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The Christmas season can be a difficult for atheists. Although Christmas has become very secular in recent years, the holiday has retained strong religious aspects. Family celebrations of Christmas also commonly include religious rituals which atheists cannot readily participate in without feeling dishonest. So should atheists care about holidays like Christmas? Should atheists just ignore Christmas, perhaps even create a new holiday as a surrogate? What exactly should atheists do with Christmas?

Read Article: What do Atheists do During Christmas Holidays?

Comments
December 20, 2008 at 5:35 pm
(1) deegee says:

I was jewish before becoming an atheist. When I was dating jewish women, we would go to the movies on Xmas. Not all theaters were open, but living in an area (Long Island, New York) which had a good sized jewish population, most theaters were open. It was easy to park and the crowds were small.

A jewish friend of mine usually went to Atlantic City to gamble. Again, crowds were small so he had the run of the place. Another good choice (as long as he “bet with his head, not over it”).

December 27, 2009 at 7:46 am
(2) Eupraxsophy says:

How about going down to a soup-kitchen and volunteer your time in helping feed the homeless. This would certainly help to shed the stereotyping that the religious community is so willing to give atheist. And even more important one can show the less fortunate that there is someone who cares about them and that they don’t even need an excuse like, it’s Christmas. Christmas for them is one of the worst times of the year, so why not show some
Non-Christmas spirit by showing some humility instead.

December 10, 2010 at 5:25 pm
(3) Matt M says:

Reading this makes me extremely grateful to live in the UK.

For me, and nearly all of the people I know, Christmas has always revolved around family – it’s a chance for people to get together, catch-up, exchange gifts, and eat far too much food.

The religious stuff (arrangeable nativity scenes, etc) is purely for decoration.

December 10, 2010 at 10:47 pm
(4) Arleigh says:

I once volunteered at a local soup kitchen. However, I didn’t do any research. It turned out to be a christian charity sponsoring the event. I felt like a complete fraud, but I thought it was important to keep the commitment. It’s terrible how these organizations covertly proselytize during this season by taking advantage of the desperate. I hope more atheists contribute and prove that doing good is it’s own reward (and not for a payday in the afterlife). The lack of research was my fault, but at least I held my ground and politely refused to join the prayer beforehand. It was sort if comical, I didn’t realize the other volunteers were zealots, and while everyone was diligently preparing the meal, I was reminded of a quote, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” I mentioned to the covert-christians that perhaps Karl Marx was right? The response was, “But, but he ALSO said religion was the opium of the masses.” They love taking that out of context.

He also said that religion was the only “protest against real suffering.” Opium, being the only analgesic known at the time, was the equivalent of saying that, for the suffering, religion is
Tylenol.

Thank gawd for Tylenol.

December 10, 2010 at 11:54 pm
(5) Robbie says:

Christmas was originally a pagan holiday of the winter solstice. Romans moved jesus’s birth to coincide with the festivities that were already taking place. I just celebrate the day with my family and talk of Santa and Rudolph while leaving the religious part out of it.

December 11, 2010 at 1:29 am
(6) IndianaJohn says:

It’s all about the solstice for me. The days are about to stop getting shorter.

“The origin of American Christmas myth and customs.”

http://www.bsu.edu/web/01bkswartz/xmaspub.html

December 11, 2010 at 12:40 pm
(7) ChuckA says:

Hey, thanks IndianaJohn, for the “heads-up” article link.
“Ain’t the Internet Grand?
We’s “mere atheists”…at the very least…can often ‘loin’ so much by paying attention to our very helpful, rational thinking, friends’ comments!”
Seriously, that’s a very ‘nice’ in depth exploration of just how ridiculous and convoluted the whole mythical jungle of baloney we’ve all grown up with, is. Especially we older ‘cats’; WAY before there was an Internet to expose all the…erm…
silly crap?
What’s really, after all, so difficult about simply “wishing” someone a…
“Happy Holiday!”…no matter how, why, or whether or not to celebrate at all should even be a serious issue.
Religions have always been, IMNSHO…and continue to be…totally “NUTS!”.
Hmmm…is that the origin of the popular, possibly even metaphorical “Nutcracker Suite”?
[As in people, Worldwide, (with abrupt consciousness raising?) suddenly becoming atheists?]
OK…now I’m thinking of Tchaikovsky’s :
“Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy”; which will probably stick in my mind all day…?
Damn! ;)

December 12, 2010 at 12:14 pm
(8) Ol'Froth says:

We gather with friends and family, exchange and open gifts, and top it off with a big meal featuring our favorite dish, fork-tender roasted baby. ;-)

December 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm
(9) Eric R says:

I do what everyone else I know does, I get together with friends and family, exchange gifts, eat, drink and be merry.

I go to overcrowded malls where I pepper spray anyone trying to get that X-box I want, listen to old xmas songs repeated endlessly until I hear them in my sleep.

December 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm
(10) Christmas news says:

Hello everyone and Merry Christmas. I came to Usa from post USSR and I known better that you what is this Atheism or Comunism. I remember moment when I was a student and I was fired from class just because I visited Christians invents. By this day I could not get my certificate of school because was Atheism regime. Be careful what you do, because Atheism killed millions of innocents people in USSR. Whe I am looking what happening in USA . “step on the same rake” I like this Russian proverb and USA started to “step on the same rake” how did USSR, as result , USA may disappear if would follow same example as USSR.sorry for some English mistakes.

December 21, 2012 at 9:55 pm
(11) Dr. John says:

To x-mas news,

HaHa – While fake comments are amusing (including the fake grammatical errors), they really don’t add to the dialog.

BTW, there has been atrocities throughout history (god save the christians), but many more people have been murdered in the name of religion (including christianity) than by any atheistic regime.

Nice try, but weak!

.

December 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm
(12) Blair says:

Yeah, “here’s some soup to go with your brochure”….

December 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm
(13) Sally says:

Thank you, Dr John – you were a lot more polite than I would have been!

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