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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
| They Cant Help It. ||Dec 16th. at 5:18:48 am EST|
|Mawn (New Zealand) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Let’s face it most Christians are not thinking people, well at least not about their religion anyway. They believe what they are told and they are told this is the birthday of their god. I have no problem with them celebrating that, but I feel sorry for them. Not because I feel they have anything wrong but because if business did to my holy day what it has done to Christmas id be angry.
In New Zealand it is summer so not only do we have the commercialization but also the ridiculous images of snow when there is none to be had in the whole country. I mean I’m in shorts all day.
I don’t correct people but i do tell them that I don’t celebrate Christmas because I’m not a Christian, a challenging concept for some.
I and my group are quietly getting ready to celebrate Litha, not Yule.
| Deck The Halls! ||Dec 16th. at 8:37:24 am EST|
|Foxfire (Flintstone, GA) ||Age: 34 - Email |
I love Christmas! I really enjoy giving gifts to friends and family. As I've gotten older, my gift list has shrunk, dur to family deaths and kids growing up. I have no problems going a bit wild giving gifts. It is so much fun finding something that I know will make a loved one happy.
I sing the carols with the regular lyrics. They're what I grew up with, and I don't want to let them go. I the past I only said Season's Greetings or Happy Holidays. Today I sound out a hearty Merry Christmas! Just about every thing about Christmas IS pagan. I know that, and it is enough for me.
I'll be spending Yule with my husband and daughter. As we have always done, we'll open a gift or two, and this year celebrate with a small ritual. Christmas Eve; another gift opening. Christmas Day we'll go to my inlaws to open gifts and eat. Should be fun and exhausting.
A bitchin' winter solstice to everyone!
| Offended-NO Saddened-YES ||Dec 16th. at 8:58:22 am EST|
|Cassandra (Pinehurst,TX) ||Age: 36 - Email |
I am never offended when wished Happy or Merry Xmas I always hope they are living the meaning of Happy or Merry. I am saddened by the loss of meaning at this time of year. It seems that the worst thing about Yule(Xmas) is that it brings out the WORST in people. Go to a Walmart or the Mall, all you see is people racing around trying to beat the other person, to first the parking, then the last whatever is HOT GOTTA HAVE. Sad but most of the Xtians don't even know why they celebrate at this time of year.. The return of the Sun(in their case the Son) is supposed to be a time of rebirth and growth, a time of renewal and love. I still sing carols sometimes I change the words a bit but I do not see them as a threat. I KNOW what I believe and am comfortable in my skin! It took years to find me a place of comfort, to finally wear my Pagan jewelry openly and not panic when asked about my beliefs. When asked if WE celebrate Xmas I give a simple answer, no, I celebrate Yule but my other is Catholic so he does! I was asked the other day at an ARD meeting for my son this very question. I explained softly trying not to rile that we do decorate and have a tree and all but no we don't. These people just don't understand. I have asked for Samhain off for my kids as a religious holiday and they all but started yelling,"BURN the witch!" so I now kinda tone it down at school! But I explained to my son that singing carols and having fun is good too. He decided to act offended when they were singing and I told him to can it. Why you ask? Well I explained to him that at 11 he still does not really know what he believes so I told him to go ahead and sing. If when he gets a bit older and decides he IS Pagan fully (and not just to offend the masses) then I will say to him,"Don't sing". But I do not want him to feel he has to make them unhappy because his mom is not one of them. I hope that everyone learns the true meaning of his or her Holiday this year but I doubt it will happen... I for one hope to be able to greet the son on the Solstice, to share with all my Pagan friends the truest joy of this wonderous season. I greet all with SEASONS GREETINGS! ... It offends none and includes all! and to my fellow Pagans I wish a happy YULE! To all of you at WV I wish a Happy, Wonderous and Joyous YULE! Cat
| Joyous Yuletide - Anyone? ||Dec 16th. at 9:21:16 am EST|
|Sian (UK) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I don't know about over in the States, but over here there are still plenty of cards which are printed with 'Joyous Yuletide' or 'Wishing you lots of Yuletide Cheer' - they also have quite a few of the 'old-fashioned' victorian designs with a man in green not red! I find that I can say either of the above statements to anyone without causing much of a stir, except to be regarded as old-fashioned and 'quaint'. Lucky little me! :-))))
| When Christmas Loses It's Glitter ||Dec 16th. at 9:30:48 am EST|
|Grey Wolfspider (OH, USA) ||Age: 15 - Email |
As a little kid, I was always a huge Christmas fan. The lights, the noise, and like any child, presents. Since I've grown up a little, my innocent Catholic eyes beheld -at first- more than they wanted to see. Then I came to realize: Christmas has gone from a religious celebration to a great big marketing ploy. It's really sad when I have to sit down at Christmas dinner with my family thinking that we're not really celebrating the birth of Christian Jesus, we're celebrating another big jump in the economy- one more point for Capitalism. This year, I've been quietly protesting Shristmas for my own reasons (like I'd REALLY tell my parents I didn't want to be Christian anymore.... I'd be killed. That's simply all there is to it.)and it's actually gone very well. Instead of saying merry Christmas, I say blessed Solstice or happy holidays. I let people know that I've got my eyes open and I'm not blinded by the glamour that the Christmas atmosphere tents to excrete- especially when we are so deep in the midst of the Holiday Season. It's saddening that the Magick of the season has faded for me, but I'm not going to let it ruin my whole holiday! Here are some steps that I have taken to keep my Yule cool...
1)Pay attention to how much you spend. The average middle class person spends an average of $400 on holiday gifts. Show your friends and family that you care and try to make your presents. That way they know it came from your heart. And THAT'S the Reason for the Season, no?
2)Avoid saying Merry Christmas, even if someone says it to you. Simply reply with Happy Holidays. That way they know you don't celebrate Christmas (or you're just being pollitically correct)without being rude or in-ypur-face about it.
3)Spend time with family- not necessarily blood family. We all come from the Goddess, so why should we seperate ourselves from our brothers and sisters in this world? Showing that you care is one of the greatest gifts someone can give or recieve.
These are the steps I have made to make my season brighter. Hope you enjoy!
| Well...... ||Dec 16th. at 10:02:42 am EST|
|Cassaundra (Ohio) ||Age: 17 - Email |
My families Christian......and they don't know I'm Wiccan.....(I'm Waiting till after I move out to come out of the broom closet.) SO, I have to pretend it means more to me then it does,...I mean, I might even go with my grandma to mass JUST because it means something to her.
Sure,...I'm sick of "Merry Christmas".....because they ignore other holidays as a whole, but, childrens t.v. is getting better,..... at the end of "We Wish You A Merry Nickmas" on nickelodeon, they blurted out a whole bunch of holidays including WInter Solstice. I'm happy for that, but, my family, whom loves me, and feeds me, and provides me with warmth and clothing,..... they come first and they don't offend me.
| YULE!..it's Yule, It's Yule, I'ts...... ||Dec 16th. at 10:19:40 am EST|
|Patricia (iowa,usa) ||Age: 99 - Email |
Why..BLESSED BE! Of course I'm not offended by the constant Mary and Jopseph and angelic figures that Christians are shoveing in my face right now. After all,it IS the birthday of the son of God (or as I like to call it "monkey's fly out my butt day") and I just smile and say "happy Yule"! But, inside my head I'm thinking..monkey butt, monkey butt,..HAPPY YULE, Patricia
| It's Jammed Down Our Throats... ||Dec 16th. at 10:41:20 am EST|
|Vayla Nightshade (Murphy NC) ||Age: 41 - Email |
I am tired of Christians thinking theirs is the ONLY religion.The world is not all christian and yes I am sick of the Christmas season. They're even teaching my 5 yr. old that Jesus is the reason for the season in school!! They jam it down your throat with their religion & I'm frankly sick of it. I wish every one a "Good Yule "when they wish me a Merry Christmas and my family opens our presents on the Solstice every year. We bless our Tree of Life with the 4 elements when we bring it home and we always buy a ball tree(tree with roots) so we can plant it .We light a red pillar candle (one I've used now for the past couple yrs.) ,at sundown on the 20th and than extinquish it at sunrise the 21st and we greet the sun with a song of "Light is returning Let it shine !" Than we go back inside our home and open our presents under the Yule tree.
| No ||Dec 16th. at 10:43:07 am EST|
|Dawn (Ocheyedan) ||Age: 19 - Email |
I am not offended by it. Then again not much offends me. My parents are Jehovah Witness so it doesn't bother them. They know I am Wiccan. They are very open minded. If someone says Merry Christmas I just say Happy Yule. If they fuss I don't care.
| 'tis The Season! ||Dec 16th. at 11:03:22 am EST|
|Raven Dreamwalker (Wyoming) ||Age: 45 - Email |
I am not offended by "Christmas", per se, but I am quite driven insane by the insessant carols that seem to begin weeks before Samhain! What does offend me isn't "Merry Christmas!". I find that to be a pleasant greeting of good cheer, appropriate to the season, whatever your belief system. (Happy Hannukka, too)
What I do find offensive, however, is the droning of gimmee, gimmee, spend, spend, spend or you're a bad person, that gets thicker and thicker advertising as the season grinds on. I am all for keeping a childs belief in "Santa" going for as long as possible. Just not the gimmee part. The part that being kind and generous is an all year thing. Not just the weeks before Christmas. To be charitable to yourself first isn't selfish, it is the way we learn to be charitable to others without looking for a "reward". (whether it be toys from santa or a place in heaven, or a pat on the back from your community)In sharing our own charity, we enrich ourselves, which is our own reward, and should be kept selfishly to ourselves, not proclaimed to everyone for a pat on the back!
I apologize for the rant.
Bright Blessings for the Season!
| Bah Humbug ||Dec 16th. at 11:04:01 am EST|
|Moggie Cat (Connecticut) ||Age: 39 - Email |
I'm not offended by xmas...I just plain hate it! I didn't even like it when I was a Catholic.
It brings back bad memories...all my family did on the holidays was fight. When all the relatives came over, someone always ended up in a screaming match with someone else, then didn't talk to each other for the year, and expected family members to take sides. Then they would make up in time for the holidays, when other family members would start fighting and the whole bloody cycle would start again. Xmas was not pleasant in my house.
Also it's so in my face...I've been out of the broom closet for many years and everybody knows it. I much rather celebrate Halloween to the fullest (and I do), but people ignore MY holiday, and expect me to celebrate THEIR holiday. And it annoys me that the stores start with the xmas stuff BEFORE Halloween is over. feh! :-(
And another thing...it's suppose to be this "joyous" and "giving" time of year but all I see is hypocrites. People will "pitch in" and help out by donating to a soup kitchen some yucky canned vegetable they wouldn't normally eat themselves, but the rest of the year they wouldn't help anyone. The town leaders here do this thing for the local homeless people, but the rest of the year they complain and do everything they can to kick out the homeless in my town without helping them. And how can anybody celebrate anything joyous with what's going on in the world and this country? Peace on earth and goodwill towards all men?? What a joke!!
And don't get me started on the screaming brats in the stores yelling at the top of their lungs, "I WANT! I WANT!"
I hide this time of year and keep to my self. It's the only way I can deal.
| I Am 1 With Family ||Dec 16th. at 11:25:44 am EST|
|Asylem MIlinco (Calf) ||Age: 16 - Email |
No xmas does bother me b/c if i do not have a family and i just thing that is is now just a sell out yeah ,my foster family beleaves in a god while i am at hand seem not to know what to do for you who read this i am newbe i am at hand tranning to beleave in the lord and lady and to talk to the spirit ,and i think i am not doing so well ok like i was saying i am at wonder if xmax is realy what it used to be it sould be time to spend with family and frends and love 1's ,
thank you if you need me my email is Milinco2k@hotmail.com
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