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  1. #1
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    Why an Atheist Loves Christmas

    Wanted to start a thread to srpead some of that festive cheer!

    I will do that by telling you why I, an atheist, loves Christmas.

    I loves the symbolism behind it all. Some (very depressing) people might argue that all it's symbolic of is corporate greed and consumerism, but to my mind that's ignoring all of the origins of Christmas and the true intentions behind it. Most of Christmas was adopted pretty much wholesale by the Christians as a means to express what it truly means to follow Jesus, which is essentially about giving good things no matter the cost. And before you say, yeah, Crusades, w/e, but say what you want about Christians if they try to emulate Jesus as he lived life there's not much harm can be done since he was a pansy pacifist who'd rather be crucified than throw a punch.

    Anyways, the most important thing about Christmas is that the Christians adopted a great deal of pagan practices, peacefully, and to my mind that symbolises a coming together of cultures and people to contribute to something greater. Christmas Day for example was based on the birthday of Mithras, a popular god amongst the Romans (as well as the whole eating bread and drinking wine to symbolise eating the body and blood of a god, but that's not related to Christmas). Christmas trees too were adopted from pagan "end of the year" festivals. Winter solstice or what have you. Heathens.

    Regardless, no matter where Christmas originated from, Christian or pagan, what it means to people today is the most significant thing about it. A time when most of the world is allowed to feel good, and encouraged to give gifts to each other. There's never been anything quite like it. There's no threat of hell or war or executions if you don't give gifts it's just...something nice to do for others.

    And yes I have been drinking. I've been quaffing almightily.

    I'd also like to add a quote from a favourite song of mine.

    But maybe from the madness something beautiful will grow. In a brave new world, with just a handful of men. We'll start, we'll start all over again.
    Last edited by TheXand; 22-12-2012 at 10:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    If you don't reply you hate Christmas.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    I love Christmas, despite not being religious. In fact many people in England celebrate it regardless of their religion.

    I love the dinner. Having no thanksgiving holiday, Christmas is the one time we get to have a huge turkey roast. Ours comes with pigs in blankets, stuffing, onion gravy with a drop of wine in for luck, golden potatoes, at least four different kinds of veg - I could talk all day about it. I even like those silly crackers, with the flimsey crown hats and prizes.

    I love the presents. Our family dog goes absolutely bonkers for discarded Christmas wrapping paper. It also helps to have a kid brother, because in the end I feel a Christmas without watching a child's face light up takes a little of the magic out. I like to hear what fellow RPSers received without it turning into some kind of competition, so I'll be expecting the usual thread this year. Don't want to hear about socks though. Socks make me sad.

    I love the family. Seems like every Christmas episode of every sitcom involves a feuding family having a miserable time, but my family never has a cross word to say to one another.

    I don't love the music. Unless it's Let it Snow from Die Hard. Best Christmas movie/s ever.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    I love Christmas, despite not being religious. In fact many people in England celebrate it regardless of their religion.

    I love the dinner. Having no thanksgiving holiday, Christmas is the one time we get to have a huge turkey roast. Ours comes with pigs in blankets, stuffing, onion gravy with a drop of wine in for luck, golden potatoes, at least four different kinds of veg - I could talk all day about it. I even like those silly crackers, with the flimsey crown hats and prizes.

    I love the presents. Our family dog goes absolutely bonkers for discarded Christmas wrapping paper. It also helps to have a kid brother, because in the end I feel a Christmas without watching a child's face light up takes a little of the magic out. I like to hear what fellow RPSers received without it turning into some kind of competition, so I'll be expecting the usual thread this year. Don't want to hear about socks though. Socks make me sad.

    I love the family. Seems like every Christmas episode of every sitcom involves a feuding family having a miserable time, but my family never has a cross word to say to one another.

    I don't love the music. Unless it's Let it Snow from Die Hard. Best Christmas movie/s ever.
    Hah! Yeah the Christmas meal in itself is magnificent if someone does it properly. It's the British equivalent of Thanksgiving. Like a Sunday roast replete with festive cheer. Except we don't have to puzzle over why we're giving thanks over a meal and where the damned Indians went.

    Giving and receiving presents is always ace, even if I'm too damned poor and studenty to give any decent ones.

    It's like the only time of the year my family actually work together the tiniest bit and enjoy each other's company. even my idiot younger brother's company seems nearly compelling.

    Terms of music, well I'd have to disagree! I do love me some Wizzard and all the rest of the old classics.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    If i don't reply you won't know that i hate christmas,so here you go.

    XO
    ... I take the lives of a few to protect the lives of many. I commit acts of war to preserve the greater peace. I take no joy in killing, but make no mistake; I'll do what needs to be done. Because it's my job. It's my duty. My name is Sam Fisher, and I am a Splinter Cell.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Our family usually disintegrate into factions and fight at Christmas. I love it, nothing like self-righteous fury in heated arguments about things which really don't matter anymore.

    Being an atheist I don't care much for the religious stuff but at the same time I don't really care what everyone else is up to. If somebody wants to go to church for Christmas, then whatever, have fun, I'll be either working (but not this year!) or descending into a jolly yet drunken stupor. I still celebrate Christmas but it's more to celebrate what is practically the end of the year and bringing family together, so that we may tear into each other's flesh after saving up our rage over the year.

  7. #7
    Network Hub Spacewalk's Avatar
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    You get more junk.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Actually I think a lot of christmas doesn't come from christianty i think it mostly comes From Charles Dickens pretty much all ou traditions and games come from that one book. So you don't have to be religious to like christmas because it really isn't celebrated as a christian festival by a lot of people, does anyone really think about Jesus when there having the turkey or giving presents(except religious people of course).

    To be honest though I am going off giving presents though and kind of just look forward to the meal, the presents are a bit of an annoyance especially as pretty much everyone in my family are older now and can get anything they want with their money.

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    I'm in two minds about Christmas, on one hand we have the commercial grind, the horrible looped tapes of Wizard, Cliff and Slade and the ghastly spectre of enforced jollity and on the other hand we have my family gathering together from our various haunts and admitting that we do like spending time in each other's company for short bursts. I've missed the last two family Christmasses, one through illness, I slept for virtually 2 days; one through being in New Zealand and experiencing the odd sensation of Christmas in summer, so I'm looking forward to an over-crowded house and a set-back to my health regime.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheXand View Post
    If you don't reply you hate Christmas.
    And thus the thread became one of those facebook chain groups like "like this unless you want to get cancer"
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    You know I hear there's other religions.
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    You know I hear there's other religions.
    Don't listen to rumours.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    And thus the thread became one of those facebook chain groups like "like this unless you want to get cancer"
    Yes. You will also get that too. A sort of Christmas present if you will. Festive goodwill made manifest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xercies View Post
    Actually I think a lot of christmas doesn't come from christianty i think it mostly comes From Charles Dickens pretty much all ou traditions and games come from that one book. So you don't have to be religious to like christmas because it really isn't celebrated as a christian festival by a lot of people, does anyone really think about Jesus when there having the turkey or giving presents(except religious people of course).

    To be honest though I am going off giving presents though and kind of just look forward to the meal, the presents are a bit of an annoyance especially as pretty much everyone in my family are older now and can get anything they want with their money.
    I've gotten to that old person stage of just enjoying the meal most, probably because I'm a fat bastard but also because my mum's a damn good cook and puts a lot of time into it.

    You're right about Christmas having gone beyond the confines of just the religious, it's woven into Western culture pretty solidly now. Halloween is another good example of that since it's nearly completely lost all religious significance whatsoever since the religions that used to take it seriously have now gone the way of the dinosaurs. Doesn't make it any less fun however and it's nice seeing people come together to celebrate something and enjoy themselves. I love all the Halloween specials on TV too, so there's that as well. Same with Christmas actually. The Christmas Doctor Who specials are always something to look forward to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Feldspar View Post
    I'm in two minds about Christmas, on one hand we have the commercial grind, the horrible looped tapes of Wizard, Cliff and Slade and the ghastly spectre of enforced jollity and on the other hand we have my family gathering together from our various haunts and admitting that we do like spending time in each other's company for short bursts. I've missed the last two family Christmasses, one through illness, I slept for virtually 2 days; one through being in New Zealand and experiencing the odd sensation of Christmas in summer, so I'm looking forward to an over-crowded house and a set-back to my health regime.
    I actually like all the old Christmas music classics :P It's hard not to smile at all the decorations and whatnot as well, and the whole running around buying presents thing is a bit of a chore but it's worth it on Christmas Day when you see someone opening the presents you give them. Nice feeling and makes me feel like a saint for a day.
    Last edited by TheXand; 23-12-2012 at 04:28 PM.

  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheXand View Post
    I actually like all the old Christmas music classics :P
    I don't actually hate them, but I don't like anything played on short repeat and I dislike the idea of everywhere having to play this set of songs because it's, y'know, Christmas in like 3 weeks or something. I do have one vaguely Christmassy song in my library and on random I'll hear it once every 2 weeks of listening time. There is a time and place for Christmas music, usually in June, for about a week if you don't push it.

  15. #15
    Obscure Node Rao Dao Zao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheXand View Post
    But maybe from the madness something beautiful will grow. In a brave new world, with just a handful of men. We'll start, we'll start all over again.
    Not poems and rubbish... SCIENCE!

    I like crimbo because it's cold and dark out there and any excuse for a party. Merry christmas, everyone!

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Squiz's Avatar
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    Christmas in the religious sense means little to me, but at the same time Christmas as a family event means everything to me. As of yesterday evening, our clan has grown by one healthy if tiny member (my cousin gave birth to a wee girl) so this year the holidays are extra awesome.

  17. #17
    Obscure Node Shifty Pete's Avatar
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    My family isn't religious, but it's christmas! Who cares? Get the family together, put a tree up, exchange gifts... it's all good fun.

  18. #18
    Activated Node Rovac's Avatar
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    I love Christmas! Not in the religious sense. It's just a great time to share happiness and sing together.
    I miss the days when I'm trading gift with my friends and unwrapping it.

    How can anyone dislike old Christmas music?

    edit : I think Christmas haven't been an exclusive Christian's day for a very long time. It become a cultural thing that everyone can enjoy. Well, if they want to join the merry-dance.
    Last edited by Rovac; 24-12-2012 at 01:58 PM.

  19. #19
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    THE BEST OF ALL THE CHRISTMAS SONGS


  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    As the son of an interfaith family, I was raised Jewish but celebrated Christmas all of my life. It meant $100 and some small gifts.

    About 9 years ago I joined the LDS (Mormon) faith. I struggle to try to put the "Christ" in Christmas since it was such a materialistic holiday for me as a child. Plus I also recognize some of what TheXand mentioned in the OP, the adoption of prior traditions and rituals adopted by Christians, and I see them as a dilution of the message of the story of Christ.

    I do like Christmas well enough as a time for reflection and to appreciate friends and family.

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