8 Thoughts on December 25th

Merry Christmas! Since Christmas happens to be on my blogging day for my first year on my blog, I knew I wanted my post to center around my experience of Christmas and the Christmas season. I have been playing around with topics and trying to write this post for a few days, but I couldn’t come up with anything worth more than a paragraph or two, so instead I thought I’d write out some thoughts, experiences, and Christmas traditions that I’ve had, in no particular order.

1. Working in retail has made me hate almost all Christmas pop music. Since my family and I have been listening to Christian Christmas songs every year for my whole life, those are the songs I finding myself liking.

2. When I was a child, participating in the yearly church Christmas program was always a dreaded experience. I had to sit through practices during Sunday School and on Saturday mornings, and learn the words and the motions to songs like “Go Tell It on the Mountain” (which I despise to this day).

3. My church has always had a Christmas Eve candlelight service at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, so I’m used to having to go to those and I don’t mind them too much. However, when a new pastor came about 6 years ago, he implemented Christmas morning services and disrupted my family’s tradition of movie-watching and present-opening in our pajamas. Unlike the rest of my family, I don’t see going to church as a fun way of celebrating, and I’m still upset that these services take place every year.

4. My family gets annoyed if anyone says that the real meaning of Christmas is family, love, kindness, gift-giving, or thanksgiving. Because the real meaning is Jesus.

5. My boyfriend bought me copies of the Skeptics Annotated Bible and the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster for Christmas. Thank God for gifts like these!

6. I didn’t know until today that while one account of Jesus’ birth mentions him being born in a manger, the other one mentions that the magi found him in a house. I guess that Jesus being born in a house doesn’t have the same woe-is-me effect that being born in a lowly stable does.

7. I think it’s very interesting to see how defensive Christians get over Christmas because it is their holiday. Like the outrage that Starbucks might have religiously neutral cups, the American Atheists might proclaim that Christmas is better without church, or anyone might tell you happy holidays rather than try to correctly guess which holiday you celebrate. It’s almost as if America doesn’t have one established religion, and Christmas arose as a Christian adaptation of a pagan holiday. Weird.

8. Despite trying to put aside the heavy religiousness of the Christmas season, it’s still a time to reflect, relax, and celebrate everything and everyone that we are lucky enough to have. Just because I don’t agree with my family doesn’t mean that I don’t love them or appreciate having them in my life. Religious differences (especially if only known to one party) don’t ruin strongly rooted relationships. Merry Christmas!


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7 Replies to “8 Thoughts on December 25th”

  1. Hi there,

    Here are a few thoughts on your Christmas’ thoughts.

    Thought 4 – Jesus may be the cause of Christmas, he certainly does not have to be the reason. I celebrate Christmas as an atheist with my girlfriend of thirty years, who is Catholic (at least nominally these days). I enjoy setting up and decorating the tree with her. Every year I give her a new ornament. Since she believes in angels, I have been giving her one every year now for about ten years. I like giving and receiving Christmas gifts to and from her. I like the music. And, I love all things Santa Claus (most things anyway). I say I belief in him because it is fun. I wrote a blog to prove his existence and to fantasy how he might accomplish his mission. If I am allowed to plug my blog, it is title – “Does Santa Claus Exist?” The link is https://aquestionersjourney.wordpress.com/2016/12/07/does-santa-claus-exists/.

    Thought 6 – That is not the only contradiction in the nativity stories, both internal and historical. The genealogies do not match up is an internal one, and the census cannot be historical as it is described in the Luke.

    Thought 8 – I agree with your statement on family.

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  2. I am really enjoying reading your blog as I made a similar journey myself and am still “slightly-closeted” even in a largely secular context in the UK – it’s also really refreshing to read a personal reflective blog, since my own is far more intellectual in character. I intend to read your essay on naturalism at some point. Have you read (and enjoyed) any of my posts? Would be good to know what you think or suggestions for future posts from across the Pond! (And could give you and your readers support to sensitively back up any discussion on the Bible with facts and sensible arguments as time goes on and you gradually become more open with people.) Best wishes from the UK, H

    https://thebookofamos.wordpress.com/

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  3. This defensiveness baffles me… it has long been a period of celebration… pre-dating Christianity.

    Happy festivities. I do hope you find some personal moments through the week.

    PS. I believe the meaning of Christmas was once the changing of the seasons, now it is a Commercial Venture, with a smattering of good-will gift exchanging somewhere in the middle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most of the Christians that I know are unbelievably defensive of their religion, so the fact that it extends to the holiday season doesn’t surprise me too much.

      As for the original meaning and celebration of Christmas, I’m still trying to learn more about how or when it originated. All that I know is that the celebration was used to commemorate the winter solstice.

      Also, I don’t want it to sound like I dislike my family or spending time with them; of course the holidays are a special time that I get with my family, but the overwhelming religiosity can definitely get on my nerves sometimes. I wish you well, too!

      Liked by 1 person

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