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Secular celebrating on religious holidays (spin-off)


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  #1  
September 30th, 2010, 04:45 AM
sunshine411's Avatar Let's go MAVS!!!!
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In the Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays thread a few different people mentioned that they don't like that people make Christmas so secular. It was pointed out that it's actually a pagan holiday, not a christian one, but that got me thinking.

What about other holidays? Like Halloween and Easter? Do you not celebrate Halloween because it's not a christian holiday? Do you not do Easter eggs and the Easter bunny, or baskets for your kids? What about Santa Clause? Do you feel like your kids are missing out on some of the fun parts of just being a kid? Why can't/shouldn't kids do the fun part and learn about the religious part that you believe in all at the same time?
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  #2  
September 30th, 2010, 06:28 AM
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We do it all. We celebrate the religious part and the "holiday" part. Its too much fun to not play santa for the kids .
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  #3  
September 30th, 2010, 08:54 AM
AMDG's Avatar Margaret
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshine411 View Post

What about other holidays? Like Halloween and Easter? Do you not celebrate Halloween because it's not a christian holiday? Do you not do Easter eggs and the Easter bunny, or baskets for your kids? What about Santa Clause? Do you feel like your kids are missing out on some of the fun parts of just being a kid? Why can't/shouldn't kids do the fun part and learn about the religious part that you believe in all at the same time?
Are you assuming the religious part can't also be fun? my kids sure think it is fun. I don't think my kids are missing out on anything. Different families choose to celebrate in different ways but just because we don't celebrate the way many families do doesn't mean my kids don't have just as much fun. It just irirates me when people assume that kids are somehow missing out because a family chooses to do something different from most of society.
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  #5  
September 30th, 2010, 10:45 AM
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Actually I wasn't assuming anything. I was raised in a very religious home and I wasn't allowed to do certain things, mainly Halloween because my mom didn't think that day should be celebrated. I never understood why she could do the secular part of Christmas and Easter, but couldn't just do the secular part of Halloween so that I could dress up and get candy like everyone else. It is something that always bothered me growing up and her and I have had many arguments about it.

The other topic made me think of it and I was wondering if others believed like she did too. That you can't mix the secular part in with it, or can't just do the secular part and ignore the religious aspect of whatever holiday. I wondered if anyone thinks their kids will feel jipped when they get older. I did feel jipped and the other post made me wonder what others thought about it.

I never said that it meant your kids weren't having fun at all, or that you didn't celebrate. I said I was wondering if you think it will bother them that they didn't get to do those things, as in Easter eggs, dress up, etc, if you don't do them.
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Last edited by sunshine411; September 30th, 2010 at 11:11 AM.
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  #6  
September 30th, 2010, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommiex2 View Post
Since my husband is an atheist and I am agnostic, we celebrate all holidays as heathens: dressing up for Halloween, coloring Easter eggs, and visiting Santa. We will also teach our children what the religous aspects of each holiday are, however we will not indoctrinate them. After they understand the information, they can make the choice whether or not they are going to believe the religous aspects of each holiday on their own.
This is the same for us. The most religious we get is saying grace at Christmas dinner. Otherwise we leave religion out of it. I want to teach Chloe where these holiday's came from but I'm going to leave it up to them to decide if they want to believe and practice the religious aspects. If Chloe tells me all her friends are going to church on Easter Sunday and she wants to go to, I have no problem with that. I would take her.
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  #7  
September 30th, 2010, 10:48 AM
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We're a pretty religious family, but we don't associate religion with the holidays. Christmas is not about Jesus, neither is Easter. Halloween is not about Satan or whatever some people attach to that holiday. DH doesn't like to do Santa because he feels he is "lying" to the kids, but I've managed to tone him down a bit on that.

We do presents, family time, big dinner, tree, the works with Christmas. Dress up and go trick or treating for Halloween. Easter is filled with egg hunts and more family time. I don't need a holiday to celebrate my religion. I do it every day. No one day is more special than another.
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  #8  
September 30th, 2010, 11:01 AM
MissTorrieIfYou'reNasty's Avatar Co-Host of Heated Debates
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If people are bothered that I celebrate traditional holidays without Jesus, tough. Their Jesus does not have to be as important to me as he is to them. There's no rule stating that. All these holidays are amalgamations of traditional pagan as well as Christian superstition. It's arrogance to claim that those days belong to you alone, when your religion was only one of the many western influences that contributed to the landscape of that particular practice.

What I'm doing when I celebrate holidays is marking the passage of time, and the importance of the seasons to those who came before us.
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  #9  
September 30th, 2010, 11:17 AM
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I guess I should clarify my question.

Does anyone who doesn't do the secular part of any given holiday due to their religious beliefs wonder if their kids will feel left out and/or jipped? What is your reasoning for not doing the secular part of [insert holiday here]?

I did feel left out and sort of jipped when I got older and so I wondered if anyone worries about that with their children? Do you think they will care, why or why not?
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  #10  
September 30th, 2010, 11:40 AM
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I am pagan, DH is agnostic. We celebrate all holidays with tradition and fun. We don't bring religion into it really at all. We do have a few pagan rituals for holidays but they are not a massive ritual. Mostly recognizing and celebrating the changing season and incorporating the day's theme into that (the first day of winter, we plan on taking a trip to the snow, for example).
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  #11  
September 30th, 2010, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by RTMOM View Post
We do it all. We celebrate the religious part and the "holiday" part. Its too much fun to not play santa for the kids .
Ditto. We just do it all, way too much fun to miss out on!
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  #13  
September 30th, 2010, 12:58 PM
AMDG's Avatar Margaret
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshine411 View Post
I guess I should clarify my question.

Does anyone who doesn't do the secular part of any given holiday due to their religious beliefs wonder if their kids will feel left out and/or jipped? What is your reasoning for not doing the secular part of [insert holiday here]?

I did feel left out and sort of jipped when I got older and so I wondered if anyone worries about that with their children? Do you think they will care, why or why not?

I don't think my children will feel jipped. We have so many feast days that we celebrate in different ways throughout the year. For example, most people celebrate the Christmas holiday on the 25th and then the celebration pretty much ends after that. We celebrate until the 6th of January at which time my children get another gift just to mark the celebration of the Epiphany. My children get to celebrate on their birthday and also on the feast day of the saint they were named after. Easter is celebrated in a big way for 8 days and then to a lesser degree for 40 days until the Ascention. The list could go on.
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  #14  
September 30th, 2010, 01:10 PM
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AMDG, do you also celebrate St. Nicholas Day?


We celebrate that, so the kids get an extra day of gifts as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMDG View Post
I don't think my children will feel jipped. We have so many feast days that we celebrate in different ways throughout the year. For example, most people celebrate the Christmas holiday on the 25th and then the celebration pretty much ends after that. We celebrate until the 6th of January at which time my children get another gift just to mark the celebration of the Epiphany. My children get to celebrate on their birthday and also on the feast day of the saint they were named after. Easter is celebrated in a big way for 8 days and then to a lesser degree for 40 days until the Ascention. The list could go on.

Yes, we love the feast days. Such a great service on those days. And my favorite day in Holy Week is Palm Sunday. Such a beautiful service.


What I love about celebrating the religious part of the holidays, is that there is so much that goes into it. I really look forward to all ther services at church.
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  #15  
September 30th, 2010, 01:21 PM
AMDG's Avatar Margaret
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTMOM View Post
AMDG, do you also celebrate St. Nicholas Day?


We celebrate that, so the kids get an extra day of gifts as well.




Yes, we love the feast days. Such a great service on those days. And my favorite day in Holy Week is Palm Sunday. Such a beautiful service.


What I love about celebrating the religious part of the holidays, is that there is so much that goes into it. I really look forward to all ther services at church.
Yes, my kids get gifts on the Feast of St. Nicholas. Then we do a small gift on Christmas and then they get a gift again on Epiphany. There are so many fun things to do in addition to Mass. We also try to teach them how other cultures celebrate certain Feast days etc. My kids are still very young and so it is fun to slowly build on our traditions and add to them each year.
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  #16  
September 30th, 2010, 01:31 PM
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We do a mix of religion and secular. Mostly secular. I grew up in a very religious environment and I've been turned off on it for most of my adult life. Not to the point that I consider myself a non christian but I have no desire to go to church and I do not believe that one denomination or one religion is better than the other. And if people do not believe in God, thats ok with we me as well. So basically, however one wants to celebrate or not celebrate the holidays, I don't care
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  #17  
September 30th, 2010, 03:06 PM
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We kind of do a mix here. DH's family is originally from Poland so they celebrate Christmas much different than we do in the states. DH never did Santa as a kid, they would go to midnight mass then open gifts when they got home. They also don't eat meat, only fish for the eve meal.

I grew up with the whole Christmas morning tradition and really no religion what so ever. My family used the time as more of a way for us all to get together and celebrate and share a meal and time together. We are trying to strike a balance but I still am holding firm on the whole Santa thing.
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  #18  
September 30th, 2010, 03:34 PM
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Our main motivation for keeping some parts of holidays and not others is to keep consumerism and materialism at a bare minimum. We leave santa out of Christmas for that reason, but we also skip most of the traditional decorations (no tree, wreaths, etc) and just gove one gift apiece (wrapped in a fabric, not paper). Honestly, we downplay Christmas as much as possible; its not Jesus' birthday (or anywhere close to it) and we don't really keep up with any of the secular aspects of it... for us it's become not much more than a day of the kids' grandparents presenting guilt offerings for not visiting with the kids most of the year, despite living just a few miles away. Instead of easter we celebrate Resurrection Day. We do halloween, but we just look it as "dress-up day" and nothing more. Thrown into the mix, we are trying to incorporate Jewish holidays because my family is of Jewish heritage and I want the kids to have some knowledge of the customs that I was never taught growing up (my parents were atheists, who rarely ever celebrated holidays.)

Quote:
Does anyone who doesn't do the secular part of any given holiday due to their religious beliefs wonder if their kids will feel left out and/or jipped?
If they feel "jipped" because dh and I chose not to promote materialism, wastefulness and overspending... oh well. There are a lot more traumatic circumstances in life than not having santa clause or an easter basket.

Quote:
All these holidays are amalgamations of traditional pagan as well as Christian superstition. It's arrogance to claim that those days belong to you alone, when your religion was only one of the many western influences that contributed to the landscape of that particular practice.
That pretty much sums it up for me

Last edited by Tofu Bacon; September 30th, 2010 at 03:38 PM.
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  #19  
September 30th, 2010, 04:13 PM
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As an atheisnostic family, of course we support celebrating these holidays in a secular fashion. It's part of our culture, whether or not we subscribe to the religion. We probably celebrate exactly the holidays that are promoted in the corporate greed/marketing industry, and I'd assume that's a) because there's lots of tasty food and b) the "world" preparing for these holidays reminds us that they exist in the first place. But *expletive deleted* Valentine's Day right in the ear. That one, they can take back.
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  #20  
September 30th, 2010, 04:27 PM
AMDG's Avatar Margaret
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofu Bacon View Post


If they feel "jipped" because dh and I chose not to promote materialism, wastefulness and overspending... oh well. There are a lot more traumatic circumstances in life than not having santa clause or an easter basket.
I agree with this!
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