out of tradition also.

But mostly we worship food - lots and lots of food.

If only I could find one with a circle around it so it’s more obviously an inverted pentagram… Maybe this year I’ll try to find a “Santa” chain of lights that I can mod to read “Satan”
Yeah, you can take me about anywhere.

I was raised in a Baptist family that was I guess…quietly religious. My parents took me to church on Easter and Christmas, and we always did the big family secular thing. The secular aspects probably overshadowed the religious aspects, but religion was acknowledged. My husband was raised agnostic, but his parents have religious backgrounds.

Now, we’re atheist (me) and agnostic (him). We both love Christmas and we always put up a tree and lights, buy presents, light scented candles, hang stockings, bake stuff, and visit family. My husband is obsessed with the lights and I’m sure he’s going to be one of those crazy people who covers the house with them, whenever we buy a house. We both like secular and religious carols. We grew up hearing them, and just because I’m not Christian doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good rendition of O Little Town of Bethlehem. They’re pretty songs and part of our traditions.

We don’t have kids yet, but we plan to do the whole thing minus church when we have them. I’ll probably teach them about the reasons we celebrate the holiday–the pagan, Christian, and marketing influences. I think it’s a good opportunity to teach them about history and different belief systems. I plan to do the same for other major holidays we celebrate.

As I understand it, the Romans exchanged gifts during Saturnalia (which culminated on Dec. 25th).

And Saturnalia also gave rise to the custom of serving the servants/poor, which evolved into both the British custom of “boxing day” and the custom of indulging children with sweets and gifts.

And didn’t the Norse god Odin supposedly arrive at Yuletide on a flying sled bearing gifts?

If you chose to ascribe that meaning to them, they can.
Do you ascribe a religious meaning to the giving of birthday or anniversary gifts?

We would have a tree and presents and a family gathering or two. The gatherings had an air of we’re-just-here-because-you’re-obligated-to-do-this-sort-of-thing-at-Christmas, but it was nice seeing relatives, whom we only saw once or twice a year anyway. I particularly liked going to my grandparents’ and playing with their dumb but hyperactive and sweet dog and feeding him sliced American cheese. (I know, I know…) My grandma would make sushi and shoyu pork and other holiday foods. And then there were presents. Presents! Good times. I miss those days.

My brother and his then-roommate had “Satan Claus” at the top of their tree one year. It was a really freakish looking Santa. Or maybe it was meant to be a St. Nick - he came in a white robe, which they painted red, but he also had the bag over his shoulder. Everyone coming into their place had to bow to Satan Claus. Hah - I’d almost forgotten about that. I’ll have to mention it to him. I’m guessing that if he wound up with ol’ SC, he’s been stored away somewhere so as not to scare my niece and nephew.