Are there atheists who celebrate Christmas?

I'm just curious how other atheists celebrate Christmas. I personally see Christmas as more of a tradition and a time of year to be thankful for the wonderful things and people I have in my life. I watch Christmas movies, sing carols, and put up a tree. But I'm starting to feel like I'm not being true to my atheist beliefs. Is it a conflict of interest to be an atheist and still participate in Christmas activities?

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Comment by Adrienne Darby on December 9, 2009 at 5:34pm
I don't think it is a conflict of interest to be an atheist and still celebrate Christmas. I enjoy the usual presents, fun time with my family, friends and boyfriend, and the food. The Christian religious aspect of it was stolen from so-called pagans, after all. The tree, the mistletoe, the carols and the movies all have themes taken from cultures all around the world, both past and present.

All I can think about is to enjoy everything you can and participate when you think is appropriate. It all comes down to your mental morals.
Comment by Cody Nickels on December 9, 2009 at 4:59pm
I don't think its a conflict of interest at all. Christmas is actually a pagan tradition, and the date Dec 25 is most certainly not the date Jesus was born, and most theist or creationists will not claim that it is. In my opinion, its simply a great time for family to get together and be thankful for all that they have. You shouldn't be worrying about your atheist beliefs in this regard, and who said you have to believe certain things to be an atheist? In my opinion every atheist should be living the way they see fit. Non-theism doesn't have a code of conduct that you must live by to call yourself an atheist of agnostic. Good question though. :)
Comment by Charles on December 9, 2009 at 12:08pm
I have family that are Christian and so they celebrate it.Really there is no way to avoid it in our society.I think of it more of as a winter celebration.I love the evergreen trees with the lights.The Santa,Frosty and Rudolph characters are humorous.Love all the good food.I have no problem with a secular Xmas.
Comment by Dave Rogers on December 9, 2009 at 8:59am
Other than dragging all the Christmas boxes out of the basement and find my wife something nice and novel every year, I really like Christmas. Having an 11 year old son and 8 year old daughter makes it even more special. I could really care less if I get socks and underwear. It's seeing their faces light up at the whole spectacle. It's also nice it has nothing to do with Jesus or religion, although I'm not thrilled my wife played into the whole Santa charade. (I just smile and nod.) I think their are getting to the point though where they know he's a fairy tale, especially my son. I'm also looking forward to the Wii we just bought them!
Comment by Mohamed Zaki on December 9, 2009 at 5:51am
I am an atheist living in a muslim country, during the month of ramadan (the fasting month for muslims) followed by celebrations (eid ul fitr they call it) i just enjoy with them all the specialties of the celebration. Actually i have more fun then the rest as i don't waste my time on the religious rituals.
Comment by Johnny on December 9, 2009 at 2:20am
most do, I heard, actually...

why not? a holiday for love, family, and presents? the theists don't get all the fun, do they?

also, I think Santa's an important test of reasoning skills. Their belief in santa can help to tell when the kids are starting to catch on and learn other atheist critical thinking skills.

LOL funny story. When I caught on to santa, I thought about it and went... and the easter bunny too? and the tooth fairy? and...god?

NOOOO!! the last one's true!!! LOL
Comment by Amber on December 8, 2009 at 11:20pm
Maybe I should re-phrase to "Atheist truths" rather than "Beliefs" =)

Thank you all for your input. It's interesting to see how others handle this issue. And William, thank you for the link!
Comment by MRD on December 8, 2009 at 10:04pm
I enjoy Christmas as an end of year holiday, as a time of joy and merriment. I enjoy the traditional Christmas movies and specials, decorating the house, buying gifts for my wife and family and friends. I enjoy the more-than-usual socializing with family and friends. It rarely even occurs to me that it's supposed to be Christ-mas, and even when it does occur to me, I shrug and move on, because to me Christmas is just a time of year, and a national holiday to enjoy as we ring in another winter and and the end of another year.

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