Has this time of year changed for anyone? As an atheist, do you still participate in holiday activities? I am well aware of the fact that this time of year is not exclusive to the religious. I just would like to start a discussion as to whether, after becoming an atheist, there have been any changes.

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It does make things a little awkward when the majority of my friends are "believers". I like the holidays when it comes to the sales and getting things that I want or need. For the past 4 to 5 years I have not had a tree in my house or many decorations. This year was different, but the decorations were for the believer I happen to love (who also respects my position on religion). After openly being an atheist, I don't get many invites. I don't like to go places where they "pray". SO, things are very different, but I'm HAPPY. Thats what counts.
I compare holidays after becoming atheist to celebrating Columbus Day after learning history. As with most holidays, people don't celebrate appropriately anyway (i.e. Valentine's, Mardi Gras, Easter, etc.) so it makes it easier to tolerate. Plus while everybody's busy buying gifts and making exorbitant dinners, I give kids the Socratic treatment.

The key word for me is "day."  In other words, a day off.  People get on my case for not putting up a tree.  I have not put up a tree since I was 9 years old and I haven't missed that tree since.

This time of the year has not changed for me. I do not personally participate in the holidays. Holidays for me is comparable to being indoctrinated into a religion or cult. We were taught these things as children & I personally decided long ago to do away with childish things. You can celebrate any time of the year & make up your own traditions & holidays as you see fit as individuals. Most holidays are about propaganda & big businesses. The only purpose the holidays serve for me are days off of work.     

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