Xmas celebrating by atheists
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December 9th, 2010, 08:27 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2008
I actually wrote this earlier today. I was thinking of posting it as a note on my facebook page. It is long. :-)
My husband and I have been posed with the question as to why we celebrate “christian” holidays like Christmas and Easter when we are non-believers. The simple answer to that question is the holiday is fun and a family tradition. We both enjoy the decorations, family time, and the fun of watching our son among other family and friends enjoying the holiday as well.
However we don't celebrate the christian aspects of the holiday, luckily for us there are very few in either of those holidays. There is no nativity set up in our house and we don't go to church. That is all we lose from Christmas. Original holiday is celebrating the Winter Solstice. This was the ancient celebration of the fact that the days start getting longer again and the ancient people knew that another year was going to happen, aka the world was not coming to an end. The “Christmas tree” and the idea of decorating with evergreens was an ancient practice long before the start of the christian religion, same goes for the yule log, lights on the tree, mistletoe, gift giving, and caroling. Even the gift giving Santa is believed to be a remaking of pagan gods such as Neptune. Although most of the story of the Santa that we talk about today, living in the north pole, reindeer, coming down the chimney, even the red suit, were all created in America and are by no means ancient traditions of any kind. Then of course there is the point that very few people, including most all christians that I know, actually believe Jesus was born on December 25. Of course the two biblical accounts of the Christ's birth don't mesh all that well anyway, but the best interpretation is that Jesus would have been born in the spring, not the winter, and the nativity scene including the wise men and the “no room at the inn” has been thrown together to paint a pretty picture, but not actually how events in the bible play out (again somewhat depending on which of the two stories you choose to read.)
If interested here are a few quick bible references explaining what I am talking about.
Matthew 1:20 says the angel appeared to Joseph. Luke 1:28 says the angel appeared before Mary.
Matthew 2:11 says Jesus’ birth took place in a house. Luke’s account says manger (feeding trough), because there was no room in the inn.
Matthew 2:13-16 says Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath. Luke 2:39 says Mary and Joseph returned to Nazareth, with no mention of Herod, a death decree or Egypt.
The three kings? In the book of Matthew, they were magoi (astronomers), not kings. There’s no mention of “three,” and the entire account contradicts Luke’s account, which has Jesus being visited by local shepherds.
But I will admit is is confusing for me to say I celebrate Christmas since the church did actually take the time to rename that holiday to make it sound like more of a christian one. I could say I celebrate the solstice, but it isn't my habit and it is honestly harder to say. I will try if I get enough requests from christian friends and family though.
Then on to Easter. Easter, in reality, is the ancient celebration of the spring equinox. It is the rebirth of the world, the beginning of plants coming back, animals coming out of hibernation and new babies being born. This holiday is actually named after the Saxon/Teutonic Goddess Eastre, the Goddess of Spring and her patron animal was the hare. Although most ancient religions have a goddess of rebirth and fertility that have holidays celebrated at the spring equinox. The egg is also an ancient symbol of fertility and rebirth. So the “Easter bunny” and “Easter egg” are both pagan symbols/ traditions used by christianity in their celebration and have nothing at all to do with what the christian holiday is even about. Again when we celebrate Easter, we do not do it at church, the only actual christian part of the holiday.
So I ask Christians, Why do you celebrate Christmas in December with Santa, presents, and all the other pagan traditions involved? Why does the Easter bunny come to your house and why do you look for Easter eggs? However, if your answer to those first two questions is anything other than the same as mine in the first paragraph (I enjoy the holidays and they are a fun family tradition.) then I wonder if you are really being honest to yourself about your faith and beliefs.
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