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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
| I Love This Season ||Dec 21st. at 1:19:26 pm EST|
|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 EST|
|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 EST|
|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 EST|
|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 EST|
|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.
| Season Of Light ||Dec 21st. at 4:52:17 pm EST|
|Berry Featherstone (Westtown, NY) ||Age: 46 - Email |
What a delightful time of year -- a time when celebration is universal, regardless of faith!
As a Roman Catholic slowly dancing into Paganism, I currently work in a church. This season, we have been inundated with gifts for people who have no means to celebrate. People are so generous, and they don't even know who will be receiving the presents they offer. They don't care. They simply want to make this time precious for others. I wish people who do not work in charity-based organizations could observe the overflow of good will at this time. I'm all for Christmas if it means that those who are well-off can not only recognize that they are and give thanks for it, but will also go out of their way to help other people. It seems to be the one time of year that some people recognize that we're all connected!
Isn't a season of good will truly a gift -- from God, from the Goddess, from the source of all creation. I don't care what name it's given -- it's a blessing. It's an ackknowledgment of the divinity that lies deep within each of us. Amen!
| But Why? ||Dec 21st. at 7:17:10 pm EST|
|Thomas (Sweden) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I, myself, do not like Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I like the concept of Christmas. I like that there is a day when people try to be generous and kind and so forth... but why must there be such a day? Why can we not instead show generosity, and kindness, and love for each other every day of the year?
Me, I try. I'm not good at being universally loving, but I try. When someone annoys me, or does his best to rile me up, outbursts do happen. But in the end, I always forgive. Usually, I forgive as it happens, and reply with a smile. But why can other people not do that? Why must they always be so cruel to each other, so "cool"?
I think it starts in school. There's Litterature class, and Mathematics, and History, and all that. But what happened to Being Human? What happened to Kindness, and Generosity, and Love? Why can we not have something in school where people are show how they can be good to each other?
Okey, I'm getting off track here. I suppose that if I have to look at the Big Picture, I like Christmas. It seems to me that during Christmas, there is less suffering in the world. Or at least a little more joy and kindness. More love.
| I Am Not Really Offended ||Dec 21st. at 7:29:44 pm EST|
|Stella (Pasadena, CA) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I am not really offended by Christmas. I will be very very glad when we can stop playing the same Christmas CD over and over again at work, but that is probably the worst of it for me. I love it when someone genuinely wishes me a Merry Christmas. For the most part people mean it in a very caring way. I wish them a Merry Christmas right back. No one ever has, but should someone wish me a Happy Hannukah, or Happy Kwanzaa, or Happy Wednesday the 25th of December I would be perfectly delighted.
I always loved christmas as a kid. My parents were not particularly religious, but my mom went out of her way to make Christmas a very magical time for us. It was a bright spot in an otherwise dull and dreary midwest winter. Christmas seems to me, like a lot of holidays, to be a thin veil draped over a very pagan holiday. I just try to ignore the "Jesus is the reason for the Season" people and focus on the pagan aspects of the holiday.
| EHH! ||Dec 21st. at 9:14:10 pm EST|
|Cassie (New York) ||Age: 15 - Email |
Christmas isn't my favorite time of the year. The music drives me crazy. There is just to much of it. The idea of Christmas is nice. The fact people are giving is good. But the children with there greediness drives me crazy too. Also seeing all this Christmas stuff around me and not seeing anything for Yule or even Hannuka is disgraceful. I know that most of the population of America celebrates Christmas but it's still no need for that much of it and not that much more of the other holidays.
And me being the age I am with to younger kids in the house and an entire family who celebrates the holiday makes it worse. Having to get up at 6 in the morning because they have to open presents, that will be there when I wake up at noon, early. And going to church and having to sit there and listen to even more than usual. I dont like church normally it's even worse on holidays.
The entire holiday just drives me up a wall.
| 'tis The Season ||Dec 21st. at 9:46:54 pm EST|
|Lexy (ny) ||Age: 18 - Email |
When ever this time of year rears his ugly head, I always feel the need to crawl in to a corner. I really do not approve of all the christams music on every channel starting the day after thanksgiving and the big "one day only" christmas sales. to most relegions, christmas is all about presents and trees and ugly red flowers...to me, yule is all about being with the people I love and thanking the gods for what they have givin me in the past year. I join in on some christan activites. MOst of my friends are, so it makes it hard not to. I try to follow it all, and I also try not to put any one down, I feel that seeing as how I dont appreciate the critisism, I wont dish it out either.
| Christmas Is Just A Part Of Another Religon ||Dec 22nd. at 12:06:58 am EST|
|Sofia (Australia) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I don't really get offended by people wishing me a 'merry christmas', because not so long ago I did the same, but it is kind of anoying when you walk into a shop and all you hear is christmas carols playing in the background. I think that people can celebrate what they want when they want, but don't make such a big fuss over it because in the end people will loose sight of what they are celebrating.
| Hail The Solar Child ||Dec 22nd. at 12:39:20 am EST|
|Noelle (OH) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I love christmas carols. I attend Christmas Eve candelight service with my family. I love buying presents and spoiling the ones I love with tokesn of affection that last longer than kisses on the cheek or a hug (flannel pyjamas are a hug that keeps on giving!). Without this anchor in the midst of what would be just another mess of snow and bother.
Why get offended at cheerfulness? Sort of spoils the point of teh season, no matter what faith, doesn't it?
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