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Community => Life As An Atheist => Topic started by: Libera on November 17, 2008, 03:38:15 AM

Title: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Libera on November 17, 2008, 03:38:15 AM
My family, while not very religious, does in fact celebrate christian (christmas, easter, etc.) holidays. I usually go along with the holidays for the fun of it, just ignoring any religious aspects. Now I'm questioning if its right to celebrate these holidays that promote such superstition.

I was just wondering how everyone else here handles holidays. Do you celebrate them ignoring religious aspects, make your own, or just not celebrate at all? Eventually when I live on my own I'll substitute religious holidays with secular holidays of my own or others. Does anyone have any ideas on secular holidays?
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Graham on November 17, 2008, 04:01:27 AM
I celebrate the seasons and the earth cycles. (Haha! I must sound like a hippie) Spring equinox (March 20 or 21), summer solstice (June 20 or 21), fall equinox (September 22 or 23) and winter solstice (December 21 or 22). So for Christmas you celebrate the shortest day knowing that the sun will return the Earth to summer once again. It's slightly Pagan; I'm the only atheist in my family.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: rlrose328 on November 17, 2008, 06:21:19 AM
From my point of view, the Christmas holiday is so secular these days anyway, it doesn't bother me to celebrate the day with gifts and my family (well, my atheist husband, 8yo claims-he's-atheist son, and uber-religious, midnight-mass mother... small family).  I could call it mid-winter celebration or solstice, but that would be weird for me.  We do the tree, lights, stockings, Santa, cookies and milk, the whole 9.  Why not?  The kid is only young once and I love buying gifts for everyone.  I do it because i love my family and my hubby is a great cook.  I don't care what it's called.

On Easter, we decorate eggs because it's fun and we hide them around the house for the kid to find because he loves it.  We don't do the easter basket anymore... did it two years running but we just don't need the crap in the house and it has no significance at all other than candy.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Libera on November 17, 2008, 09:05:26 AM
Quote from: "Graham"
I celebrate the seasons and the earth cycles. (Haha! I must sound like a hippie) Spring equinox (March 20 or 21), summer solstice (June 20 or 21), fall equinox (September 22 or 23) and winter solstice (December 21 or 22). So for Christmas you celebrate the shortest day knowing that the sun will return the Earth to summer once again. It's slightly Pagan; I'm the only atheist in my family.

I've heard of many celebrations of seasons and earth cycles and am interested in them but have not heard of the actual acts, or "rituals" if you will, in these celebrations. What separates it from any other day besides the knowledge that the earth is in a different position with the sun?



As for raising children with these holidays, i to believe it is indeed enjoyable to see your child grow and experience these things. It is genuinely a fun, even if not true, experience. But couldn't we argue that religion is also a "fun" not true experience. Not fun as in the sense of sitting in church reciting psalms all day, but in the sense of the "positive" emotion that may come from a delusion. Does this not promote superstitious thinking? and is it ethical to "trick" your children because you want to see your child in those situations (for your benefit)? Not that I am saying that it is wrong or making an assertions. This is a question i am asking simply because i can't answer them.

The last topic could be in another thread on its own but it is relevant to the topic at hand so ill just pray (just kidding) that we don't get too off topic
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Kyuuketsuki on November 17, 2008, 10:46:45 AM
Quote from: "Libera"
My family, while not very religious, does in fact celebrate christian (christmas, easter, etc.) holidays. I usually go along with the holidays for the fun of it, just ignoring any religious aspects. Now I'm questioning if its right to celebrate these holidays that promote such superstition.

I was just wondering how everyone else here handles holidays. Do you celebrate them ignoring religious aspects, make your own, or just not celebrate at all? Eventually when I live on my own I'll substitute religious holidays with secular holidays of my own or others. Does anyone have any ideas on secular holidays?

I love Christmas, I love the good cheer & camaraderie, I like giving presents and I don't mind getting them, I like the food, the "wine" and just about everything about it ... I just (as you seem to) ignore the religious stuff and when it's on TV I switch channels, or watch a recording, a download or a DVD :)

One of problems is carol singers ... I'm not nasty or anything but I don't quite know how to deal with them (especially as they are often collecting money for one religious charity or other).

Kyu
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Zarathustra on November 17, 2008, 12:16:22 PM
Quote from: "Kyuuketsuki"
I love Christmas, I love the good cheer & camaraderie, I like giving presents and I don't mind getting them, I like the food, the "wine" and just about everything about it ... I just (as you seem to) ignore the religious stuff and when it's on TV I switch channels

I agree. I think christmas is a great party, and Danes have a tradition for getting wonderfully and exceptionally drunk in snaps at easter.  :beer:

Except for always switching channels: I find it entertaining, because it reminds me that it's all a social-construct from a mish-mash of cultures anyway.
Like when they tell the story about the birth of Jesus. I smile and think of the fact that it was decided that this should be held at wintersolstice at the council of efesos in 342! To accomodate the spreading of christianity to the "heathen" celebrations/holidays. As people in Palestine back then, considered it blasphemic to celebrate a persons birthday, no one really knows when Jesus was born (or even if, as some might claim), but:
Of course people didn't want this new god, if it ment not getting to party on certain occasions like they were used to!  :beer:  :pop:

And its even more funny when you look at how people decorate their homes.
A friend of mine - who actually believes in the old nordic gods....(yes he thinks Odin is real in some sense) -  enjoys remining people at christmas how the elves and the christmastree stems from (and celebrates) his religion. And that is in every christian home in the world!

Quote
One of problems is carol singers ... I'm not nasty or anything but I don't quite know how to deal with them (especially as they are often collecting money for one religious charity or other).

It's like drugs: Just say no!

- or be polite and explain that you only donate to charity, where they give without asking for anything in return.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Zarathustra on November 17, 2008, 12:24:26 PM
Quote from: "Libera"
I've heard of many celebrations of seasons and earth cycles and am interested in them but have not heard of the actual acts, or "rituals" if you will, in these celebrations. What separates it from any other day besides the knowledge that the earth is in a different position with the sun?
Last question answered first: In principle nothing! It's all to do with traditions and how people historically explained nature by religion. Look into almost any sun worshipping cult in history, and they had (and have!) rituals during those periods. 1000's of years B.C. ! Also the nordic religion - "Asetro" - had a ritual around wintersolstice where the tree and the elves are from. I think its called "Blot", but I don't know the details, since it's all superstition to me.   :|
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Zarathustra on November 17, 2008, 12:33:27 PM
Quote from: "Zarathustra"
Also the nordic religion - "Asetro" - had a ritual around wintersolstice where the tree and the elves are from. I think its called "Blot", but I don't know the details, since it's all superstition to me.   :|
I' m not sure whether "elves" is the right word? But those little hooded guys helping out santa. Elfs? Alfs? (God?)
What's in a name anyway? Especially when it refers to something that only exists in human imagination.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: rlrose328 on November 17, 2008, 05:56:48 PM
Quote from: "Libera"
As for raising children with these holidays, i to believe it is indeed enjoyable to see your child grow and experience these things. It is genuinely a fun, even if not true, experience. But couldn't we argue that religion is also a "fun" not true experience. Not fun as in the sense of sitting in church reciting psalms all day, but in the sense of the "positive" emotion that may come from a delusion. Does this not promote superstitious thinking? and is it ethical to "trick" your children because you want to see your child in those situations (for your benefit)? Not that I am saying that it is wrong or making an assertions. This is a question i am asking simply because i can't answer them.

The last topic could be in another thread on its own but it is relevant to the topic at hand so ill just pray (just kidding) that we don't get too off topic

Hi Libera... I do think this is on-topic because it addresss what we do and don't do for the holidays and why.

We discussed the whole "tricking" the child issue.  We decided it all comes down to semantics.  We're not tricking the child, we're letting him believe in a fantasy and we decided to be honest if he ever asks, not like our parents did and say "Yes of COURSE he's real!"  When he was 4, he figured it out and asked us if there was a Santa or not.  We told him no, not really... we discussed the physics and the timeframes involved and even at 4 years old, he got it (he's a math whiz).  We told him that we are ALL Santa in some form, giving joy to others, ALL year but that on Christmas, we do it up really big so we can see BIG smiles that one time a year.  Every year, we talk about the absolute impossibility of Santa but we still do the cookies, sit on Santa's lap, etc. because that's just what you DO at Christmas.  It's now a tradition, not a trick, because we CHOOSE to continue the practice.

For religion and faith, you assume it's all real and never delve into the possibility that it's not.  TO me, that's the difference between continuing the Santa myth and doing the religion myth.

Also, we found that so many Christians don't do Santa because they're afraid that when the kids find out Santa isn't real, they'll think Jesus and God aren't real.  Many of the families at our son's school fit this category.  Once we found that out, we were even more determined to do the Santa thing, let the kid have the fantasy for awhile longer.

WE also tell the kid that what people believe is up to them until it infringes on our rights.  IT's a hard concept for a kid, but we were proud when we heard that one day, one very religious kid from one of those families that doesn't do Santa or the Easter Bunny was running around on the playground telling all the kids that the Easter Bunny isn't real.  And it was really upsetting the younger kids.  Bren went over to him and told him to be quiet and stop telling kids that, that they have the right to believe in the Easter Bunny as much as he has the right to NOT believe.  I was so proud of him!!
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Graham on November 17, 2008, 08:09:44 PM
Quote from: "Libera"
Quote from: "Graham"
I celebrate the seasons and the earth cycles. (Haha! I must sound like a hippie) Spring equinox (March 20 or 21), summer solstice (June 20 or 21), fall equinox (September 22 or 23) and winter solstice (December 21 or 22). So for Christmas you celebrate the shortest day knowing that the sun will return the Earth to summer once again. It's slightly Pagan; I'm the only atheist in my family.

I've heard of many celebrations of seasons and earth cycles and am interested in them but have not heard of the actual acts, or "rituals" if you will, in these celebrations. What separates it from any other day besides the knowledge that the earth is in a different position with the sun?



As for raising children with these holidays, i to believe it is indeed enjoyable to see your child grow and experience these things. It is genuinely a fun, even if not true, experience. But couldn't we argue that religion is also a "fun" not true experience. Not fun as in the sense of sitting in church reciting psalms all day, but in the sense of the "positive" emotion that may come from a delusion. Does this not promote superstitious thinking? and is it ethical to "trick" your children because you want to see your child in those situations (for your benefit)? Not that I am saying that it is wrong or making an assertions. This is a question i am asking simply because i can't answer them.

The last topic could be in another thread on its own but it is relevant to the topic at hand so ill just pray (just kidding) that we don't get too off topic

I think the best thing to do is teach your children how the solar system and earth work. (why we experience seasonality and what happens at other places of the earth at this time) Help them make sense of these things so that it doesn't puzzle them later on and they make up other explanations. That way they might ponder other curious mysterious and maybe solve these puzzles because they understood the earth at an early age. The rest is up to you whether you give them gifts or not. I won't get into my opinion on gift giving but don't raise your children to want to receive. Teach them to enjoy the company of others as well. Use your time off (if you have any) to spend with your family not fretting over buying gifts because they don't matter in the long run. The alternative to the gift giving is making sacrifices to the sun. Haha!! I wouldn't recommend it though.  :D How old are your kids?


edit: I almost forgot... It's important to teach your children about religion and explain to them why you don't participate in a religion. That way they will be less inclined to be fooled into a religion and will be able to think on their own.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Sophus on November 17, 2008, 09:09:42 PM
Of course Christians always ask why, but I say why not? I grew up with Christmas. The annoying "Jingle Bells" and boring house lights are obnoxiously old but I still indulge in Christmas. It's fun (in some ways). I think the gift giving is too excessive though.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: PipeBox on November 17, 2008, 11:16:54 PM
Quote from: "Graham"
I celebrate the seasons and the earth cycles. (Haha! I must sound like a hippie) Spring equinox (March 20 or 21), summer solstice (June 20 or 21), fall equinox (September 22 or 23) and winter solstice (December 21 or 22). So for Christmas you celebrate the shortest day knowing that the sun will return the Earth to summer once again. It's slightly Pagan; I'm the only atheist in my family.

Are you by any chance a pantheist?  Because that'd rock.   :D


Anyway, I celebrate all the regular holidays for being holidays.   Namely I celebrate the ones that I have off, for lack of choice.  And I'll keep celebrating the same ones until I find a job that gives me a more custom work schedule, because I think I'd get skewered if I asked if I could have the summer solstice off.

All that aside, the idea behind modern Christmas, with the gift giving, and spirited music, and having a tree inside your ultra-illuminated house, rocks.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: rlrose328 on November 18, 2008, 12:46:18 AM
Quote from: "PipeBox"
All that aside, the idea behind modern Christmas, with the gift giving, and spirited music, and having a tree inside your ultra-illuminated house, rocks.

I agree... though I'm not happy that the local radio station that goes "all Christmas music 24/7" did so yesterday.  Ugh.  I like the music but when they start this early, I get tired of it by 12/1!

I love driving around and looking at the lights on the houses around us... and this year, with the hybrid vehicle, I won't waste as much gas doing so!   :banna:
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: BuckAv on November 18, 2008, 02:21:46 AM
My wife is an atheist like I am, but was raised in a semi-religious family (I was not). She really enjoys Christmas, as it was a big part of her family tradition as a child. Given the choice, I wouldn't celebrate anything specific about the holiday, but I think it would pretty much break my wife's heart to not do anything. So, we have the tree and trade gifts. It makes her happy, so it makes me happy.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Libera on November 18, 2008, 02:52:14 AM
I would love to celebrate alternative holidays such as the seasons and earth cycles but I have to agree that christmas simply rocks. I love that compassionate feeling everyone gets around the time, I love decorating the big tree, looking around at neighborhood christmas lights. I just wish there was an alternative that could celebrate secularism (atheism, free thought, etc.) itself, as it does mean a great deal to me.  

Quote from: "Graham"
How old are your kids?

No kids actually (Fortunately, I'm 15), just asking to gain a greater understanding of what is right/wrong with religion and false superstitious thinking.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Libera on November 18, 2008, 02:57:27 AM
Just found Richard Dawkin's views on the holidays, well at least caroling.

http://richarddawkins.net/article,2044, ... y-Vine-BBC (http://richarddawkins.net/article,2044,Interview-with-Richard-Dawkins-On-Christmas,Jeremy-Vine-BBC)

Lets me celebrate christmas much easier
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Moosader on December 01, 2008, 01:24:35 AM
We've pretty much always celebrated Christmas, even though both my parents are Atheist/Agnostic.  They never bothered with the Santa stuff for my sister or me, so I never really understood the value of telling your kids that.  I think it'd just confuse my sense of logic if they tried to convince me there were a Santa.

We also "celebrated" Easter to the extent of "Hey let's go look for eggs and get candy!", but my sister and I are a bit old for that now.  Never "believed" in an Easter bunny, either.

I mean come on, video games have enough fantasy to last everyone a lifetime. :D  If you need something more physically wondrous, electronics themselves!  Give your kid a breadboard! XD
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Wechtlein Uns on December 01, 2008, 01:41:04 AM
Christmas christmas!!!  :unsure:

Lessee... The entire family stands around outside with a raging fire and cast-iron kettle where we all make menudo. Rancheras and con junto music fills the air. I play chess with my cousins, and win and lose, and we play poker and make bets. There's always some luchadore action going on around the neighboorhood too, where you can watch two heavily muscled masked fighters wrestle, and the events get pretty rowdy. Then there's the barbacoa tacos, and the shotgun shooting of glasses and tin cans off the retaining wall. All the little cousins go jump on the trampoline. There's cerveza and whisky, and mariachis highered by the restauraunts we all go eat at!

mmm... almost makes midnight mass worth it. I may be atheist, but, come on, it's midnight mass! Quite possibly the coolest religious tradition ever, and all the little niños and niñas love it so much.

ah... christmas... christmas...
umm.. yeah. :eek:
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Faithless on December 01, 2008, 06:49:06 PM
I love Christmas!  Even the carols!  Even though my mom, who raised me, was atheist, you just gotta have Christmas!  You don't need to be Christian to enjoy the spirit of wonder and giving that comes with Christmas.  We've always done it up right with the tree, lights all over, the wreath, the food, the gifts, the family, the visiting, and we've always had a blast.

As far as I'm concerned the actual meaning of Christmas has become so commercialized that you'll really get very little religious mumbo jumbo in the mainstream community other than the nativity scenes here and there or the religious nature of the carols.  My son had Santa Claus and elves and as far as I can tell he's not been harmed by a temporary and childish delight in believing in those things.  He wasn't devastated to find out that I am really Santa Claus (and a damn good one if I do say so myself!).  We even went to some nativity plays so he could learn the "story" behind Christmas.  He didn't walk out praising Jesus.  He is now nearly 30 and a happy atheist, and I'm sure he fully plans to propagate Christmas and Santa and elves when he has his own children, and I'm sure they'll be just as unharmed as he was.

Even atheists can enjoy a little magic now and then!
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Tom62 on December 01, 2008, 09:55:13 PM
I like Christmas as well. What I find unbearable are the overcrowded  shopping malls and the horrible Christmas musak that they play there all the time. What I do like are the (German) Christmas markets, where I can warm myself up with some gluhwein (especially the one that is spiced up with rum) while my wife is doing all the shopping. Christmas food is also wonderful, but I always feel a bit guilty afterwards when I gained some additional pounds. My mother in law is a great cook, but what she cooks is heavy on the calories.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Kylyssa on December 01, 2008, 10:03:31 PM
Hehe, you all know where I'm going to direct your attention.
 :D
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Elvis Priestly on December 03, 2008, 05:08:32 AM
Isn't Christmas really a pagan holiday that the church adopted to make it easier to convert the pagans to christianity?

Lessee, I found a page that December 25 was the date of the Babylonian feast of the son of Isis. It was celebrated with raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift giving.  There are also ties to the pre-christian Roman holiday called 'Saturnalia'. The site says that Christmas caroling originated with the ancient (pre-christian) Roman tradition of 'Mummers'. Mummers were groups of costumed singers and dancers traveling from house to house entertaining the neighbors during the winter holidays.

Yule (as in Yuletide, I assume) predated the spread of christianity in northern Europe. From this we get the tradition of burning the Yule log and kissing under the mistletoe (originally a fertility ritual). It appears that cutting an evergreen tree and bringing it indoors had its origins with the European druids.

All this info and more from a quick google search that put me at: http://www.essortment.com/all/christmaspagan_rece.htm (http://www.essortment.com/all/christmaspagan_rece.htm).

See, you don't have to feel strange about celebrating Christmas as an atheist. Most Christmas traditions didn't originate from the church anyway. Let's hear it for the pagans!
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: bowmore on December 03, 2008, 07:12:08 AM
And don't forget to celebrate Festivus. The holiday for the rest of us.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: karadan on December 03, 2008, 10:07:52 AM
Quote from: "Libera"
My family, while not very religious, does in fact celebrate christian (christmas, easter, etc.) holidays. I usually go along with the holidays for the fun of it, just ignoring any religious aspects. Now I'm questioning if its right to celebrate these holidays that promote such superstition.

I was just wondering how everyone else here handles holidays. Do you celebrate them ignoring religious aspects, make your own, or just not celebrate at all? Eventually when I live on my own I'll substitute religious holidays with secular holidays of my own or others. Does anyone have any ideas on secular holidays?


I'm pretty sure most people in the UK celebrate christmas because it is a public holiday rather than a religious one. Sure, some people go to church and praise jebus, but most just give presents, eat and get drunk with their family. I'm quite sure 90% of people never even mention the lord at crimbo. Over here is has become something unto itself regardless of its origin as a religious holiday. An entity in its own right, if you will :)
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: wheels5894 on December 03, 2008, 10:22:42 AM
Christmas isn't a Christian festival and more - well apart from a church service or 2. the family getting together, tree, presents and Santa are all secular things. (IN fact the bible bans bringing trees into the house!) I mean Santa is  even an anagram of Satan so this is clearly no religious. We enjoy out Christmas time as a family and it would be a shame not to.

As for other holidays, well in Scotland holidays are not really centred on religious festivals so there is not real problem. In fact the most significant time in Scotland is New Year which is completely pagan! Personally i think we need festivals and holidays to break up the year so let's celebrate something every time we can!
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: rlrose328 on December 03, 2008, 05:32:41 PM
Quote from: "Kylyssa"
Hehe, you all know where I'm going to direct your attention.
 :D

I totally understand where you're coming from, Kylyssa... and usually, I agree wholeheartedly with everything you have to say.  But when it comes to Christmas, I like that we decorate, have a tree, and all of the trimmings (minus the manger scene, bible story, etc.).  It's a nice tradition that I place no more philosophical relevance than I do my morning bagel.  

I know... in the face to contemporary atheism, I maybe SHOULD put some thought into the why and wherefore.  But why?  If I enjoy it, it gives me pleasure to make my family happy, our family enjoys the little rituals we've developed (like putting the dinosaur topper on the tree  :D ) when why not?
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Kylyssa on December 03, 2008, 07:46:55 PM
Truthfully, we'll be putting up a tree and having a nice dinner, making cookies and perhaps exchanging a few gifts.  If I had children, I'm sure I'd be more gung-ho about it.  The commercialism is really what bothers me about Christmas, not the religion behind it.  Americans already indulge in commercialism enough throughout the year without dedicating a holiday to it.

I'm kind of new to the satire thing but I'm giving it a shot.  So far, I've gotten some pissed off emails about the piece from Christians plus a few from a few well-meaning folks who think I actually have respect for the idea of Christmas as a Christian celebration who've tried to explain to me that Santa isn't a Christian figure.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Wechtlein Uns on December 03, 2008, 09:29:07 PM
Hey, if it helps the economy, why frickin not?
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: rlrose328 on December 04, 2008, 05:39:40 AM
Quote from: "Kylyssa"
Truthfully, we'll be putting up a tree and having a nice dinner, making cookies and perhaps exchanging a few gifts.  If I had children, I'm sure I'd be more gung-ho about it.  The commercialism is really what bothers me about Christmas, not the religion behind it.  Americans already indulge in commercialism enough throughout the year without dedicating a holiday to it.

I'm kind of new to the satire thing but I'm giving it a shot.  So far, I've gotten some pissed off emails about the piece from Christians plus a few from a few well-meaning folks who think I actually have respect for the idea of Christmas as a Christian celebration who've tried to explain to me that Santa isn't a Christian figure.

Satire is great... I LOVE satire!  I got that, I really did!

Unfortunately, you've chosen a medium through which you will get instant feedback, both positive and negative.  It comes with the territory.

And Santa isn't a Christian figure?  SAINT Nicholas?  ROFL!  Oh right... Catholics aren't Christian to the fundies and gellies.  :confused:
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: curiosityandthecat on December 04, 2008, 03:32:50 PM
Quote from: "rlrose328"
And Santa isn't a Christian figure?  SAINT Nicholas?  ROFL!  Oh right... Catholics aren't Christian to the fundies and gellies.  :confused:

Made me think of this hilarious David Sedaris essay that revolves somewhat around Christmas, "Six to Eight Black Men":

[youtube:25w8aocn]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbJpRLhaSqs[/youtube:25w8aocn]

[youtube:25w8aocn]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU1D1HKTDCY[/youtube:25w8aocn]

[youtube:25w8aocn]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g17Pl7MFMco[/youtube:25w8aocn]
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: MariaEvri on December 04, 2008, 06:10:28 PM
Quote from: "rlrose328"

And Santa isn't a Christian figure?  SAINT Nicholas?  ROFL!  Oh right... Catholics aren't Christian to the fundies and gellies.  :confused:

Ive read somewhere, that the santa we use today, the fat man dressed in red and white is actually an invention of coca cola D:
is this true??
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: rlrose328 on December 04, 2008, 06:25:46 PM
Quote from: "MariaEvri"
Ive read somewhere, that the santa we use today, the fat man dressed in red and white is actually an invention of coca cola D:
is this true??

Here is what I found on the History Channel:

Quote
In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore, an Episcopal minister, wrote a long Christmas poem for his three daughters entitled, "An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas." Moore's poem, which he was initially hesitant to publish due to the frivolous nature of its subject, is largely responsible for our modern image of Santa Claus as a "right jolly old elf" with a portly figure and the supernatural ability to ascend a chimney with a mere nod of his head! Although some of Moore's imagery was probably borrowed from other sources, his poem helped to popularize Christmas Eve – Santa Claus waiting for the children to get to sleep the now-familiar idea of a Santa Claus who flew from house to house on Christmas Eve – in "a miniature sleigh" led by eight flying reindeer, whom he also named – leaving presents for deserving children. "An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas," created a new and immediately popular American icon. In 1881, political cartoonist Thomas Nast drew on Moore's poem to create the first likeness that matches our modern image of Santa Claus. His cartoon, which appeared in Harper's Weekly, depicted Santa as a rotund, cheerful man with a full, white beard, holding a sack laden with toys for lucky children. It is Nast who gave Santa his bright red suit trimmed with white fur, North Pole workshop, elves, and his wife, Mrs. Claus.

http://www.history.com/minisite.do?cont ... ni_id=1290 (http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=Minisite_Generic&content_type_id=1279&display_order=3&sub_display_order=9&mini_id=1290)

And from Wiki:

Quote
The modern depiction of Santa Claus as a fat, jolly man wearing a red coat and trousers with white cuffs and collar, and black leather belt and boots, became popular in the United States in the 19th century due to the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast.[3] This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, and films. In the United Kingdom and Europe, his depiction is often identical to the American Santa, but he is commonly called Father Christmas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus)

Finally, a denial by Coke:

Quote
No, Virginia, Santa Claus was not invented by the Coca-Cola Co.

The contention that Coke created the modern image of Santa in corporate red has become an urban myth in recent years. Recently, the BBC phoned Coca-Cola archivist Phil Mooney and put him on the radio to address the issue.

"I've heard more questions about it in the last five years than I ever did before," Mooney says. "I think it's the Internet."

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2 ... iar-santa/ (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2007/dec/10/coke-denies-claims-it-bottled-familiar-santa/)
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Wechtlein Uns on December 04, 2008, 07:42:32 PM
LIES!  :brick:
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: oldschooldoc on December 04, 2008, 08:16:54 PM
Wait, so he's not...real?  :(

I'm pretty sure a fat man who tells kids they've been naughty sneaking into my house at night may not live to see another day.

Just kidding, I enjoy krismis, as I call it (my name is Kris, but no I'm not a girl), and I think it's hilarious when little kids just brighten up at the thought of santa. I have a niece and nephew who get so adorable when you even mention his name.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: rlrose328 on December 04, 2008, 11:33:52 PM
I knew a "Kris" a long time ago... she was a girl, though.  Stole my jewelry box!  :beer:   We have an Atheismas tree decorated with microbes (Giant Microbes (http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/plush/6708/action/2119323/)) and Atheisma (or Atheismo if you'd prefer a male) brings toys and gifts to all the good non-believers everywhere, filling up the beakers they leave by the fireplace (not on or in... that would be bad) with PopRocks and other fun goodies.    :banna:
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: keith2004 on December 09, 2008, 04:01:42 PM
I see no problem celebrating Christmas (exchange of gifts, spending time with family) despite my lack of belief in god or any of the religious aspects......i don't actually believe the whole "Christmas story" but the spirit of the holiday is nice

...I see at as harmless as wearing a Halloween costume to "celebrate" Halloween

as for easter...i dont have any kids so i'll pass....when i have kids maybe i will do the easter egg thing, just for the fun of it
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Kylyssa on December 09, 2008, 05:09:16 PM
Quote from: "rlrose328"
Believers only get something if they let their kids believe in Atheisma.  Most won't though because then they'd have to explain how Atheisma isn't real and then the kids might think God isn't real... it would just be a big mess.


LOL
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: rlrose328 on December 09, 2008, 05:20:27 PM
Quote from: "keith2004"
as for easter...i dont have any kids so i'll pass....when i have kids maybe i will do the easter egg thing, just for the fun of it

That's what we do... we love coloring the eggs, finding some science in it.  The kid loves it... he's somewhat artistic, so he loves combining colors and designing with the wax crayon.  Then hubby hides the eggs all over the house and makes a map for the kid to follow.  He's a little directionally impaired... LOL!  So map reading is a good exercise for him and he LOVES it.  We almost didn't do it this year and you'd think we'd told the kid we were going to pull out his arms!  So we did it.  :-)
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: oldschooldoc on December 10, 2008, 06:49:44 PM
Quote from: "rlrose328"
I knew a "Kris" a long time ago... she was a girl, though.  Stole my jewelry box!  :blink:

I'm sorry to hear that...that b*tch...lol

Anyway, I really like the Atheismis idea, it's absolutely genius!
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Wechtlein Uns on December 10, 2008, 09:36:23 PM
Let me guess, at the top of the tree there dangles his noodly appendage?

Great image.  :blush:
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: chuff on December 18, 2008, 05:45:09 AM
I think I should be allowed to celebrate whatever christian holiday I so choose. ;)
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Wechtlein Uns on December 18, 2008, 03:09:08 PM
why am I even posting in this? It's obviously a dead thread. stupid.  :brick:
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Kyuuketsuki on December 18, 2008, 03:28:27 PM
Quote from: "chuff"
I think I should be allowed to celebrate whatever christian holiday I so choose.

I agree  :banna:

Kyu
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Wraitchel on December 20, 2008, 02:59:33 AM
Haven't we already got Festivus (for the rest of us) or Kwaanzaa. It all makes me so tired. I think christmas and hanukkah are quite enough to be getting on with, thank you.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: curiosityandthecat on December 22, 2008, 12:55:27 AM
My holiday spirit is rather weak...

Here's my tree.

(https://www.happyatheistforum.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimages47.fotki.com%2Fv1402%2Fphotos%2F8%2F892548%2F7049202%2FXmas2008008-vi.jpg&hash=5c62609c91bb712febcf506e6024d37b0142a8f5)
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: chuff on December 22, 2008, 04:15:35 AM
Someone told me once that proving Santa Claus is easier than proving God.
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: Will on December 22, 2008, 04:24:20 AM
Quote from: "chuff"
Someone told me once that proving Santa Claus is easier than proving God.
That's true. There's some evidence to support the existence of Nicholas of Myra, the early Christian Saint that is now more commonly known as Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus).
http://frpat.com/nicholas.htm (http://frpat.com/nicholas.htm)
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: G.ENIGMA on February 11, 2009, 02:50:38 AM
Quote from: "Zarathustra"
What's in a name anyway? Especially when it refers to something that only exists in human imagination.

It has always amused me that Santa's and Satan's names are made up of the same letters just a little mixed up. I believe that this simply can't be a coincidence, however, its amusing to see other peoples take on whether it is or is not.

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081115155017AAHBDan :confused:
Title: Re: Atheism and the holidays
Post by: newblueradio on February 11, 2009, 05:30:23 AM
Since the "Christian" holidays have absolutely nothing to do with Christianity anyway, there really is no reason to avoid celebrating them with your family.

Unless I missed the passage in the Bible describing how Jesus' zombie was seen eating rabbit eggs...