Thanksgiving is past, and, on December first, I always hang our "Advent Calendar" on the wall in the family room near the fireplace. The calendar is fringed burlap with a large, green felt tree in the middle. There are 24 red buttons sewn on the tree.
This was a handmade gift from a dear friend many years ago before I even had children, and my children are now ages 22 and 28.
Each day from December 1st through December 24th, a colorful felt ornaments is taken from a pocket on the calendar, and that ornament is hung on one of the red buttons on the felt tree. There are a snowflake, a drum, a bugle, a holly leaf, a wreath, a snowman, a candy cane, Santa, a reindeer, and so on.
Pocket number 24 always contains "baby Jesus" in half a walnut shell.
I'm fine with most of the colorful and whimsical symbols of the make-believe and romance associated with the season, but will admit that I feel somehow uncomfortable about "baby Jesus".
Upon analysis, I think my discomfort is because it seems fine for adults to enjoy "Let's pretend" with children and even with each other in connection with holidays, but Christians separate the myth of Jesus from all the rest, and deny that the "Jesus story" is as much a fable as that of he elves, the North Pole, Frosty, and Rudolph.
So...I wondered how other atheists handle the Christmas season, in big ways and in little ways.
I'm particularly curious about those of you who have young children. Do you engage in any seasonal make believe with them? Do you introduce them to any of the cultural symbols of the season? If so, do you avoid the manger and wise men and star of Bethlehem?
I have a dreadful time finding cards for friends in Australia and New Zealand...or even here in Southern California.
Snow (or even a hard frost) here would ruin our avocados, which are about the only things I can afford to give as gifts these days. We have a huge fuerte' tree that's as old and raggedy as I am, but everyone says the 'cados have more flavor than store-bought ones.
Wish I could send you all some!
Your wish is as good as a present, Sk8eycat, thanks!
Wow is the word!
When I was young, I read of winters like that, both real and imagined, and wish I could experience one so I could make tunnels everywhere. Thought it would be great fun!
Oh yes, it would be quiet and peaceful.
As a kid they sent me out in the snow to play, and I thought it was great fun. Hell, I damn near froze to death! Today I do not like snow, period.
Mindy, in St. Anthony Idaho we got quite a bit of snow and build snowmen, forts, and had a lot of snowball fights. One year dad helped us build an enormous snowman with a cave inside. Loved it!
In the summer we climbed trees, played by the river with frogs, snakes, and everything else we could find.
Snow is for kids. The cleaning-up-after is for parents.
It's for people with fast reflexes.
I don't do anything special for xmas, but only because I have things I want to do more with my limited time and resources. If I had the time and money, I would still enjoy a tree and thousands of tiny multi-colored twinkling lights. Plus, I would leave them on all year like my neighbor across the street from me has done the last year or so.
I don't enjoy xmas with my relatives because they make it too much about the jebus fairy-tale, which annoys and saddens me.
Lights are pretty to enjoy for as long as one likes.
I wouldn't enjoy family, either, if I had to listen to the imperative to gather more sheep into their fold.
Everything to do with Christianity, almost without exception, was plagiarised from the Ancient Egyptian beliefs.
The very word Khrst is Egyptian and it meant 'BURIED'. Anyone can check this easily without having to learn the ancient language. Just search for 'Coffin','Nakht-Ankh',west side and examine the hieroglyphs along the middle of the top row, then find them in the short explanation below.
The misconception arose when people began to refer to the deceased as 'the annointed' purely because that is how they were seen after being anointed with embalming fluids.
The interim religion prior to full blown Christianity was the Cult of Serapis which still honoured the Bull. These were the first people to be called 'Chrestiens' and that is what Hadrian wrote of the Bishops of Serapis in 79CE. What is so ironic and even laughable is that Roman Catholic priests in their ceremonies parade the Sun Monstrance around their Cathedrals. The Sun is the Ancient God of Egypt 'RA' and just below it in many of these insignia is a Bull's Head. There is even a Bull's Head on the wall of a Cathedral in Belgium. This is because the Egyptian Jesus - same name though spelled 'IOSA' and still is in Gaelic - was believed at one time to have been born in the Manger of the Constellation of Taurus the Bull.
But back to Xmas. This was a big festival in Egypt which they called UAKA. It was always at the Northern Winter Solstice and they then believed that Jesus came back to give new life to Egypt through the flooding of the Nile. This is why it is still celebrated at the end of December instead of one of the many other dates Christians have conjured up for the birth of their holy child.
I can arm everyone who wants to counter Christian abuse with ammunition which will always destroy their false religion. For starters Solomon was the Pharaoh Salim Amen III - Hebrew name for Ymn Htp III which has the same meaning. His father was Dayhut IV, but the biblical David was Dayhut III who was known as the Egyptian Napoleon.
We can prove the identity of Solomon without any doubt whatsoever. There is masses of proof not just evidence which can not be disputed as it is there in Egypt carved into solid stone for all to read.
Many others have now researched these facts and there are many books I can recommend. Please ask any questions and I shall guide you to the TRUTH.
I should add that I do believe that there is an afterlife, but it is nothing like what the religious would have us believe. In fact the fanatics are segregated and take much longer to advance spiritually. So one can say that Christianity prevents one going to Heaven. My belief is founded by certain personal experiences plus an intuition that seems to have shown me where to look to prove that the Bible is a load of tripe and even very evil.
We do need to let off steam at least once every year and this is a good reason to follow the old traditions without being sucked into the stories which were exactly the same in Ancient Egypt. The holy child was always seen as the next King of Egypt and he was spiritually conceived by the Virgin Goddess Ahst-MERI (Beloved of Isis in Greek)...Meri means 'beloved of' in Egyptian. However it was the living Queen of Egypt who then gave birth to the next resurrected Jesus.
A good seasons greetings therefore to one and all, Malcolm
I love the historical perspective on ancient celebrations. We don't celebrate the birth of a person, we celebrate the shortest day of the year and the coming growing length of days. Several years ago I went to Newgrange, Ireland, built about 3200 BC, a neolithic mound with a tunnel to a chamber deep within. On the shortest day of the year, a streak of sunlight flows down the tunnel to hit a stone. The mythology was, the father sun touched the mother stone and new life began at that moment. Conception, as seen through the eyes of people more than 5,000 years ago. They were pretty wise, don't you think?
Sorry, I misspelled, it is Newgrange