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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 17,855,336  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 173

Lurker/Post Ratio: 189 to 1

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 

I Like It Dec 21st. at 1:22:19 am UTC

Mothrae (Pennsy USA) Age: 38 - Email

I guess I could go into the blatant commercialization and the dreaded consumer wars in the KMart, I could complain about the alleged holiday shows showing absurd ideas of what the holidays are about (some clown saving Christmas, for instance), and I could moan and groan ad nauseum.

But I won't. I love this time of year. I love that some (not all) of the people actually smile. Someone wishes me a Merry Christmas or a Merry Meeting, it's okay either way. I love the riots of lights and the intense decorations on the houses. I even like the holiday music on the radio.

I refuse to do the mall thing. Things I give are from me, not from some commercial enterprise.

So many different versions of faith coming together. I like seeing the Santa, the Nativity, and the Menorah side-by-side in the park.

I am comfortable being what I am. And I enjoy the season. Celebrate as you see fit, and have a great time.

Blessed Solstice and Rebirth to you all!

"We heard Santa yell as he turend toward the sea, Brightest Blessings to all, and to all Blessed Be!"

Blessings to all...Moth

It's A Family Thing Dec 21st. at 3:30:01 am UTC

Jessi (In a house) Age: 21 - Email

I was raised in a Christian/Catholic/Jewish family, and while I think it's funny to see people running around malls like a bunch of rats in a maze, and even a bit offensive that most of them think they have to buy the biggest and most expencive gifts in order to show their love, I still feel it is a wonderful time of year. It's my opinion that this holiday, comercialized as it is, still revolves around the children. Personally I look for any excuse to give presents to the people I love. Even though I am not Christain, I still say Merry Christmas to those who follow that religion. It seems rude and disrespectful to me to correct them. I wouldn't want my children to grow up thinking it's okay to tell someone their religion is wrong, or make them uncomfortable by saying 'sorry, I'd rather you say Merry Yule'. My sister likes to correct people, and I have seen them respond with everything from anger to tears, to a casual shrug. To me it just seems kind of pointless.
This year I think we are doing the Christian thing,every few years we get together and make gifts for each other. I think this year it's candles and soap for the adults and sewing for the older children. That's what I love about this time of year, my family gets together, we laugh, talk and love, our religions don't even enter into it.

PC Is What Bugs Me. Dec 21st. at 8:04:29 am UTC

Dracor (Tacoma, Wa, USA) Age: 19 - Email

Yes, this season has become a commercial thing, more about money than anything else, but I really don't care that much. You see, for me, it is something else. I don't care if for everyone else in the world, it means listening to songs with the word Jesus in every other line and scrambling in lines at the mall to buy the biggest thing you can't afford and hoping others do the same for you. For me, it means taking a little time to be with family and friends and appreciate that I have any.
As for the Politically Correct thing... Ugh! First, people need to stop worrying about offending everyone. Second, people need to stop getting offended by every little thing! I don't even get that offended when someone says "Jesus Loves you!" I just smile and say "Well, that's always good to know." PC is boring. Life needs a little Political incorrectness. Why else would it be so much more fun, or funnier?
And do me a favor, NEVER tell a child there is no Santa Claus. That is a lie that can forever destroy their ability to believe in magick. Remember, Santa is real to millions of children. If they believe in their hearts that he is real, who are you to kill that in them? I may not believe there is a fat man in a red suit who's going to come down my chimney, but if my three year old cousin believes in him, then he's real enough for me.

Perspective Dec 21st. at 10:00:05 am UTC

willow (Ontario Canada) Age: 40 - Email

As most I was raised in a Roman Catholic Home, went to Roman Catholic school, and NEVER felt that I fit in or was at peace. Christmas to me as a child did not hold the majic that it should have, my parents had me quite late in life and there was a 7 year age gap between my brother and I (he being older). My memories of childhood christmas in part is of getting gifts of toys and games that require 2 or more players, and having no one to play with on that day; of having to wait until 2pm til my brother dragged his sorry hung-over butt out of bed to open the gifts.. what DID make me all warm and fuzzy inside was the gathering of family... the big decadent meals that were filled with foods we only prepared at that time of year and the sounds of laughter. The smells of tourtiere cooking, the sweets that we NEVER had any other time of year, the sound of the doorbell ringing as yet more cousins, aunts, uncles arrived. I would sit quietly and just watch them all, see their faces, hear the joy in their voices, and see my mom looking truly happy. THAT was priceless to me. THAT is what Christmas was for me. And now, I still keep some of the traditions for the sake of my children. We've had some difficult years so my children are well aware that the holiday is not about material things, but an opportunity to be together and be thankful that we are healthy and have one another. Celebrating Yule and Solstice make far greater sense to me and have given me that peace sense of belonging i so yearned for as a child.

If someone wishes me Merry Christmas, i'll wish it right back. Same as Hanukkha, or any other holiday. I am still mindful of the discomfort of others around what i believe and celebrate and will take the opportunity to inform and educate when it's presented. I will NOT ram my beliefs down anyone's throat any more than i expect theirs to be rammed down mine. There is no place at this time of year for taking offence, or dishing it out. As someone else already said, there are places in this time and planet where we would be killed for not following the doctrins of the polititians. We are truly blessed for our freedom to celebrate our Diversity.

Blessed Holiday Wishes

Christmas,Yule, Hanukah, Kwanza Dec 21st. at 10:21:01 am UTC

kelly (ontario canada) Age: 31 - Email

All individuals express and share these occasions in different ways. I consider myself wiccan and therefore am a person who is accepting of all things, i do not judge as it is not my right. When wished a merry Christmas I usually just reply with Seasons Warmest to you. This way whatever the occasion people know that warm wishes for their happiness is sent their way from me. I do feel that PC has gotten a little over the top. I think too many people are too concerned about offending people they are afraid to make friends. My opinion may not be shared by others and that is ok too. I try to be an open person i do not judge as i will too be judged by others and i want to be able to give them nothing but good things to say. Thanks for the opportunity to state this.
Seasons Warmest Love n Light to all

Greed Dec 21st. at 10:28:38 am UTC

alex (arizona) Age: 22 - Email

It seems that many here are concerned with teh commercialization of the giving spirit of both christmas and the many other holidays of the season. Why is that. One thins i will say, as anyone who has studied economics knows, there is NO supply, unless the population has supplied a demand. Don't blame the companies out there for cashing in on our demand.

Embrace All Celebrations! Dec 21st. at 11:13:08 am UTC

Willow (Illinois) Age: 14 - Email

I think Christmas is a wonderful holiday and that it does not matter what you celebrate because the spirit of the season will not ever pass you over. It is important that we respect our Christian brothers and sister's beliefs and wish EVERYONE, weather they be Chrstian or Pagan, Aithiest or Jewish, A very Happy Holiday Season!

I Love This Season Dec 21st. at 1:19:26 pm UTC

Billie Young (Orange Texas) Age: 30 - Email

Since the whole Christmas holidays hold so many pagan themes, I celebrate with a knowing grin and resond to Merry Christmas with Happy Holidays, so I can cover everyone. Since we do not want to shove one particular faith or tradition on our child. This year for celebration, we have decorations covering most of the holidays ( I'm still looking for a manora (sorry about the spelling). This helps my child understand that there are different traditions in the world and this helps him deal with the overly Christian themes with his friends. The whole PC thing has it's good points, for example instead of a Christmas play, this year his school put on a Happy Holiday play. It reflected all the major holidays (no Solstice, sigh, but there is always next year) and how the different cultures celebrate. It was quite beautiful and the children and mostly the adults learned something new. In a small town that is a welcomed change, and gives me hope that the future will be bright.

Assumptions Dec 21st. at 1:40:00 pm UTC

Shyanne (Bakersfield, CA.) Age: 21 - Email

The only thing about Christmas that I don't like is when people just assume that everyone celebrates Christmas. I'm not really offended by Christmas. I just wish people would greet others with "Happy Holidays" and not "Merry Christmas." I never assume that someone is a certain religion so I would like that same respect.

It Goes On FOREVER!! Dec 21st. at 2:29:02 pm UTC

Lisa in Kentucky (Erlanger, Kentucky) Age: 100 - Email

I dread it every year--this year the stores put up decorations before Samhain. I get sick and tired of the same Christmas carols over and over. The whole thing brings out my worst curmudgeonly tendencies. Plus I feel it brings out the worst in the women I know--their desire to put on a social dog and pony show, buy the "perfect" present and I dern well better be delighted to celebrate OR ELSE.
For myself and my husband, I take from it what I like, the Solstice celebration of the sun I can see (versus the "son" I can't figure out), do some baking, indulge my feline children with gifts. I do only enough to stay on cordial footing with my small extended family.
And I am always glad when it is over with for another year, umm, nine months.
If I had a favorite holiday, it would be Samhain and/or Ostara.

Offended By The Commercialism Dec 21st. at 3:10:45 pm UTC

Vonnie (Florida) Age: 18 - Email

I am not offended by the holiday itself, I am offended by the commercialism. I cannot go anywhere without some kind of "christmas sale" or something of that nature. It has gone from a celebration of faith (whatever your faith may be), to a holiday all about shopping. But those are just my views. A little odd, but that is how I feel. But there is a sense of joy and togetherness people in the town I live in get around the holiday season. I just wish they would keep that feeling all year round!

I Think Its All The Same... Dec 21st. at 3:11:01 pm UTC

Bloodroot (Arizona) Age: 25 - Email

From my perspective, its the same thing. We celebrate the rebirth of the sun, they celebrate the birth of the divine child (which is kinda what we do as well, depending on tradition). Why start a rush of negativity? We all know what sending negativity does. Its not that hard to recognize their "lord" and our "lord" as the same energy anyway. We can both say, "praise the lord," and they can mean Jesus and we can mean Lugh or Apollo or Ra, or whomever. Its about individual personification of deity - how does each person perceive it, right? So glory to the newborn king, Christ the king for them and the holly king for us. You can make it work for you, and I feel thats one of the big lessons we need to learn as enlightened individuals: Adaptation for cohabitation. We aren't the "one true way" either. Besides, Christmas & Yule are so generalized now, and the dates are so close, and the traditions are so mixed, that it's easy to make everyone happy. Pushing everyone else away makes for a lonely holiday season.

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