Why do non-Christians celebrate Christmas?
I am _specifically_ considering atheists, but didn't want to limit the question.
Hahaha. My dad used to say it was the Buddhists at work who were the most enthusiastic about Christmas.
We celebrate it as a cultural holiday. We're weird enough for having a Christmas Mabel instead of a tree (Mabel is a chainmail wearing shop dummy and we hang the decorations off the chain,) and not doing Santa. Ditching Christmas and moving celebrations back a few days to the Solstice would appear to be MAKING A POINT that we aren't actually trying to make. Some things are worth upsetting relatives over, (nothing is going to induce me to attend a traditional family Christmas at dh's parents' house ever again, ugh) some things aren't. My aunt has a son only a year older than my eldest, so I wanted to be careful to keep things compatible. Now that side of the family is dispersing, we may evolve differently, though we might not because Dec 25 is a public holiday and Dec 21 isn't.
Another reason is we have to celebrate something. So much effort seems to be put into making every day the same. People rake up autumn leaves because they are messy, for example. I'm sure the sameness contributes to depression. What is there to look forward to and get excited about if everything always looks the same and we even eat the same foods all year round.
Anyway, that was what I said to my son. While others are wondering about how to get the Christ back in Christmas, I'm wondering how to remove him entirely.
Yeah, I'm enjoying the challenge of creating Christmas traditions without God, Santa or snow.
Without being inflammatory, it seems to me to be a better question to ponder is why so many Christians buy into the commercial aspects of Christmas to the degree that they do. Much of what we call "celebrating Christmas" has little to do with the religious meaning of Christmas, and from discussions I have seen online there seems to a growing group of Christians who choose not to participate in the commercial celebrations of Christmas and Easter.
I actually wonder the opposite; why so many Christians feel they can only have a Godly Christmas if they toss out everything but God. If they believe God is present everywhere in their every day lives, why would he disappear at the sight of a pile of wrapping paper? Why would He not be pleased with the sight of his children enjoying the delights of their God given existence?
Of course we all do what we think is best for our family, I'm not dissing anyone because I do what I think is best for mine too! But I wonder about this one every year even though I've read a trillion threads as to why they do what they do, so I really do understand. I guess I don't see having parties and giving presents as hollow or bad in themselves. Giving presents to people you don't want to buy for and attending parties with people you don't really want to talk to any other day is certainly hollow.
My major Christmas conundrum is about Christmas carols. Should I teach them for cultural literacy? Should I not bother because we don't do God or Santa so don't go to Christmas events where people sing carols? Should I teach the ones I like so they have a bit of cultural knowledge on the topic but ignore Jingle Bells because it annoys me? Oh, what to do?