My fiance and I are new atheists. We searched as much as we could to find the truth, only to find there is no truth, just science.  We are somewhat the black sheep of the family's anyway which for the most part does not bother us.  However what does bother us is that we have a granddaughter 4 and a grandson 1.  We very much want to be a part of their lives, but how do we do the whole religious holidays thing?  We thought of making their birthdays really special and treating that day like a Xmas, but that still leaves us with nothing to offer them on X mas.  My step daughter and our granddaughter's other grandparents are Christians but never attend services.  The grandsons father is a non practicing Muslim that honors Xmas.  We feel left out as it is because we live 2 hours away from them and rarely get to see them.  We really feel strongly about not wanting to add to the falseness of Xmas.  Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
Thank you 

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I think many Atheists consider themselves to be "cultural christians". I, for example, go all out for christmas mostly because I like the pretty lights :) Do whatever you feel comfortable with, stick with family traditions that you enjoy, and don't worry about it.
I dont think christmas is christian. he christians just hijacked it. I think its actually northern European.
Well, since Xmas is hardly a Christian ordeal, you could just celebrate the Winter Solstice. The shortest day of the year. Yaaay! Presents! I personally don't celebrate Christmas, or any holiday, for that matter, but not because they're generally thought of as "Christian". I have no issues with celebrating Xmas and having a party and doing what most people do on Xmas.
In fact,for the solstice,for the week leading up to the solstice, you could send them each a small something each day and on the solstice,show up with something really special.
Christmas was created by stealing the winter solstice holidays from the Pagans. Commercialism has since stolen Christmas from the Christians. It is now no more Christian a holiday than the 4th of July. So you can still celebrate it without guilt. Just that instead of praying at dinner, you do something like show thanks to each family member and friend for being there with you, and the like.
Christmas??? Who says it has to be religious? In my opinion, its a few days off of school/work that you should enjoy. Just give them presents and leave it at that. If you like, consider this: it's a holiday that just happens to be known as Christmas, and it gives you a few days off to see your loved ones.
I want to abandon all of these holidays with my daughter (she's three) because of the materialistic message they present: buy buy buy, get get get. We choose to celebrate special events with friends, family & food.

My suggestion is to eliminate the gift giving aspect, which Christians view as the symbolic gifts from the kings, and just enjoy spending time with friends and family. If they choose to give gifts, so be it- you don't have to. Also, try to schedule Christmas visits a few weeks before or after, especially after- when the 'spirit' of christmas has lessened and the decorations are put back in the attic.
Yes that is another big concern of ours is the consumerism of it all. We are not fans of buying things that are just not needed.

But I am greatly relieved to see that maybe we are making more of this then we should. We want our grandchildren to grow up without religions but maybe we have to wait till they are old enough to be dragged to catholic church that we start telling them our beliefs.
Thanks for all the insights.
Do you go to Xmas with the family? Some families take turns over which side of the family they visit for which family. I always went to my dad's side on Xmas b/c my mom's parents were jewish. (My mom, having not grown up with Xmas, used to make cookies and stuff instead of buying lots of presents) Maybe you could leave the Xmas celebration to the family members who do like it. Since there are other occasions that you would like to celebrate (like birthdays), you could still celebrate those.
Just an idea to help with the materialism - my son is four and for gift giving type holidays we have a party for his preschool friends where they each bring a gift to donate to charity. We like the Los Pobres foundation which does outreach in our area with migrant farmworkers and their families. It doesn't end the gimmies but I think even small children can gain some perspective.
Christmas is not a christian holiday anymore. I think you're putting too much emphasis in worrying about it.

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