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  1. #31
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    california
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    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    Whether I agree with the reason for their joy, I can still appreciate that they want to share it with others.
    +1.....also i search for universal truths in all religions. One of my biggest joys in this life is finding these parallels, finding the common ground we all share regardless of our faiths, traditions, practices. I prefer to focus on the similarities we humans have, instead of trying to find things that divide us.....

    i love giving to others and i also do more random acts of kindness this time of year to strangers both with no expectations of something in return.....and my spiritual being is secure enough to not let others affect it in a negative way whether with words or actions.

    what I came across yesterday


    happy holidays to all who are celebrating them!!!!
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 12-20-2014 at 10:00 PM.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    10,889
    For me, I've always enjoyed Christmas and I do celebrate the religious meaning of it. I don't have any family, I don't enter into the apparent gift buying frenzy that so many do this time of the year - I don't really have anyone to exchange gifts with and haven't for some years. While I love Christmas music, I don't play it until Christmas Eve as I don't want to burn out on it. When I still was still putting up a tree I didn't do it until a couple days before.

    There are many different ways that people celebrate the season, and for many different reasons - some religious, some not and it is all good. I appreciate all of the different ways that people observing the season. In a way it is like I am standing outside of things when I watch how those who have families celebrate the holidays. At one time this was depressing, but I've learned how to deal with it over the years. I usually spend the actual day with friends, and I focus on enjoying our time together. Instead of buying gifts, I make a few treats I know they love and won't/can't make for themselves. No stress this way, and I HATE shopping at the best of times but I do love to cook. It works :-)

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,394
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    Is this true? Do most people just want it to be f***ing over?

    I was raised catholic, but religion has had no meaning for me for decades. I still enjoy Christmas. I like looking for gifts to give people, and I like giving gifts and I hope that people like what I give them. I like receiving gifts (but do not expect anyone to give me anything just because I gave them something). I like that the holiday provides an opportunity to spend time with family and friends. I like the food.

    I understand and respect that many people do not celebrate the religious aspect of Christmas. I was actually happy to find several stores at the mall that were not playing Christmas music when I was out shopping the other night. If someone told me they did not want a gift from me, I would respect that.

    For me, the basic meaning of the holiday is peace on earth, good will towards people, regardless of their beliefs. It can be hard to remember that through the all stress (most of it due to continued sh*t at my job), but I do try to remember it.

    Last night I passed a house with tons of Christmas lights around it, including lights going up and down a very tall tree in the front yard. It has nothing to do with anything in the Bible, but when I see something like that, I think the people who put them up did it to celebrate their joy in the season. Whether I agree with the reason for their joy, I can still appreciate that they want to share it with others.
    I hope maybe someone out there will understand what and how I feel. What NY said (and this is not directed at you, NY, in any personal way) represents *exactly* what I mean. In fact, thank you, NY, for stating what I could not articulate! People get a good feeling about Christmas. They get to exchange gifts, be with family, and go to parties. The whole country shuts down for a day.

    You are right. This is not the meaning of Christmas. Christmas is a religious holiday, that celebrates the birth of Christ. It is impossible for someone who is not Christian to celebrate the "secular" aspects aspect of the holiday, because it is not a secular holiday. Americans, and perhaps in other places, too, mostly celebrate the secular aspects. That doesn't make it right.

    Veronica, I am sorry this makes you sad. I taught all of the books you mentioned to my students. But they are about cultural and ethnic issues, as well as religious persecution. They are not promoting the celebration of one over the other. I know you would never intentionally promote one over another, and I respect you as a teacher and a person. This has probably never come up where you teach, because there's probably no non-Christian students, or very few, who just keep their mouths shut. I do live in a very progressive area, but not all of the towns around here have significant religious minority populations. It varies. At least I don't have to explain myself everywhere, as I did in AZ, 25-30 years ago.

    I have a feeling that the way I feel is somewhat akin to the differences in perception about what happened in Ferguson between whites and blacks. I am not sure if someone who isn't Christian can understand, and I don't in any way begrudge anyone's celebration. But, it would be nice for others (not necessarily you guys at TE) to get it.
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  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,545
    I've always felt that Christmas is a religious holiday, and if I don't practice the religion, there's not much for me to celebrate. One of my friends called me a "devout agnostic."

    When my parents were alive, I spent Christmas with them and enjoyed it. They were religious, and it was an important holiday to them. After they died, I've done only those activities which I feel obligated to do because of friends. At times, the social obligations (mainly parties) have been overwhelming enough that yes, I was glad when it was over.

    I try to be very tactful in commenting on what other people do at holidays but sometimes it is hard. One friend (who is not religious) attends religious services at Christmas to hear the music. She regularly complains about the quality, and I have to bite my tongue. My father was a minister so I know how much work goes into the whole thing. Dropping in once a year and offering a negative critique seems rude. As a child, I was annoyed by people who only turned up for the "big" holidays. Obviously I was lacking in Christian charity even then.

    Crankin, I think I have some understanding of how you feel. Having said that, a lot of my Jewish friends do all manner of Christmas-y things, and many aren't observant at all. I stick to "happy holidays" this time of year, and try not to make assumptions about what other people might be doing for the holiday, or how they feel about it.

    There is a wide range of reactions to holidays, and I have no quarrel with any of them.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
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    9,324
    I think Christmas is going down the path that Valentine's Day and All Hallows Eve have already trod, albeit a bit more slowly. Those also began as religious festivals. Early Christian leaders tied the birth of Jesus to already existing pagan festivals. It's more likely he was actually born in September. Yes, many Christians still celebrate Christmas as a Christian holiday, but many people embrace the holiday without the religious aspects.

    I'd have no problem with the whole country shutting down for non Christian holidays. I'd love more time off! Bring 'em on.

    It's true that majority of our students are Christian. Our district population is mainly black, Hispanic and Filipino. I do have 4 Islamic families this year. For 4 years in a row I had a Hindi family. Awesome kids - a brother and sister who looped with me. I got Christmas cards from the kids every year, but I'm pretty sure they themselves did not celebrate Christmas.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


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  6. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    764
    I don't care much about the whole thing....just that it gives me extra days off. I'm on vacation for 2 weeks, costing me only 4 days (3 personal and 1 overtime done). Good enough for me.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Just want to say that the inclusiveness of this forum made it feel safe enough to express my opinion, without fear of being flamed!
    And Pam, yes, there are plenty of Jewish people who put up a tree, etc., because, I think they are appreciating the fun and secular things about the holiday. But, if they dug a little deeper, they might find some traditions in their own religion that were just as nice. I am not that religious anymore, and even when I participated a lot more, I belonged (and still do) to a very progressive, non-affiliated synagogue. It provided a wonderful setting to teach my kids values, in a non-dogmatic way.
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  8. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,364
    Maybe it's from not being raised in any religion, but I feel I have the freedom to be happy and celebrate with anyone that I am in the company of and share in their traditions as much as they care to share them with no guilt about being disloyal….. I can't say as I've ever felt unwelcome either - in general I find people love to share their customs and are happy to have you, even if you know little - They'll help you to know what's happening and forgive your faux pas as long as you show that you are interested and are willing to try things. While there are certainly some religious communities who are not particularly welcoming of outsiders, most people are and most people don't think you need to be a convert to celebrate with them.

    Going to the Shinto and Buddhist shrines on New Years Eve in Kyoto was a blast. I can only hope to have many more experiences in my life like it.
    Last edited by Eden; 12-20-2014 at 04:59 PM.
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  9. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066
    I'm one of the ones sort of waiting for it all to be over. Thats sounds grumpy, but it's not that I don't enjoy some aspects of Christmas. I'm as atheist as they come, but I've still always felt that the most religious songs and rituals around Christmas are the most appealing, maybe because they carry so much meaning. Norway is full of traditions and songs linked to the pagan origin, but I was raised on and love the big, stirring Christian hymns. The newborn child, the great hope, his awful fate, the ultimate sacrifice - this is an extremely powerful story, no matter if you believe in it literally or not. And I think precisely because I empathise with the big emotions that underlie Christmas, I'm always disappointed. I never do turn into a better person, just because it's Christmas. Nor do my family. I dearly love some of them, I put up with some of them, and I have complicated, unsolved issues with a few of them. But none of this magically improves just because it's Christmas and goodwill to all men, especially the loved ones you're supposed to be having a wonderful time with.
    Much of this is connected to it being mid-winter, a time of year when I am at my most moody and sentimental and least optimistic, and also indoors a lot, watching tv and reading the newspapers. If it happened in mid-summer, when I'd be too busy running around outside to pick up on everybody else's idea of what Christmas should be like, I'd probably wouldn't give a hoot ;-)
    To end in a positive note - I positively LOVE getting gifts from friends, and giving them. They are never obliged to give me anything, so a gift truly means they like me and want to give me something. The same goes for going out to concerts and suchlike.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

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  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    pacific NW
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    1,038
    I'm with the waiting for it to be over group. We live one mile away from the mall and the freeway, so from Thanksgiving to new years, it is a major ordeal just getting ANYWHERE. I didn't come from a religious family, so I grew up feeling very confused about the holiday. As a kid, I did enjoy giving and receiving gifts, but had trouble attaching any meaning to all the hoopla. I enjoyed making a Christmas experience for my kids when they were little, but now that they are grown, it just seems like a big, flashy ordeal which gets worse with each passing year.

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  11. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,545
    This is not really on topic, but I'm sharing it anyway. This is a GoPro video of Christmas lights in Brooklyn. The neighborhood is well-known for elaborate decorations and draws quite a crowd. I wonder what happens if you live there and don't want to decorate.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROgABL7F4F8

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    If that "rant against the holidays" was directed at me, I guess that's EXACTLY what I mean.

    Going back and reading through what I wrote, I'm at a loss to see how I said anything bashing the holidays. By saying how much I miss the ritual, I thought I was embracing the idea of the holidays and feeling a bit of envy for those who still believe.

    What does put me off is the idea that if I don't participate in someone else's holiday, I've somehow ruined it for them. If someone requires a piece of me for their holiday to be complete, well, I do bash that idea, I seriously and truly don't have enough pieces left for everyone, but I also don't think that that's what the holidays are about.

    Eden, I enjoy participating in other cultures' traditions too, but it's not always so easy to know when I'm welcome and when I'm not, even in religions that have a lot of local adherents. The church I was raised in, all baptized people are welcome to take Holy Communion, and it never occurred to me that the same is not true in all Christian denominations. I still feel kind of bad about the time I took Communion in a Roman Catholic church, not knowing any better. Another time, when a child handed me a candle they were passing around to light the menorah at a Hanukkah party, I was honored to light a candle, but not being Jewish, I really didn't know if I should. It was such a spur of the moment thing that the best I could do was raise an eyebrow at our hostess and get a smile back.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 12-21-2014 at 01:47 PM.
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  13. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,600
    Culturally speaking, Japanese are wierd bunch. They get married in Shinto ceremony and funeral in Budhist ceremony. And big to do children's religious thing called 7,5,3 (shichi, go, san) is to take your child(ren) to shinto shrine to say that your 7 or 3 yo daughter is growing healthy, and for your 5 yo son the same. But its seen not as some religious thing. It was party time for my family. And for the kids, it was time for some sweet confection. Religion didn't even register in my family as something to be concerned with. If its important to you great. if not thats great too.

    I do like Christmas for the simple fact that people tend to be more mindful of "peace and good will toward other men." Rest of the year, that sometimes gets lost. And having this holiday to remind us of it is very nice. I did get really mad one year when my ex dragged me to a Christmas church service and some *(&^ nearly caused an accident in the parking lot to butt his way into a parking space that we were patiently waiting. He also flipped us the bird.

    So with all the craziness of modern world and the cupcake generation (self centered generation and refuses to share a common cake because they want their own decorated the way they want), this time is nice to remind ourselves that it is about caring for your fellow human being. I also love the tranquail and pastoral music to sooth my worn down and frayed nerve. Thank goodness too for internet buying for the bargain. I would never stand in line at a store or ask a person to work on the holiday. It's a time to spend with our family and friends etc.

    Peace be with you,

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Mrs. KnottedYet
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    Seemed appropriate here. Enjoy;

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  15. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    I've seen this before.
    Hysterical, and says exactly what I feel.
    Oak, I don't think the rant was directed at you. I don't think it was directed at me, either. Like this video says in a very funny way, people just don't understand.
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