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Old 12-19-2013, 07:57 PM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
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I do not believe in the nativity story, but that does not stop me from enjoying it. I'd enjoy a well presented opera of Handle's Hercules as well. A well performed mass, whether Verdi, Handel or Christmas Eve remains a work of art.

The decorations too, become quite creative this time of year. It is always fun to see what people come up with, pushes the limits of creativity.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:11 PM
 
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Christmas has never been a religious thing for my family so I don't mind it. Even when we'd go around the neighborhood we'd sing the carols that were religious and it never bothered me, even if I was rolling my eyes internally. But then, that was when I was young, and yeah, as a kid/teen Christmas always seemed more interesting/exciting. I have a very small family, so it's good to spend time with them. I have a brand-new nephew this year, so my dad has gone crazy with Christmas stuff to make it a special year for when we're all together next week.

Though now I can't stand Christmas music. In stores, my eyelid starts twitching and I want to bolt. (I never worked in retail, where those poor folk have to hear it all day for months, so I don't know where this dislike comes from). I really only like the music starting around noon on Christmas Eve, unless it's my Josh Groban CD, and then I can listen a few days earlier. I also don't like how "Christmastime is snow! And snow! And fun happy snow stuff!" and since I was seven years old we haven't lived where it snows in December, so all those Christmas movies are like lies to me, ha ha. I guess I have snow-envy, except I can't stand cold, clouds, lack of sunlight, being wet ... maybe I'm just a grinch. I feel the same about fall - we don't really get leaves changing color here, and there's only like one giant corn maze within seventy miles, so I feel like we're left out of seasonal fun, heh.

I do love Christmas lights, though. I left an indoor string of mine up all year, actually. They're not just red and green, they're all colors, so they're more festive than seasonal. I also like to drive around and see what decorations people put up.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:05 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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Also, I'm a musician and play song covers of Christmas music. You definitely don't have to "believe" in the content of a song to enjoy it and appreciate its beauty. Who believes in Santa Claus anyway? :-)

BTW, I'm also fond of other religious celebrations during the fall and winter months - especially Diwali and Hanukkah. Positive stuff can be good for the spirit - even if it's just make-believe.
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Old 12-20-2013, 01:47 AM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
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I don't mind, and I like it. It would be odd for me to dislike the holiday, since I celebrate it with my family who has a birthday on this day. It's inevitable.

But I love seeing Christmas decorations. Both of my neighbors are "those" people who's entire front yards and roofs are decorated with snowmen and reindeer and such. Their lights are like the sun. My house is the awkward one in the middle with one simple string of blue lights along the trim, and that's it. Christmas music could disappear though, really, unless it's Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

My favorite part of the holiday is seeing how everyone is so happy. Except my dad, who claimed Jesus ruined his birthday haha
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Old 12-20-2013, 03:46 AM
 
17,853 posts, read 12,218,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjrose View Post
I celebrate Christmas, but in a secular way.
I took my daughter to a local Christmas Carols evening in the park when she was about 4 yrs old.

When they sang Away in a Manger, she asked me why they were singing about Little Old Cheeses.
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Ouch yonder
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I dont care much for christmas.But I do celebrate the Winter Soltice prity much the same way christmas done.A few presents and supper.Christmas day is just a day off and I like that.Got lots to do around home.
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
But I do find the whole nativity story and accompanying traditions culturally rich and far superior in quality, value and meaning than all the mass consumerism B.S. we get saturated with around this time of year.
And I find a case of rape much better than the mass destruction and death caused by war.

The point being that if you compare some thing X to something truly awful Y, then A will always come out looking relatively good. We have a phrase for things that are not that great in Ireland which goes, "Ah well.... 'least its better than a kick in the head".

Tongue out of cheek though, it is true that we are a story telling and loving species. Religious stories, metaphors, fairy tales and so forth are all good stuff in their own way. As are, say, the little moral parables that are famed throughout Indian story telling traditions.

We are a species that loves to represent the real world, life, and universe and everything in the form of storys, fables, parables, metaphors. And that's great stuff. And the Bible for example is as good a story book as any other, some versions of it written with quite beautiful and moving language and imagery and metaphor.

This is all good stuff, and even better when you compare it with something as base and repulsive as rampant human consumerism. Yet any enjoyment of it is going to be marred with the knowledge of what has been done with those stories, in the name of those stories, and because of those stories.

For me Christmas is not about consumerism, or religion, or Christ, or Santa, or fables and parables. For me Christmas is the time of the year I set aside for being the festival where one should celebrate family. A time to give thanks for our family, to our family. And I can think of no better time to host such a festival than at the end of a long year. As I say to people looking for a sound bite off me "I do not celebrate Christmas. I celebrate AT Christmas".

This does seem a good a place as any to leave this though. Sounds like something I think you will appreciate:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtZR3lJobjw
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:50 AM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
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I went to my son's choir performance at his school last night. Included were Christmas and Hanukkah songs, and blatant religious ones. I applaud the choir leader for doing that, for not bowing down to the risk of offending the easily offended, and the point is, the program was extremely well done. The choir sounds excellent, one of the best school choirs I have ever heard. Well performed Christmas songs are works of art, regardless of the mythology behind it.
No it does not not offend me.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Sitting on a bar stool. Guinness in hand.
4,429 posts, read 5,668,397 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
Call me a witch and burn me if you must but I don't mind the religious stuff of Christmas
.



She's a witch! - YouTube

Well first we have to determine if you're a witch before we call you one. Above a scientifically proven and completely infallible way to test whether you're a witch or not.


Quote:
Do I think it literally happened? Hell No!

But I do find the whole nativity story and accompanying traditions culturally rich and far superior in quality, value and meaning than all the mass consumerism B.S. we get saturated with around this time of year.

When I have a choice between a virgin having a baby god and putting it in a manger under a new magic star on a silent night or black Friday mobs, maxed-out credit cards, piles of plastic Chinese $#!* from Santa Clause TM and neverending commericals with those damn canned sleigh bell background music, bring out the frankincense, read a chapter from Luke and throw a yule log on the fire!

You don't have to believe to enjoy it.

rant over
Chango. America is all about the consumerism and commercialization. We are enveloped by it every waking moment of the day, 365 days a year (366 leap year). Modern Christmas is just an extension of the normal, current culture. Personally I'm not bothered by the Christmas creep because (I believe) if retailers, media outlets, etc. weren't trying to sell me Christmas it would be something (some other "special" day) else. So to me it all the same. So Chango if you have a problem with the whole Christmas creep...etc. then you going to have to change the culture as a whole as oppose to concentrating just on a season of the year.

You know thinking on it. I actually (personally) kind of relish the "ability" (not necessarily all the act(s) of) to have consumerism, and to be materialistic, and economically fickle this time of year. Think about how many people around this world that are just trying to get clean water or enough to eat, etc. And here we are america, having enough time and resources to complain about Traditions/values vs. materialism. Yep. thinking on it. I feel "blessed" that I can actually kill time by discussing this issue from my nice warm home with a tasty starbucks latte. Pure caffeine and sugar awesomeness btw. Yes.........similar (not exact of course) to the old romans I will celibrate my (America's) good fortune of....abundance.

Saturnalia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

P.S. Please don't think, I think it all about me. I think most (myself included) of the folks here believers or not give to charity/charities (in differing ways) and try to help others that are less fortunate. But again I believe (speaking for me only) that it is our "abundance" that allows a lot of us the leisure of doing so.


Last edited by baystater; 12-20-2013 at 08:05 AM..
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,112,597 times
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I am a lifelong Atheist and I think Christmas is wonderful, especially the Nativity story. Instead of a story where the main person is a strong and powerful god, I think the story of Jesus' birth is really nice.

It tells how a person can be born with no riches or inherited power but can have a huge beneficial effect on other people's lives. We don't have to showy like Donald Trump to have a positive effect on people. We can just be nice to each other and do simple things like being polite to sales people to make the world a better place.

Of course, I don't believe the Nativity is at all true, just like the beautiful movie "Field of Dreams" is not true, but both stories really appeal to me, and I think they both have contributed to make me a better person.

Merry Christmas.
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