Ho, Ho, Ho! or O come, all ye faithful?

I had a secular upbringing, so Christmas, for me, is ‘Ho, ho, ho!’ and ‘Jingle Bells’, and Deck the halls with boughs of holly’ (though holly is rather nasty and prickly). For other people, Christmas is religious. Some people celebrate the pagan aspects. Some people see it as a commercial scam.

So what’s Christmas to you? There are only four options:
[ul][li] Ho, ho, ho! This option is all about Santa Claus and Christmas trees and (mostly) secular. Choosing this option means Christmas, to you, is more about merry-making.[/li][li]O come, all ye faithful. This option means you [mostly] celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.[/li][li]Bollocks! This option is for the cynics; the one’s who don’t really like Christmas, or for those for whom Christmas is not a good time.[/li][li]But I’m… If you’re of a religion that does not recognise Christ, or your beliefs don’t align with the holiday, choose this one.[/ul][/li]
Yes, the options in the poll are limited. Feel free to elaborate.

I enjoy Christmas well enough, but I don’t really crave it. I voted Bollocks.

Interesting that all three of your options were thinly-veiled sexual euphemisms.


That did not occur to me. I’m usually more overt, like with my version of Good King Wenceslas because I don’t know the actual words, or Deck The Halls.


Christmas is a bore and a nuisance.

yep. And usually an necessarily stressful one at that.

I could probably enjoy the feasting, decorations and general kitsch of the season, if it wasn’t for the exchange of gifts which as an adult, disproportionately stresses me out, disappoints and (in the excess of other people) disgusts me.

I have a baby now though, so next year will have to engage with Xmas to some degree I think.

‘Engage’, in this context, makes me think of ‘engaging with the enemy’. :stuck_out_tongue:

I was raised in a very Christian household.

But my parents had a very secular attitude about Christmas. Like, they never dragged us to church when Christmas would fall on a Sunday. We were at church all the other Sundays of the year, so it’s not like anyone could accuse us of being heathens. It’s almost like my parents saw Christmas as a break from all the pious stuff.

As an agnostic, that’s how I continue to see it.

I’m a bit picky about my Christmas songs, though. I’ll listen to anything Motown (The Temptations, The Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder). The only version of “This Christmas” I want to hear is Donny Hathaway’s. Whitney or Mariah better be singing “Oh Holy Night” or I don’t want to hear it. And Darlene Love can sing her “Christmas” song all day long. But I have an aversion to just about any Christmas song.

There are three or four radio stations in my area that shift to Christmas music 24/7 about Noon on Thanksgiving. It seems like in every 20 minute segment, we get Burl Ives singing "Have a holly, jolly Christmas, Brenda Lee singing “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” and that guy who sings “Jingle Horse Rock” The gaps are filled with various people singing “I’ll be Home for Christmas”, random female singers doing “Santa Baby” and someone who does not have the range or power singing the first verse and three or four choruses of “Oh Holy Night”

It is depressing.

But I’m…Jewish.

That’t the reason I can enjoy the Christmas season - I have no requirements to do anything, so I can just sit back, enjoy the parts I love and ignore the rest.

And by “the parts I love”, I mostly mean Christmas music. I can’t help it, I love everything about Christmas music - the recordings referenced by longhair75 are among my favorites and most are on my Youtube Christmas playlist (I include Martina McBride singing O Holy Night - she does have the range and power).

I also love the lights and decorations. I wish the commercialism would all go away, but I accept that it will never happen.

It’s a time of faith and gratitude for me. Whatever the historical truth, there can be no doubt that a guy came along at some point roughly 2018 years ago who had some pretty radical ideas about how people should treat each other.

Somehow he got quite a few people to espouse those ideas, some with great vigor despite acting in direct opposition to them . . . but I digress.

This time of year for me is a time of gratitude and re-positioning back to the basic teachings like “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and “Love they neighbor as thyself.”

As an atheist growing up in the Bible Belt I certainly knew about the religious aspects of the holiday, but to me it’s always been a family holiday, with presents and lots of food that’s not exactly good for you.

I’m a life-long atheist, never been baptized. (By the time I came along both my parents were atheists themselves. My father is the son of an Episcopalian minister, and grew up saying he was going to follow in his father’s footsteps, but lost his religion in college. My mother has also never been baptized–there’s a strain of irreligion on my mom’s side of the family going back several generations at least; her mother was a life-long matter-of-fact non-believer; I doubt my grandmother would have used the “a-word” but she just didn’t believe in any of that stuff.)

But, we still “played Santa Claus” when I was a small boy, and we had a Christmas tree (with a star on top, not an angel–I guess you could say it was the Star of Bethlehem, but to us it was just another pretty decoration). We always went to visit both sets of grandparents at Christmas time (and as a result often ate a meal at Waffle House on Christmas Day–if we’d spent Christmas Eve with one set of grandparents, we’d typically spend Christmas Day with the other; fortunately, they mostly lived not too far apart, as American road trips go, when I was growing up). Those visits to grandparents also meant seeing lots of aunts and uncles and cousins, probably for the only time for that year. (Partly of course that was just a question of everyone having a block of time off from work and/or school.) As a kid I always liked displays of holiday lights, the gaudier the better.

Later on, after I was grown, my parents formally swore off participating in gift exchanges with other adults, not out of any religious conviction, but as a push back against an over-commercialized holiday, and a desire not to have anyone else waste money on buying gifts for them that they don’t need or even want. (In my mom’s opinion there is an exemption for food, though.) With all my grandparents now dead, I no longer attend any big family get-togethers at this time of year (family reunions, mainly on my mom’s side of the family, are generally in the summer nowadays) but I still associate the season with family and food. (And I still like the more tasteful displays of Christmas lights, too.)

My husband and I are both atheists. I was raised Jewish and he was raised Muslim. We have a Christmas tree that stays up all year, though only lit during the season. We always had a tree when I was a kid, because living in a mostly Christian neighborhood, our parents didn’t want us to feel left out. But the tree got smaller every year. I think I was 12 when the last one was put up, only a few feet high.

I don’t mind the commercialism of Christmas; I consider it a celebration of prosperity. But of course people who can’t afford to buy things shouldn’t feel obligated, and nobody should fight to the death in Walmart.

The way I’ve always put it is that I don’t celebrate Christmas, I tolerate Christmas.

Atheist household. I hate the commercialism and out-of-control consumption. Like the traditional feeling of good will and love for humanity embodied by Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.. Generally find it a pain in the ass; too much work involved in the tree, decorations, shopping, meals.

I was raised in the secular tradition (agnostic mother/atheist father; my mother kept the family bible on the same shelf as “the Oz books and other works of fiction” as she put it). Nowadays, my family’s so scattered that I pretty much don’t do anything for Christmas any more.

I was raised Lutheran and we were pretty active in the church. Christmas meant the church Christmas pageant for us, and Advent, and when we got older, being an alter girl for a service and not messing up the candles. We went to Christmas eve or Christmas day services, and sang at least 4 stanzas of every hymn.

I’m not practicing anymore but I’m still Christian. My mom went back to the Catholic church and it pleases her to no end when I go to mass with her so I’ll usually attend some sort of church service with her for Christmas.

I got no problem with secular additions to the celebration. I prefer secular Holiday Songs on the radio. I don’t get too much in to Santa, but I also don’t go too haywire with the manger scenes. I’ve got a Snoopy manger scene, being watched over by a Star Wars Praetorian Guard right now

From a purely choir geek perspective, just give me trad carols and maybe some modern arrangements thereof. No Rudolph, no Frosty. Everything else about Christmas I can take or leave.

Didn’t vote because my personal favorite is “Good King Wenceslas,” which interestingly doesn’t mention Jesus or Christmas, and is apparently scorned by “carol experts” because it’s based on a “spring carol.”

I like Christmas even though it is stressful, and I like singing (badly) all manner of Christmas songs. Having been raised Catholic I know lots of the religious one like “O Come” &c. but I’m happy with “Winter Wonderland” and its ilk.

I don’t care for “O Come Emanuel” because it sounds like a dirge, or “I’ll be home for Christmas” because it comes across like the lament of dying soldier.

Adeste Fideles, of course. Attempts at getting Spanish congregations to sing Venid, Fieles Todos tend to fall really, really flat. For some reason that one and Salve Regina are just stuck in Latin.
This year, several of the apartments in my building which were empty last year are finally inhabited. Most doors have something.