Thanksgiving is past, and, on December first, I always hang our "Advent Calendar" on the wall in the family room near the fireplace. The calendar is fringed burlap with a large, green felt tree in the middle. There are 24 red buttons sewn on the tree.
This was a handmade gift from a dear friend many years ago before I even had children, and my children are now ages 22 and 28.
Each day from December 1st through December 24th, a colorful felt ornaments is taken from a pocket on the calendar, and that ornament is hung on one of the red buttons on the felt tree. There are a snowflake, a drum, a bugle, a holly leaf, a wreath, a snowman, a candy cane, Santa, a reindeer, and so on.
Pocket number 24 always contains "baby Jesus" in half a walnut shell.
I'm fine with most of the colorful and whimsical symbols of the make-believe and romance associated with the season, but will admit that I feel somehow uncomfortable about "baby Jesus".
Upon analysis, I think my discomfort is because it seems fine for adults to enjoy "Let's pretend" with children and even with each other in connection with holidays, but Christians separate the myth of Jesus from all the rest, and deny that the "Jesus story" is as much a fable as that of he elves, the North Pole, Frosty, and Rudolph.
So...I wondered how other atheists handle the Christmas season, in big ways and in little ways.
I'm particularly curious about those of you who have young children. Do you engage in any seasonal make believe with them? Do you introduce them to any of the cultural symbols of the season? If so, do you avoid the manger and wise men and star of Bethlehem?
I'm afraid that is also wrong and again due to people holding to a tradition without understanding.
We know a lot more now, thanks to Robert Bauval and his research of how the stars affected Egyptian beliefs.
In the beginning it was the northern hemisphere SUMMER Solstice and this was linked to the rising of the Star Sirius that they always watched out for. When the heliacal rising of Sirius coincided with the SUMMER Solstice then this was the NEW YEAR and since they saw Sirius as JESUS then this was his return. It also marked the flooding of the Nile which brought back new life to Egypt. The very first time was called ZEP TEPI and Robert has theorised that this would have been in their minds when the Milky Way aligned with the direction of the Nile and that year was 11,541 BCE.
But we have to thank Gerald Massey who in 1907 published his last work and informed us about the Summer Solstice. The reason that it is now the Winter Solstice is because that far back they didn't know about the precessional movement of the Earth, so the festivity gradually moved back to what we now call December. Then they knew what was happening and the date became fixed.
Sirius only coincides with the Summer Solstice once every 1,460 years which is why the raising of the King Ymn TWT Ankh was taken seriously in 1,321BCE and also why the gospel writers waited for the year 139CE, but then moved it back 139 years.
The advent of the Water Carrier is mentioned in the gospels, but how many Christians have any idea that it is talking about the constellation Aquarius? Malcolm
Don't forget, y'all, January 1st is the Feast of Jesus' Brisday! Srsly...it's on the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran liturgical calendars. How GROSS!
I have been having evil thoughts lately about designing a Rose Parade float picturing the ceremony...it wouldn't be any more disgusting than many other sanctimonious floats I've seen over the years. (Actually, I've pretty much given up watching the parade; d'ruther sleep in whether I stay up late the night before or not.)