ANSWERS: 58
  • Not atheist, but not christian. My view is a) this whole Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas thing is a bunch of nonsense, and b) I'm glad it's not *my* holiday that's a commercialism-crazed splurge-fest. As to it existing? whatever. I do the whole gifts, tree, family dinner thing with my family, I just do dishes while everyone else is at church.
  • I'm not extremely religious (don't go to church every week), but I do consider myself Christian. I think the whole "Happy Holiday" versus "Merry Christmas" thing is silly. I think a lot of people are taking the PC thing too far. I never see/hear anyone getting offended when someone when someone says Merry Christmas to them (and they either aren't Christian or not very religious). I wouldn't be offended if someone said Happy Hannukah to me, even though I'm not Jewish. I'm just wondering how many people ARE actually "offended" being wished Merry Christmas? My only issue is, as someone who worked in retail for several years when I was younger, is the commericialization. They start way too early with Christmas decorations and selling holiday items if you ask me. I remember having to put up the Hallmark ornament display...in JULY!...every year at the last retail store I worked at! And people came in looking for the collectible series ornaments that early. sheesh!
  • I'm a former atheist so I'll answer anyway. I agree with your friend, I say it's the other way around.
  • Christmas is three holidays in one- a pagan holiday, a Christian holiday, and a secular holiday. Atheists celebrate the secular holiday, with some of the pagan trimmings like the tree, wreath, holly, etc. I doubt any Atheists would have a Nativity setup at home. :)
  • I'm not an atheist or a Christian but I do absolutely love Christmas. To me (and many others) it's become much more than a religious holiday, it's a time to celebrate life, love and family. I'm sure that will frustrate many Christians but so be it. It's a wonderful time of year that can be enjoyed by all regardless of your religious convictions.
  • I think of Christmas as a midwinter festival celebrating the good things in life. Christianity is at its best at this time of year. The really good principles come out.
  • Lisa, I am NOT an Atheist. I don't think it's a good feeling to have anything "rammed down your throat". As far is who is correct. . .IF she is right; nothing different happens in your life or your faith. IF she is wrong; nothing different will happen in your life or your faith. You have a win-win situation.
  • In England Christmas is celebrated more as a tradition than a religious day. I dont find that religion really comes into it anymore (unless you want it to).
  • as you know I am not religious at all and I don't have a problem with xmas...its a fun holiday time of the year that normally brings out the best in people and thats cool but when it gets hijacked by one group who love nothing better than to ram there particular view down my throat I get my back up so I would say your friend is wrong ...but I think most born agains are hypocrites anyway ... as you know as well:):)
  • Christmas is a day for family, feasting and presents.. a joyous holiday for us with NO religious content at all.
  • I don't mind, i just don't think of the celebration as a religious thing, i buy presents for my family (they are religious) and i just spend time with them, i respect their beliefs enjoy the night and move on.
  • I am a conservative Christian. I regard Christmas as really a non-religious holiday anyway. When it was invented a good while back, it was largely because everyone else had a winter holiday and there weren't any the Christians felt they could participate in. It was more or less a "me too me too" thing. They adopted the presents from the Jews, the trees from the druids, and all kinds of trappings from all kinds of places. And of course, they put their own "Christian" spin on it by making it about Jesus' birth so they could feel good about it instead of admitting they just totally stole it from everyone else so they wouldn't feel left out. Not to mention that historically speaking if we were celebrating Christ's birth we should've picked some other time of year entirely. I may be a Christian, but that is the unavoidable history of the holiday. I don't have to be stupid just because I'm a Christian. So basically, I think Christmas IS a secular holiday, whether we like it or not. Anyone who says otherwise is just fooling themselves. Now the trouble is that in recent years, there's been a religious movement to "put Christ back in Christmas" which would be fine, but he wasn't really there to begin with. This has led to a backlash of many non-Christians (not just Atheists) being offended at the Christians trying to usurp the entire holiday season for their own use, in spite of the fact that the Christians were really last on the scene historically. So basically, it IS rammed down throats, if inadvertently, but as a born-again Christian myself, I find it just as offensive as anyone else. It's not so much a question of religion as of behavior... and anyone doing the ramming shouldn't be lumped with Christians, but with rude people who ram things down people's throats.
  • christmas seems to be more of a tradition than a religious holiday...so, why would an atheist have a "problem" with it?
  • Christmas for me is a time for giving and a time of reflection and appreciation (not to mention a time for eating, drinking and being merry), which I certainly don't have a problem with. I can understand how religous folk may be offended because what really should be a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ now just seems to be a big commercial holiday basically promoting greed, with most people not even giving a passing thought to baby Jesus. I have to say though, I personally think Christmas brings out the best in most people and not necessarily for religious reasons, so I don't think anyone should really have a massive problem with it. Perhaps you're both right. Or are you both wrong? I'm not sure I even understood the question actually.
  • Well, the truth is that Atheists often find it hilarious that Christians choose to celebrate holidays, as they are ALL purely pagan. Here is an excerpt from an article I'm currently working on regarding the origin of Christmas only: All of the customs and traditions of Christmas pre-date the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is not a celebration to the 'Son of God' but rather to the sun god- as December 25th comes from Rome's Annual festival called The Saturnalia and was a celebration of the Italic god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god. The Catholic Church adopted the customs and gave it a new name to be known to us as Christmas, the supposed birth of Jesus Christ. Although any Christian scholar would tell you that Jesus was in fact born in the Summer or, most likely, early fall. Saturnalia was celebrated much the same as Christmas is today. Homes and businesses were decorated with mistletoe (believed to have majical properties) and evergreen trees, as they were both highly revered as sacred to the sun. Friends and families exchanged gifts of decorated branches, evergreen wreaths, incense, silver, candles, and religious figurines. Caroling was commonly practiced by singing and carrying candles while roaming the streets in the nude. Saturn is still honored at the new year as "father time." "(Deuteronomy 12:30-32). . . Do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.' You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods . . . Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it" "2 Corinthians 6:14-15. . . What fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?"
  • I am an atheist and I have no problem with christmas - or with it being called 'christmas'. I'd hate to have it relegated to 'Happy Holidays' - very empty. Christmas now has a whole collection of traditions attached to it - christian and pagan - and it seems important for people to have that to connect with. I like seeing mangers around the place. I like the story that highlights importance of family, joy of birth, importance of generosity and so on - it is just that I think it nothing more than a story. I abhor the deliberate and cynical commercialisation of the season - but I love Santa - I think it's possible to keep him and ditch the "mortgage the house for pressies or you are a stingy @sshole" message from advertisers.
  • I don't have a problem with Christmas but I don't really participate in it that much. I do minimal presents and don't go for the decorating and huge feast thing, but others doing it doesn't bother me.
  • Considering how secular and commercial Christmas is these days, I doubt most have any problem with it.
  • Seeing as how the Holiday Season popularized as Christmas has pagan roots that predate Christianity by a significant amount, I'd say that neither Christians nor Atheists should be getting their underwear in a bunch about it. The Christians co-opted it from other pre-existing religions and seasonal rites. I'd suggest you communicate this to your friend.
  • I'm an atheist. I don't have a problem with people celebrating Christmas or saying "Merry Christmas". I celebrate it as a secular celebration. I think this whole issue has been blown up by the media and extremists on both sides.
  • well I cannot speak for all my fellow atheists, but xmas is overplayed, they start it way too early, there's too much commercialism, and also people tend to tire quickly of church music on public radio. Also it's a pain, the malls are madhouses, and stores.
  • I love Christmas- lights tree and all - it is after all a pagan festival
  • We celebrate Christmas at the Chateau du Soleil; but it's about Santa Claus and family, not Jesus. If it ever occurs to my son to ask about who the little baby living in the barn is, I'll tell him about the myth of the Nazarene, but he'll understand that it's exactly that -- a myth.
  • I have a problem with theism... not with stolen pagan holidays.
  • I'm an atheist and I celebrate Christmas with my wife (who's also an atheist) and family (who's largely Catholic.) I think Christmas is a very nice holiday to bring people together and show some love for fellow humans. I don't see any problem with the holiday unless someone starts trying to convince me of "the reason for the season."
  • I have a problem with religion. I do not have a problem with Christmas being a reason that allows my family to congregate, as it allows me to see them all at one time, as opposed to having to make separate visits to them, one by one.
  • No problem at all. Christmas is the winter holiday, the festival of the family. Christians can celebrate what they like - remembering that we have no idea at all when JC was born. And I will celebrate what I like.
  • "Christmas" is nothing but a blatant rip-off of earlier Pagan Solstice-based holidays anyway. So I certainly don't have a problem with it. Besides, only a tiny fraction of the population actually attaches any real religious significance to the holiday.
  • I don't care at all.
  • im not atheist but i do have a problem with the Christmas season because it wasn't originally Christmas, most holidays were druid's(pagan) celebrations before the roman catholics decided to attack the Celts a long time ago. but then again i have a problem with most holidays because of the misconceptions of what they stand for today and what they ORIGINALLY stood for.
  • I don't know any atheists who have a problem with the christmas season... I certainly don't... I think you are right though, its not the season that bugs me, it's the people who take the opportunity to shove their beliefs down my throat. The whole happy holidays vs merry christmas thing is stupid. I couldn't care less if you wished me a happy holidays or a merry christmas, and I don't think any normal people would.
  • I've always found the Christmas season secular. After all, when Santa's around, who needs God? I'm also from Sweden, so that might explain a lot. If I would've been made to believe that Santa was some Avatar of God, then yes, I would have a problem with it. As much a problem as I have with churches anyway. I respect that people go there, but I will never understand it.
  • Most atheists and Christians have no problem celebrating the pagan holiday. There are groups of Christians who preach against Christmas and Easter though. If you do a search on YouTube for Christians Against Easter or Christians Against Christmas you can find them.
  • A few years ago a study found that most devote Christians that committed suicide had one day when more deaths were recorded than any other time and that day was.....December 26, sooooooooooooo who REALLY has the problem with the season of Solstice? Atheists just bump themselves off pretty much at random, no special day.
  • I don't celebrate Christmas or any other religious holiday, but that's not because I'm an atheist, it's because I'm also anti-religious. Lots of my atheist friends observe the holidays as a commercial/family sort of thing.
  • While I'm not an atheists, but I'm someone who doesn't follow any higher power, I will say that I have no problem with the Christmas season or any other Christian holiday, or other religions holidays. I get a tree, decorate with lights, etc. I've never thought about it in any religious way, even when I was younger. It's always been a way to be close to my family.
  • No not really… Its pagan, I have no problem with. i just don't celebrate the birth of Jesus... instead I celebrate... the powers of eating too much and prezzies
  • I don't celebrate Christmas. I don't think that means that I am ramming anything down anyone's throat, it means that I am refusing to allow something to be rammed down mine. Refusing to participate in something doesn't impose anything on anyone.
  • You're right. Presents and free time? Hell yeah. In any case, I say Happy Solstice to annoy them.
  • I am a confirmed Atheist, but I don't see Christmas as a religious holiday. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, a man whom I respect deeply and whom I try to emulate each and every day of my life. Christmas doesn't bother me at all, but the ridiculous rituals that people go through to celebrate it do; such as the unnecessary killing of healthy pine trees and the buying of junk that'll end up at the Goodwill anyway.
  • I think, that when it is stripped of it's dogmatic connotations, Christmas is a wonderful holiday. It is how we should live year round. You need not believe that a fat man in a red suit delivers presents to every child in a single night or that a sky wizard magically impregnated a poor teenager 2,000 years ago to appreciate the message that Christmas carries.
  • The whole thing is sickening from beginning to end. It's nothing else than a capitalist show of overindulgence and hypocrisy that accomplishes absolutely nothing more than to boost sales at that time of the year. If each person that engaged in such decadent show of materialism donated the cost of only one present to a worthy charity of their choice (not the church), poverty in the US could probably be reduced by about 50%
  • As an atheist, I am not bothered by Christmas. It is a commercial holiday more than anything else. I am a little bothered by the "Jesus is the reason for the season" bumper stickers. I feel like flagging those people down and explaining to them all the ways it is wrong.
  • It doesn't really bother me in a sense, I don't get upset about it but I prefer that businesses I shop at and do business with do not promote it. Atheist or not, what if I were jewish is it fair to go to the gap or some other store and see "merry christmas" plastered all over the store front? Businesses should be non-biased. Now don't get me wrong there's nothing wrong with a little holiday cheer, they could do something festive that didn't allude to any one certain religion and still be festive. Christmas to me is a bit of a joke anyways with the christmas trees and such, when the trees and half of the symbology don't even have a basis in christianity and half the people that celebrate christmas with these things like trees and such don't even know where they came from and what they symbolize. They merely do it because everyone else does it. So in that sense I find it somewhat petty and comical....especially when you go to the mall and see all these people fighting for gifts, trampling one another, fighting over gifts and parking spots and such all so they can take one day off and say "peace on earth and good will to man" and then go back to being jerks again. As for me, it's just another day, how other people choose to observe it is up to them, but it all seems like a lot of fuss over nothing. I do find it interesting that christians get upset over stores removing holiday slogans and decor but these people forget there's all religions (and non religious people) that shop at these stores and spend their money there too and should not be subjected to such things...how would they feel if they went to their favorite store and it said "happy Channukah" or something?
  • i do...very much..i really don't like celebrating it...
  • well technically neither of you are and aren't right. because it really depends on what you believe in no one can be wrong or right. just like an atheists don't like things rammed down their throat they shouldn't critize christans'
  • I'm fine with the Christmas season. I even attend Church. And yes, I'm Atheist. I do it out of respect of being a member of the community, it would be rude to turn down an offer of free food, warmth, and advice.
  • As an Atheist, what is not to like - the trees smell good and look pretty, the food is great, there's lots of candy, a made up fat man in a red suit that leaves presents. Oh yeah, and there is absolutely nothing Christian about the holiday other than the fact they stole it from other religions....
  • I love Christmas. It has about as much meaning to me as the commercuals and christmas carols taht start in October. I like Mel Torme's The Christmas. Will you fill my stocking?
  • I don't celebrate Christmas. I do buy a few small nicknacks for people I care about and spend time with them. If they mention Jesus, I'm out of there because what I am celebrating is a loving environment. Loving friends and family. Jesus has nothing to do with that. From my perspective, the New Testiment story taints the whole idea of family and friendship. People can be free to disagree with me on this, but the only reason why I'm treated as I'm treated in my home town is because they believe in mythology and I don't. I should be seen as the level headed one, but they litterally look down on me. Now if that's not Bigotry than I don't know what is.
  • Yes im an athiest and we do celebrate the christmas season, christmas really has nothing to do with jesus, or it use to not it was originally a pagan holiday until the romans changed it into a christian holiday, and december 25 is also the birthday of the egyptian god horas, mithra, krishna, and many more!
  • I agree with you. I really don't care except when I have "Jesus is the reason for the season" rammed down my throat. I'm not a big fan of the busy stores and angry shoppers (I work in retail management). I am slightly annoyed (but really don't care) about the people who make such a big deal about "Happy Holidays" vs "Merry Christmas."
  • Actually, the Christmas season is my favorite time of year, mainly because everyone is so nice to each other. I grew up in a rural area of Kentucky, and if religion's not being shoved down your throat, then something's wrong. I'm not saying it's okay for people to attempt to force religion on those of us that don't believe. I'm merely saying that I'm pretty used to it at this point. If you can be an atheist in the bible belt, then anywhere else is going to be a piece of cake. In short, I really think you're right. The Christmas season is so widespread, and as a fair amount of the population is Christian, the beliefs are put out there quite frequently. For most of us, I think it's just a matter of co-existing.
  • I like Cristmas, and love getting presents. It's a holiday
  • I am an atheist that loves christmas. I love the story of father christmas, giving presents, eating christmas dinner with my family, having a tree etc..... I also enjoy the story of the birth of jesus, the christmas carols, candles, kids nativity plays, even the novelty of a midnight mass folowed by a brisk walk home and a hot toddy(alcoholic drink). It is a holiday of tradition and takes many adults back to a more innocent time in their lives when they believed santa left them presents and that jesus was born in a manger to a chorus of angels. In short you don't have to believe in magic to enjoy a magic trick.
  • Christmas has as it's origin a Roman pagan winter festival. That is the source of partying, gift giving and decorations. Since it is very likely that Jesus was born in late summer (that is when they took the census and paid taxes in Judea in his time, and the reason that people went into commerce centers like Bethlehem)his birthday was moved to coincide with the winter fesival, probably by Constantine as a political move to keep both the Christian movement and the traditional pagan Romans happy. Thus Christmas has appeal to many people that transcends belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ.
  • The only problem I have is when I say "Happy Holidays" and someone gets all pissy and wants to tell me about the "birth" of Christ. Other than those jerks, I really love the season.
  • A problem with it? Some of us celebrate it :) I see it as that nifty holiday with Santa, trees, and fun and family. One of my favorite Holidays that and Halloween. Only time I get annoyed with it is when people start going off on it being a Christian holiday, Christians stole aspects of it from Paganism, now days it has little to do with either origin and is pretty much a free for all who want it Holiday, though I tend to call it Xmas, cause I have had Christians get annoyed with me for calling mine Christmas :p

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