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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: 19,167,926  

Vox Q Stats

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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 

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'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

I Make The Grinch Look Nice... Dec 16th. at 11:29:41 am EST

Ravenseye, Mafdet-Athtor (Miami, Florida) Age: 15 - Email

I used to love Christmas, but now I can't stand it. I mean, if it was a religious holiday, whatever, I can deal. I'm a tolerant person. Heck, I love nativity sets, I collect them for fun! But Christmas isn't a religious holiday. It's run around to make your front yard look better than the neighboors time. It's buy everything everyone wants then drop a lot of annoying hints so you get stuff too. There's just no real giving. You don't see anybody donating money, giving food to the poor, etc. They just buy stuff for other people and themselves. When people say Merry Christmas, I find it so hypocritical. They're using the name of a supposedly religious holiday to describe all this secular poop. Today in my school meeting, and mind you my school honors all religions, we all had to stand up and sing extremelly Christian hymns. They were nice and I liked to listen. But I didn't like that, because I refused to sing, I was given a detention. If someone says Merry Christmas, I say Merry Yule. At least I'm not running around forgetting the true meeting of my holiday...

I'm Not Offended Dec 16th. at 11:31:24 am EST

Jo (CO) Age: 23 - Email

I am not offended by this rush of holidays. I even actually like carols quite a bit. It is hard for me to hold my ground and not sing them before Thanksgiving. I love decorating, I love being with my friends and family, and I love giving gifts. Sure I could do these things year round, but I think I'm still a kid at heart and I have not lost who I was to who I am. I don't always buy gifts, since I'm very creative, and made gifts are fun to give. This year there are no made gifts, though, because I have a very young baby who takes most of my time.
This is the first year I will be celebrating Yule, although I've wanted to celebrate it every year I just didn't know how. We are also going to Christmas dinners at our parents' houses. When some one greets me with a holiday greeting I give it back as they give it to me. If some one says, "Happy Holidays," I say it too, and if some one says "Marry Christmas," then so do I. I believe that this is a time to spread good cheer and not anger. That is just what I think.
Happy Yule!

Happy Yule Dec 16th. at 11:35:23 am EST

Bronwyn (Ellijay, GA) Age: 23 - Email

This will be my first Yule as a Wiccan, but I've always has a problem with x-mas. I grew up in poverty, and all of our presents as children came from the local church and various charity organizations. I remember hating this time of year, because everyone in our small town knew that we were "that poor family who couldn't afford presents" and I hated being pitied.
So I married into a family who was pretty well off (compared to mine, anyway) and x-mas suddenly became a competition. My sisters-in-law have to see who can outspend who, who can buy the most expensive, most extravagant gifts. They used to sit at our family x-mas meal and actually compare receipts! The first few years I tried to keep up with them, but it got to the point where I was so depressed during this time of year that I've decided not to buy gifts anymore. It just isn't worth all the frustration and stress and crap that comes with it.

Let It Be.... Dec 16th. at 11:53:15 am EST

Lyric (Virginia) Age: 49 - Email

I have never celebrated a Christmas that had overtly religious overtones. I know those who do, many in my own family. Some have the tradition of reading from the book of Luke. This is very meaningful to them and I listen, then listen to their feelings about the holiday. To do any less would be disrespectful of the people and their beliefs. I do not have to agree or subscribe to the beliefs nor do I have to initiate dialogue whenever I hear them. I am not offended. If one of them tried to argue me into the Christian mindset I would not be offended, there is simply no reason to be. For years I have received some type of cross from a Christian friend. Every year I thank her, wrap it up and put it in a box. This is not offensive. To her, her faith is a joyous thing and as her friend, she sincerely wishes to share that with me. That is love.
I have never subscribed to the "one size fits all" concept of this holiday. No matter what I hear or see on the outside, my celebration and my tradition are still uniquely my own. To use some of the religious symbols of the holiday in my home would be hypocritical. I do not "believe" in them, therefore do not display or use them. The tree is always refered to as "the tree", some presents are wrapped in Santa Clause paper, some in snowflake design, never a religious theme. To me, to use the symbols held in such reverence by some people would be a mockery of their beliefs and that is something I would not knowingly do.
Of course, more mention is made at this time of the year of charity, helping others, peace and love and it is a shame that these feelings don't seem to last much beyond the new year, but anyone can grab the tail of that kite and fly with it...don't worry about what the rest of the world is or isn't doing, just about what you can do to put your beliefs into action year round.
I hope that for all of you, your holiday, however you celebrate is meaningful, spent with those you love and who love you and is a prelude to peace and love to come.

I'm Not At All Offended Dec 16th. at 12:08:08 pm EST

Bonnie (Indiana) Age: 40 - Email

I'm not at all offended by the emphasis placed on Christmas. I came into paganism knowing that most people don't regard it as religious anything. So many of the symbols that the Christians use are pagan in origin so I feel like my holiday is more on display than theirs. I love Christmas carols. "Oh Holy Night" is one of my favorites. "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Carol" are both movie staples in our house. They both teach very good moral lessons and are spiritually uplifting. My daughters are Christian and they celebrate the Solstice with me (never cared for the term "Yule") and I celebrate Christmas with them. This year I will be celebrating during the afternoon with my group with food and ritual and then at home with just my daughters. We'll do a very small ritual and exchange gifts and have cookies and eggnog in front of the fireplace. This is a wonderful time of year and the PC mess just ruins it. We should be spending more time with family and friends and giving to others and not worrying about what's on display at the local courthouse. Do I care that my religion never gets a display? No. I don't have to show it off to prove something to someone else. I know what it is, how I feel and the goodness I get from it. That's all that matters.

Christmas For Everyone Dec 16th. at 12:58:23 pm EST

Malinthas (Clark Mills, NY) Age: 24 - Email

I hear a lot of argument about the "reason for the season", but I think it's mostly semantics. Some say Jesus, some say the Solstice, some say pints of oil burning all night. Whatever historical or astrological event you couch it in, the mid-winter celebration is about love for your fellow man. It's a time for giving, for caring, and for loving. It's a time for family, for friends, and for memories. Does the rest really matter? I light altar candles, you light an advent wreath, and she lights a menorah. Go ahead and call it Kwanzaa. Call it whoopdie-doo-mahogany day if you want to... just remember that the message is love, and I'll gladly celebrate at your side. I hate to say it, but maybe "Happy Holidays" got it right.

About The Holidays Dec 16th. at 1:15:09 pm EST

Starling (Montreal, Canada) Age: 24 - Email

I am not at all offended by Christmas, or Hanukkah, or call-it-what-ye-will, nor am I offended by hoiday TV programming. In fact, I embrace it and all the different ways to celebrate it that I find around me. I work in an office where there's Muslims, Greek Orthodoxes, Catholics, Protestants, just to name a few, so I usually don't wish people anything but "Happy Holidays" as to not offend anyone. It's generic, and they still know what you mean. And I show respect for my Jehovah's Witness co-worker by just telling her, see you on 'insert name of first day back to work here'.

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