I say, why not? We could call it xmas. It could be a secular holiday for spending time with family and exchanging gifts.

The Christians stole the winter festival from the pegans. Now it's our turn to steal it back!

Further discussion: If you already celebrate the winter festival, what symbols/themes do you feel are apropreate for a secular xmas?

- Lights?
- A pine tree (the "Christmas tree")?
- Stars?
- Santa?
- Rudolf?
- Stockings?

Also, what Christmas movies would you watch during a secular xmas? The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorites.

What other traditions do you have?

Tags: christmas, holidays, xmas

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*High-five* for the Peter Murphy reference!
I find it abhorrent that people still continue to celebrate this holiday, especially if they know the true origins of the holiday.

Please read if you haven't already http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Christmas_TheRealStory.htm

Are people so materialistic that they overlook all this just to get presents?
Even though my family makes some sort of effort towards celebrating it, I would be perfectly amenable to not celebrating it anymore, as it's generally all that you said it is: An excuse for people to get gifts. Can't say I like the forced familial contact either, what with myself being the only atheist in the family, besides my mother, as far as I know.
"The festival began when Roman authorities chose “an enemy of the Roman people” to represent the “Lord of Misrule.” Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week. At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering this innocent man or woman."

Wow. Sounds like a really messed up version of Frank Costanza's Festivus feats of strength.

Thanks for posting.
My family celebrates on xmas Eve, we use a tree as well, which I have too much fun detailing the real origins of ;), but our decorations are lights only, and some of those shiny baubles, along with some homemade trinkets. The strung popcorn never makes it onto the tree. No carols or anything like that, but I've started watching Goth Cruise on xmas Eve now, over a piece of pumpkin pie, which confuses my mother to no end.
I love everything Christmas. I like the music, the decorations, the smells, the food... except the presents. I know that's weird, but I actually don't like receiving gifts. I usually try to avoid shopping malls from Thanksgiving till December to avoid the mad zombie shoppers. Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day are originally religious too but no one thinks twice about missing those holidays. I don't care whether one calls it Christmas, The Solstice, Winter Festival, Yule etc... it's still fun. The only holiday I seem to hate is Valentine's Day. That always seems to be the worst day of the year for me.

My favorite Christmas movies are actually two versions of the same: "A Christmas Carol" and "Srooged" with Albert Finney.
Does anyone here use fake Christmas trees?

I haven't had a real Christmas tree in years. My grandmother was allergic, so we always set up the fake one at her house, with all the little plastic barbs pricking my fingers, and my mother hated the mess of real trees. Despite the mess though I think I'd rather have a real tree.
My fam indulges it for the fun. Have a tree in the house because to us they smell good. Tinsel? who dosen't like shiney objects? shopping horrors are avoided by giving your fam money whoever pissed everybody off the most that year got close to nothing. All comes togeather at the end with a huge dinner on the eve with fam and friends. most of my atheist friends come over because their fam isn't doing anything and not a single christian object lies in my house(Except for my dashboard jesus). Fun enviornment and everybody has fun.
The Christmas "season" gets going her in September.

The last time I celebrated Christmas was in 1967. I went to midnight mass with a girlfriend with whom I was besotted. (also the last time I ever wen to mass as a participant)

Since that time it's been something I endure,whilst hoping I will not be maimed by some drunken hoon as I drive to or from my bother's house for lunch. I enjoy the exchange of gifts and the time with my family.

I send a few a cards,which I make with some spiffy software I have. They usually say something like "Ho fucking Ho" or "Happy humbug" and feature an appropriate cartoon or photo:


[IMG]http://i481.photobucket.com/albums/rr172/Patrick2008_photo/santagra...[/IMG]
"Had a similar reaction to clowns but fortunately those weren't loose in the community in that era, they were confined to just tv. "


Clowns scared the beejabus out of me as kid,made me wet my pants.

Of course at that time I also thought ventriloquist dolls were real,that my arms and legs would fall off if I ate too much sugar,and that if I swallowed chewing gum,it would wrap itself around my heart and kill me. (I had an aunt with a rather odd sense of humour)
I managed convinced my brother that fish say 'merp', and he was about 11 years old at the time, so if I ever become an aunt my skills could be put to good use!
I don't see any problem celebrating Christmas, although my boyfriend disagrees and thinks it is hypocritical. However, the only part of Christmas I would really miss is the roast turkey dinner.

Last year I even went to a church, one of my friends sings in my University's singing society and they hold their Christmas concert in a church. She's an atheist too, but Christmas is the time to sing carols so I see no reason not to go along (particularly since it wasn't even a church service). She was even in the Gospel choir despite being an atheist, and they had no problem with her joining.

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