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The Reason for the Season


Forum: Spiritual Living

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  #1  
November 24th, 2011, 03:23 AM
Carwen*Angel's Avatar Fly away on my zephyr
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What does Christmas, Yule, Hanukkah, or any other seasonal celebration actually mean to you?

Do you celebrate more than one...or none? What is the true meaning of the festive season?

Please state your faith, denomination and/or path before answering. Please also state which festival(s) you celebrate, especially if it's something other than the three listed above.

I am really interested to read different thoughts from a variety of perspectives, and thought we could all learn a little from each other, think about the real, original meanings of the winter festivals of light, and enhance our own experience and understanding.

Wikipedia has a full list of winter festivals, some secular, some religious - I never knew so many existed!

List of winter festivals - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  #2  
November 24th, 2011, 11:24 AM
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We celebrate Yule and Christmas...usually together.

In truth they mean family and giving to me. Being with my family, feeling the love of my kids and enjoying their happy faces when they get gifts. I enjoy the feeling of giving to others, it makes my heart feel like bursting.

I have a feeling of endings and beginnings during this time of year as well.
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  #3  
November 24th, 2011, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Lotus View Post
We celebrate Yule and Christmas...usually together.

In truth they mean family and giving to me. Being with my family, feeling the love of my kids and enjoying their happy faces when they get gifts. I enjoy the feeling of giving to others, it makes my heart feel like bursting.

I have a feeling of endings and beginnings during this time of year as well.
That. Exactly.
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  #4  
November 24th, 2011, 02:15 PM
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I was brought up Christian, so we celebrate Christmas.
I'm just beginning my path though (eclectic pagan) and am looking forward to learning about other celebrations.

However, Christmas to me is love, family and giving. (And of course food ). I'm all about giving and always spoil my family for Christmas. Christmas is such a loving time of year, I just wish the general public would remember that. Too many people get stressed out and seem to rush around, instead of taking the time to truly enjoy the reason for the season!
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  #5  
November 24th, 2011, 04:01 PM
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We celebrate what we like to call Commercial Christmas. We have NOTHING religious in our celebrations. We have santa, reindeer, elves and the tree. We exchange gifts with family members, we have supper or lunch with our extended families. On xmas morning, we play Santa, hubby and I stay up late, wrapping gifts together. Then we setup the dining room as though Santa had been there.

My kids though are getting to a point where Santa is gonna be figured out soon. After that, it will just be gifts and food for us.
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  #6  
November 25th, 2011, 04:19 AM
Carwen*Angel's Avatar Fly away on my zephyr
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Thanks for your responses!

I'm primarily Pagan with some Interfaith beliefs. I celebrate both Yule and Christmas - I see it as a holiday week.

For me, Yule is about transformation. I burn the Yule log to celebrate the turning of the seasons and the capacity for change, and make Yule wishes or do some candle magick for energies I wish to transform in my life or in the world. It's also about a light in the darkness and looking forward to the light half of the year, hence lights on the tree, burning the Yule log, and lighting candles.

And for me, Christmas is about love. When you think about Christ, the ultimate lesson he had for mankind was unconditional love. Forgiveness and compassion are all part of that energy too. I will often say a prayer on Christmas Eve and will join in with carol services because for me, while I may not be Christian, Jesus is still a special historical figure and an ascended master who can help us manifest miracles if we open our hearts and love others. But primarily it's a family time for me, and all about giving to those we love, and giving to other people who may not be as fortunate as us.

The reason for the season, for me, is the inspiration to be the best person you can be...from the teachings of Jesus if you're Christian or Interfaith, and from the magical Solstice energy if you're Pagan, Wiccan, or New Age. Maybe for some, like me, both.
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  #7  
November 25th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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Hi, I've never posted to this board before, so thank you for the invite. I'm Catholic, and we celebrate Christmas. First and most importantly- Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. It is purely a religious celebration for us, and we try to avoid the materialistic and commercial aspects of the season. We observe Advent as a time of preparation, spiritually and practically, and then celebrate the twelve days of Christmas with Holy Mass, decorations, gifts, special meals, and extra time to pray and sing as a family. Our Netflix queue is nothing but Christmas movies. We also get to wrap up our celebrations with two birthdays on January 5th and 6th.
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  #8  
November 25th, 2011, 10:44 AM
Carwen*Angel's Avatar Fly away on my zephyr
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Very interesting to hear. Thanks for coming over! I'm curious to know what happens at a Catholic Holy Mass as I have only ever been to Anglican and Methodist Christmas services, if you come by again and have time to reply.
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  #9  
November 25th, 2011, 09:23 PM
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The Latin Rite Mass is very similar to the Anglican liturgy in many respects. Wikipedia has a thorough description:
Mass (liturgy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are other rites within the Roman Church, and of course the Orthodox (Eastern) Catholics have their own rites as well.
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  #10  
November 25th, 2011, 11:15 PM
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Popping over from the Atheist/Agnostic Parenting board.
We celebrate Christmas - Santa, reindeer, etc. - but there is no religious component to our holiday. It's more habit than anything, since we both came from religious parents/grandparents. For us, it's simply a time for family.
The true meaning of the season is different for everyone. It all depends on what one believes.
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  #11  
November 26th, 2011, 11:00 AM
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This time of year isn't really celebrated in my path, but I LOVE this time of year. I was raised Christian but I have no religion in it now. My daughter is Wiccan so we also do Yule also, and because I want to expose my children to different things so they can learn about it.

For me its a time for family, giving, love, lights, joy, snow, long nights with hot cocoa wrapped up in a blanket watching movies with the family. People are always so busy through out the year, and some of these things IMO should be all the time, but alas, life gets in the way and sometimes there just isnt enough time for anything. The smell and the over all feeling is different this time of year for me.
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  #12  
November 26th, 2011, 09:26 PM
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Thanks for the invite from the Christian parenting board.
I LOVE this time of year. For me it is a time of Joy and Love. It reminds us of God's unconditional love for all of us. We celebrate the birth of his son. I also love to see the good will that man has for man and it often makes me wonder why itoften doesn't extend beyond Christmas time.
It is a time of good cheer and joy.
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  #13  
November 27th, 2011, 11:22 AM
Carwen*Angel's Avatar Fly away on my zephyr
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Tuatha - I totally agree about the smell and the feeling of the seasonal time of year. You really hit the nail on the head for me there.

Mattiez - I have often wondered the same thing myself. But am thankful that Christmas is such a miraculous time.
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  #14  
November 27th, 2011, 04:26 PM
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i celebrate christmas and to me christmas is about spending time with family being thankful for what you have and showing your apprication of others.
i love christmas time also love how you can feel its time for a new start you can look back on the year and look forward to the next. i love the cosyness of christmas.
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  #15  
November 28th, 2011, 06:41 AM
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Thanks for the invite. He from Islamic parenting.. I was raised catholic and am now Muslim... We don't celebrate christmas. It's another off day for DH but that's it. The kids will watch cartoon stuff with Xmas theme but no gifts no trees no Santa etc in our home. We have family of course that is still Christian and so we will share the day with them sometimes and go to their homes. For us it's about Christ birth and since we don't acknowledge Jesus as Christ that is why we don't celebrate him..
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  #16  
November 28th, 2011, 08:11 AM
Carwen*Angel's Avatar Fly away on my zephyr
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Thanks for coming over to give your perspective . Very interesting! I did mean for people to comment on what their winter festivals mean to them, so I wouldn't have minded if you wanted to comment on Id (or if you still want to, if you happen to come by again), though I know that usually occurs much earlier than Christmas.
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  #17  
November 28th, 2011, 12:13 PM
Bella Nyxe's Avatar Serenity in Moonlight
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dh is christian (his family is catholic)
im pagan (some of my family is christian)
i will be celebrating Yule and teaching the twins about the season and change and some history of our celebration. Christmas will be observed but not as a "holy" day for us. It will be with santa and family and food.

forgot to mention i also observe the esbats.
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  #18  
November 28th, 2011, 12:47 PM
Carwen*Angel's Avatar Fly away on my zephyr
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What will you be teaching your kids about Yule, Bella? Curious in case you have anything that simplifies it right down that I could share with Daniel.
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  #19  
November 28th, 2011, 12:55 PM
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We celebrate Christmas. Midnight Mass is such a time of peace and love.. I look forward to it every year.

Christmas for me is a mix of the religious and the magic of little ones believing in Santa, and family,and the chance to give of myself to others. LOVE this time of year.
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  #20  
November 28th, 2011, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhmomofmany View Post
Hi, I've never posted to this board before, so thank you for the invite. I'm Catholic, and we celebrate Christmas. First and most importantly- Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. It is purely a religious celebration for us, and we try to avoid the materialistic and commercial aspects of the season. We observe Advent as a time of preparation, spiritually and practically, and then celebrate the twelve days of Christmas with Holy Mass, decorations, gifts, special meals, and extra time to pray and sing as a family. Our Netflix queue is nothing but Christmas movies. We also get to wrap up our celebrations with two birthdays on January 5th and 6th.
I wish I could just say but we do the materialistic part too. We really do try to emphasize the birth of Christ as the reason for all of it, but we make it a big deal with the materialistic stuff.
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