I got to talking about christmas with someone recently, who asked me if, as an atheist, i celebrate christmas. The notion seemed absurd to me. Why would I not celebrate christmas? What has it got to do with religion? He didn’t seem to understand what i meant, and we argued. According to him, christmas is a christian religious holiday where adherents celebrate the nativity of christ. According to me, christmas is a pan religious festival from pagan religions that celebrates in various ways the birth of the sun, the sun god, the return of the sun, the solstice, all basically sun related, but that evolved into a simple festival where people go to their parents house, eat turkey, and exchange gifts. There’s nothing religious about turkey, family, or gifts. There’s nothing religious about sales, shopping, Jesus only seems related to christmas when you watch tv, and they might occasionally show a manger, or mention going to church. You don’t see jesus in the manger even a tenth as much as you see santa claus on people’s lawns. If you are christian, you can go out and encounter all the christ you want. But if you’re not, you can avoid any mention, image, or reference to christ, except in the name of Christmas itself.
This argument seemed irrelevant to him though. As numerous peoples of other religions, and a horde of atheists, celebrate christmas, as a cultural or social holiday, like mother’s day, halloween, labor day, or easter. Whatever their origins, what religious value do they possess these days?
None, i argue. If you feel differently, please tell me so. If you agree, please tell me so.
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