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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: 19,171,621  

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 

Doesn't Matter To Me What You Call It... Dec 16th. at 2:04:29 am EST

Brian (Mission Viejo, California) Age: 42 - Email

To me it's still Solstice. When I left Christianity I had a great deal of bitterness, but that's pretty much gone now. I don't cringe when I hear the name Jesus (I'm a witch, not a vampire :)), so if people wish me a merry Christmas I just say "Thank you, the same to you." I prefer to say "happy holidays" myself, especially if I don't know that the person I'm talking to is a Christian, but since I don't believe in wearing my religion on my sleeve (or around my neck), it's OK if people mistakenlyassume that Xmas is my winter holiday of choice.

A Holiday In Retail Dec 16th. at 2:19:51 am EST

Titania T. Moonfoster (Reedsburg Wisconsin) Age: 20 - Email

heres a poem about my feelings for the holiday season... :>
Now I lay me down to sleep
to catch some winks so my sanity I keep
hoping that my boss won't mind
(although I doubt it, he's been institutionalized)

It's Christmas time in our humble store
time for lights, trees, and wreaths for the door
supposedly a time for cheer, but not for me and mine
we have customers that moan, complain, and whine

I want this! I need that! Why don't you have my size?
I was first! Where am I? Hey, did I win a prize?
The lights, the noise, the darned X-mas tunes
all are tools to cause massive swoons

Customers care not where they leave their crap
Whilst we get to clean, finding bras by the gift wrap
Spooky stuff happens when nuts dissapear
only to show up inside a jar of dill spears

X-mas time is here, ringing true all old sayings
causing all to gain religion and bringing on mass praying
"Please Gods, make it end. I promise next year I'll try to fail
in giving proof to 'I know there's a Hades, I work in retail.'"

For me the holiday is WAY to materialistic and over commercialized. in my store we've been playing holiday music since thanksgiving, with the only exception being packer games. i think i might snap this year, i don't know. but anyhoo, I will be gathering with my "Christian" family and celebrating with food, drink, football, music (shudder), and the yearly arguments (all for fun :>). they don't shove their values down my throat and let the season be about family and of course the huge german banquet, with enough food to feed us til may.
happy holidays & BB,

Offended? Dec 16th. at 2:35:40 am EST

squib (oregon) Age: 32 - Email

hardly. yeah the music gets irritating, but only because i've had to hear it since November 1st. If someone says merry christmas, fine. I'm sure i can think of more hefty things to get offended by. And, yes, i do think PC is completely out of control.

Scaling Down Dec 16th. at 4:25:58 am EST

Moon (New York) Age: 41 - Email

I am not really offened by Xmas. I just wish it was a time for all to celebrate how they wish and not have to hide their beliefs. What does offend me is the commercialism of it all. I cannot afford to spend tons of money on gifts and I find it depressing to have to struggle through this time of year with a 14 yr old who wants everything he sees and won't get most of it. I am scaling down this year on, gifts, decorations and the like. I just don't have the time or the money to do all I used to do. As for the PC, yes, I think it has gotten way out of hand and I am sick of hearing it. Seems the more we preach PC, the less of it we see. We all ought to just shut up and listen to our hearts and hear what this time of year means for ourselves and tend to our own business of celebrating in our chosen way. It is supposed to be a spiritual season and it is nothing but ugly how most people behave this time of year. Let it go for a change. It is getting old. I for one will celebrate on my own terms. I will do the Xmas thing with the family like always but I will have my own private celebration to acknowledge what this time of year means to me personally. Merry Yule to all and blessings in abundance.

Help! Dec 16th. at 4:52:15 am EST

Araelus Stormwolf (England) Age: 32 - Email

Please help me, I'm drowning in a sea of Tacky xmas lights and tinsel, I'm a Pagan, an Eclectic Witch no less. So why do I fear this time of year. A time of year when an overstuffed bloke dressed in the colours of the COCA COLA Co. Walks among us, A time when so many people seem to be high on something. They buy gifts for people they don't like, and worse still in many cases can't afford. At this time of year, people who know me wonder what I'll be doing. So I tell them that I'll be celebrating Yule. What they ask. So I start to tell them that their Xmas is a Dickensian myth, a little bit Victorian window dressing on a number of Pagan myths, stories, practises and beliefs. Tell them why the wreath is Pagan, tell them of their Holly and Ivy, and their other meanings. Tell them of the return of the Sun to the land of men. It's all become too comercial, come the cry of the Pagan masses. So instead of spending money on expesive gifts, give your Goodwill out in good mesure. Wish someone the greetings of the season, remember family past and present. Try to endure the bad TV. specials with good humour, live in peace and harmony, where possible, blessed be and Seasons greetings Stormwolf out.

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.
Bandia Huit

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!

Blessed Be,


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!'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

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