I say, why not? We could call it xmas. It could be a secular holiday for spending time with family and exchanging gifts.

The Christians stole the winter festival from the pegans. Now it's our turn to steal it back!

Further discussion: If you already celebrate the winter festival, what symbols/themes do you feel are apropreate for a secular xmas?

- Lights?
- A pine tree (the "Christmas tree")?
- Stars?
- Santa?
- Rudolf?
- Stockings?

Also, what Christmas movies would you watch during a secular xmas? The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorites.

What other traditions do you have?

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The celebration of the Solstice and the return of the sun was going on long before Yeshua bar Yoshev allegedly walked the "holy land". Like so many other of the xtian religious holidays the date was co-opted from a previous pagan holiday - in the case of xmas, the birthday of Mithra and the Saturnalia celebration.
The truth is that the American Xmas is a uniquely American construct, from the jolly, fat quasi-saint to the crass commercialization and from a largely forgotten holiday (the earliest US Congress was in session on Xmas day) to the premier holiday of the year. All along the way making up traditions as we go - red nose reindeer, hidden toy manufacturing plants, frosty snowmen even Bill Reilly's annual "war on Xmas" and the creche fights are becoming a bit of a tradition.
The bottom line is we all treat it in our own way - as it should be.
Fuck it! I'm stealing Kwanza!
I've been asked this many times before by Xians: "So if you're an atheist why do you celebrate Christmes?" Ugh, when will Christians realize they don't "own" the holiday. It started out as a pagan solstice celebration WAAAAAY before christianity came onto the scene!
Sorry: rant over, I promise:)

I for one celebrate Xmas. It's a great way to spend time with family and my friends, plus no one expects you to be at work. Yay!

I agree with Sarah too though, Halloween is definitely my favorite holiday :)
Yep, it was a holiday long before anybody ever dreamed up the "Christmas story."

I celebrate the winter solstice, too.

But, Halloween is my favorite holiday!
Of course we can celebrate Christmas, it's just fun! :D
You mean Paganmas. Tree, wreaths etc.. c'mon, it's pagan.
And who cares, atheists are better off calling it holidays. No work.
I'm a light fiend. I have a safety hazard every year that other people call a christmas tree. I have some where near 4,000 LED lights with snow flakes & beads and bizarre pine cone alien-animal-people my 5 kids have made over the years. We give presents & eat really unhealthy food. I just came across the festival of "Burning of the Clocks" on wiki..sounds so cool. Whatever. It's a party. Give me a holiday about The Celestial Tea Pot or IPU or FSM and I'll celebrate it. Especially if it calls for fun and my kids having a good time.
Celestial tea pot day would be rockin. Lots of presents and tea, of course.
The only thing I really hate about the "holiday season" is working retail. Over 7 years and counting! I enjoy spending time with the relatives, but I despise listening to them rattle on about wanting me to go to church and repent my "Atheist" sins. Every year is like that but I ignore them and celebrate the solstice and new year.
I don't care much for Christmas. I celebrate Festivus.
Yes, I'm an atheist and I celebrate Christmas. Every season I drag a 12' Christmas tree into the large room over my garage and my family & I deck it with glittery (secular) baubles. We bake so many cakes and cookies and toss down so much eggnog (with rum, of course) that it's truly a Christmas miracle that I don't weigh 300 lbs on January 1. Lights? absolutely! Stars? Yes! Santa? yes, but my kids understand he's a metaphor for the Christmas spirit. Rudolph? maybe. Stockings? My wife has some hot fishnets that she puts on after the kids go to bed on Christmas eve.

Being an atheist means you don't believe in god; it doesn't mean you don't believe in having fun.
That I agree. The big question is: Do you go to a mass on Christmas?




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