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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 89 - 12/15/2002
Bah-Humbug! Are You Offended by Christmas?
Do all of the Christian-based celebrations, songs and religious programming at this time of the year irritate you? Do you, as a Pagan, feel slightly uncomfortable if someone wishes you a 'Merry Christmas'? Do you 'correct' him/her, just let it go (The season is just too short!) or counter with a 'Happy Solstice' or 'Merry Yule' without further explanation?
Or, on the other hand, do you think that PC (political correctness) has run amuck and that the efforts to please everyone -- and to offend no one -- during this time of year has virtually expelled any and/or all spiritual meaning from the season? Is Christmas just another secular/commercial holiday these days?
And finally, what does the Yule season mean to you and how will you celebrate? Will you also join in Christian or Jewish holiday events with family or friends? What do you love about this time of year and what always makes you want to snort, 'Humbug'?
| Reponses: There are 173 responses posted to this question.
|| Reverse Sort
| Merrry Yule! ||Dec 20th. at 4:16:36 am UTC|
|sanne (Netherlands) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I think everybody should have it's own feasts.my mom and dad and a lot of my friends just celebrate cristmas like every other christian,and though I am a Pagan,i respect that.but that doesn't automatically mean that I am actually celebrating cristmas.I try to fit in a bit to keep the family values high,but if someone wishes me a merry christmas,I have no other comment than merry yule!
| Meh ||Dec 20th. at 5:16:43 am UTC|
|Morrighan (NC) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I'm not real keen on holidays as it is. I usually go home at Christmas and hang with my family that I only see at Xian holiday times. (Obviously, no one else is Pagan in my family). I do feel like a Ninny, though. They're all talking about Jesus, and I just smile and nod.
I like Jesus, don't get me wrong, but some of my family's views on the subject make me a little green, if you know what I mean. This year, I think I'm going to show some oomph! When a relative grabs hold of me and shouts, "Merry Christmas!" in my ear, "I'm going to return with Happy Yule."
Is that rude?....
| Not Offended, But... ||Dec 20th. at 5:36:49 am UTC|
|amy wallen (southampton, england) ||Age: 22 - Email |
i do worry about the commercial nature of christmas. i'd never try and spoil any child's fun by moaning about it in front of them, but it does bother me. my colleague at work, for example, has a teenage son for whom she must buy a certain amount and certain presents, because of the tremendous pressure among people his age.
the shopping rush has become gradually worse year after year, and people are getting more and more stressed. for a season of peace and rest this is pretty strange. it's true you don't have to give in to the commercialism, but it is becoming increasingly difficult in this age of multinational bigwigs to give gifts that really suit the intended recipients. especially on a low budget. but i do try, and it helps to know you've made an effort.
as to the religious side of it, i don't get offended. people wishing you a merry christmas are for the most part just being polite. so i'll say merry christmas back. but the situation is complicated becuase while all religious groups deserve to celebrate their big holidays with as much pomp and circumstance as christmas is celebrated, i'm not sure that i would want the solstice to be overcome by the stresses that christmas inevitably brings. i think merely increasing the coverage for other holidays would not be enough. we need to change the way we do things altogether.
| Hermetically Minded Christian Alchemist ||Dec 20th. at 7:27:24 am UTC|
|alex (arizona) ||Age: 22 - Email |
so pretty much what people are saying is, hey, i'd like My pagan religion (even though most wiccans aren't pagan, paganism is idol worship, heathenism is nature worship, and shamanism is worship of anscestors, course, this makes most catholics who worship idols (statues of the saints) pagans, but as i was saying) what people are saying is, id like MY religion out in teh open, and popularly accepted, but i'll be d@---- if i'll listen to anything that has to do with YOUR religion. People, this is the same kind of thinking that caused everything that occult practitioners are fighting against in terms of prejudice. Its religous afirmative action, and we don't need that. If your insulted because someone chooses to practice their religion in front of you, thats YOUR problem, not theirs.
| When Wished Merry Christmas ||Dec 20th. at 8:25:11 am UTC|
|Rick (South Carolina) ||Age: 49 - Email |
Living as I do in the so-called "Bible-Belt" it would seem that I am surrounded by Christians. Or at least by those who profess to be Christians. This naturally leads to Christian Holidays being given even MORE special attention than when I lived in the Midwest.
When I first discovered the Pagan within me, it would irritate me. But as time passed I realized that most of the well wishes and decor and all that goes with this time of the year was much more secular than religious.
Fat, laughing Santa with his elves is far closer to paganism than any Christian meaning.
I figure, they mean well. They don't know any better. I can respond with "Happy Holidays" and we can each smile and go our own way. The cookies taste the same no matter what the baker's belief system.
| Not Offended-Love This Season-no Matter The Religion. ||Dec 20th. at 9:06:06 am UTC|
|Mathair Cat (TN) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I don't mind Christmas. My family does their own thing for Winter Solstice and we celebrate the commercialized part of Christmas--they know the story of the birth of Christ (but know he wasn't really born in Dec lmao) but they like the story and all. I think living here in the Bible Belt that the only thing that bothers me about the holiday season is that people decorate their houses before Thanksgiving and some of them drape Christmas lights over crosses like a shroud. That is so tacky people. And the Christmas rush for gifts and greed of it all--if it's about love and the birth of which ever myth or deity you believe in--why the rush? Why be so rude..I tend to do shopping and planning before hand and stay at home away from SuperCenter Walmart's and Malls lmao. Other than that Dec holidays have been and will be my favorite season of the year--of course I was raised by open minded Methodist who Imo were more pagan than Christian in some aspects :) Happy Holidays all!! Merry Solstice!!
| It Doesn't Bother Me Anymore ||Dec 20th. at 9:55:58 am UTC|
|Glen (Fl.) ||Age: 31 - Email |
I have been a wiccen for 10 years now and have gotten use to it.The people that matter the most know that i am a witch and dont celabrate christmas any more.My mother is a cathlic and dosnt understand my religion but tries.She will at times ask about my days and why.I go to christmas dinner and spend time with the family.Wish them a marry yule and go on my way.Others i simply say thanks and same to you or wish them a marry yule.I dont see any reasion to argue with then about it.I dont go to the company party and my boss knows why.I work on allmost all holadays and get mine off.Of course i try to avoid any kind of shopping.Ive learned to live with it.MARRY YULE TO ALL OF YOU OUT THERE!!
| Doesn't Concern Me ||Dec 20th. at 10:30:17 am UTC|
|Ashe Winterwolf (Irving, TX) ||Age: 38 - Email |
The basis of Winter Solstice and Christmas is so similiar that I don't even make a distinction. What does bother me is the overwhelming commercialism. What determines a "successful" Christmas these days...why the profit-margin of course! Sady, very sad.
| Miss Grinch ||Dec 20th. at 10:46:02 am UTC|
|Katie (Indiana) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I am tired of all the hipocrasy that follows christmas. The real meaning has been lost. All you hear about is "I want, I want, I want" Its the holiday of greed. Now I am a pagan and I see almost no difference in those around me (pagans i mean) Its all about what can you give me and it had better be a lot and it had better be good!
| Take It In The Spirit It Was Meant ||Dec 20th. at 11:00:49 am UTC|
|Starwalker (Down East, NC) ||Age: 54 - Email |
When wished a Merry Christmas, my responses vary; if it's in passing in the course of business, I often say "Merry Christmas to you as well" because I DO live where the majority profess Christian belifs and I DO wish them a merry time on their holiday, just as I wish my Jewish friends a Happy Hannuka (I know I misseplled that.. ) If it's someone I know, I will probably thank them and wish them both a Merry Christmas AND a Glad Yule. And if it's ME initiating the holiday greeting in a business environment, I offer a "Happy Holidays" as I always have, to be respectful of all belifs.
I am disturbed -- not sure I would use the word "offended" -- by the rank commercialism. I have never bought into it. Raised 5 daughters outside the mass market culture and we never "filled Christmas requisitions" as we term the typical "what do you want for Christmas" tradition. For us, still, the empasis is on suitability of the gift (note the use of the singular) rather than price or quantity... and indeed our most treasured gifts have been things we made for eachother or occassionally when one of us found something the we knew another had been searching for, unsuccessfully, for some time.
I am, however, going to have to deal with how the "other side" lives this year, as I will be spending next week with my best friend and his family; HE if of my belif system but the rest of his family typify the material culture, including his young nieces. As a point of ettiquitte I felt bound to bring them a small gift; it will be interesting to see how the books I bought will be received. In this case, I have learned that it is far better for me to put a modicum of energy into buying an appropriate, reasonably priced gift that to deal with the personal hurt of having my handmade offering -- with far more energy and attention in it -- shunned.
| Hey, It's All The Same!! ||Dec 20th. at 11:45:20 am UTC|
|Jessica Bledsoe (Dayton, OH) ||Age: 23 - Email |
My husband and I "head" a very large group of...people (can't say Wiccans or even Pagans...we have Catholics, Christians, Shamans, and Buddists) who come to our circles (revolve around pagan holidays) and worship whatever or whomever they feel, it's all the same. We celebrate Christmas and Yule rolled up into one. My parents, grandmother (last grandparent alive) and my brother and sister-in-law all know about our faith and whereas they are Christian, they are perfectly ok with what we do. In fact, they come to our big Yule celebration ever year. In turn, my husband and I celebrate Christmas with my family every year. It really is a time to be with family...to share what we have, to give thanks for everything, to give gifts if we have abundance...after all isn't that what both holidays are about in the long run? If we all would put are fists down and look at each and every religion, we would see how very similar a lot of them are.
Blessed Yule! Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!
| Depends On Where ||Dec 20th. at 12:24:09 pm UTC|
|dragonstar (Indiana) ||Age: 19 - Email |
It really depends on where you go. Friends and aquantances I have no problem with, when they wish me a Merry Christmas, but in the stores and things they need to go a little further to support all beliefs. Anyone you know should be able to express their wishes for the holiday, but it shoulden't be forced on you by any commercial store. There are places I won't even go because it's so bad. The holidays kind of depress me, because I used to be a part of this big thing, but I tend to feel lonley now around this time.
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