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Do You Still Celebrate Holidays?


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I'm just curious as to how many of us still celebrate "Christian" Holidays in a more secular manner. Do you skip church and just have fun with your kids doing egg hunts? Do you take a pass on Christmas or just gather with family for that purpose alone? Do you celebrate it's more pagan aspects? Do you boycott it altogether?

 

Since leaving xtianity I still end up doing a lot of the Holidays, but never with the religious purpose in my mind. I'd actually like to transition to doing more pagan centered traditions. I find celebrating the actual seasons to feel a bit more real to me than *Yay God!*.

 

So, how do you (or do you) handle Holidays?

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Jól (Yule), Halloween and the period between the spring equinox and Easter are all pretty busy at my house.

 

Jól: Bake and cook mass quantities of food, then invite friends and family over for a huge buffet. With homemade mead. We follow this with a Christmas Eve dinner at my parents' house and a Christmas Day dinner at home for just ourselves.

 

Halloween: Purchase about five times as much candy as anyone else in the neighbourhood, then give out double, triple or even quadruple servings to all comers (adults and non-costumed visitors inclusive). Usually, whoever's watching the door is also in costume.

 

Spring: As soon as Cadbury Mini-Eggs appear in the stores we buy the biggest available bag and start consuming them, repeating as necessary. (This year we've gone through nearly five pounds of 'em. And this represents a net decline in chocolate consumption for the household. :twitch:) Occasionally we have a nice meal on Easter Sunday; tomorrow we're having turkey.

 

Occasionally we use Thanksgiving as an excuse for another big meal in the style of the Christmas Day one.

 

Yep, with us it's all about the food.

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So, how do you (or do you) handle Holidays?

 

Aside from the days off one gets in Germany whether she's a jebus cultist or not...

 

...we regularly celebrate Yuletide with our "free shaman" friend, in a kind of ecumenical pagan ritual - sounds funny to ask "Eris and Loki" in the same sentence to please have fun somewhere else and not disturb us ;)

And we are planning on... err, wait, I'm planning that, though I don't think Islington will object much... making it a tradition to drop in at the Externsteine wild heathen party every Beltane (May 1st). :fdevil:

Other holidays me mostly celebrate when we want to. No rigid schedule here to adhere to or else.

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I grew up in a culturally xian, and yet secular home, but family was all important. This will be the first year, of Easter, without the extended fmaily, no one signed up to have it, YAY! The DH and the kids are going to church, then we are doing a barbeque in a local park.

 

The rest, lets start with Halloween. I love Halloween, I always have, and it is the fave of my DH, and the kids. When we were fundie, we STILL did halloween, it's just kind of our thing. Then the DH was a professional artist until a layoff about 2 years ago, and creativity runs rampant in this house, so, halloween jsut appeals to that side. The coustumes, the decoratinos, just... all of it. Plus, there's no family stuff, my family engulfs holidays, and although not particualrly religious, the OC crap gets on my last nerve.

 

Thanksgiving is ALL about the food. It's another with no family. Now, my family does Thanksgiving HUGE, but after I got married we weren't there for the first one, because we were married Nov 22, and were still on our honeymoon. After that, for a few years, I said I was doing that holiday with my in-laws to my family, and we did. My family has never gotten over this BTW. :: rolls eyes :: Thanksgiving I spend mostly cooking nowdays. My kids are oddly traditionalists, and now, want to stay home, what were things I jsut did, are now things they insist on or it's not just Thanksgiving. No football in our home, but definately the Macy's parade. Well you get the idea, but its not really very religious.

 

Christmas, I love Christmas, I always have, but it was never a religious thing for me, ever, so I don't have that hang up. It's a seasonal thing to me, and even as a Christian it was. All the Christians getting their panties in a twist about the heathens stealing the holiday was weird to me when I was a xian cuz, it's not a xian holiday and I knew that. All the non-christians who get upset about it, I understand, but, I just try to avoid. For a while having to spend the whole day on the freeway was a drag. Both families wanted to see the kids on xmas. Now, my in-laws decided to do the holiday on xmas eve, or sometimes the day after, so, I can just go to my family no xmas day. This year though, none of my DH's brothers or sisters were going to be in town, so, his mother jsut came with us to my brothers, she had a decent time, and my family loves to add on, and hates to have anyone not show, so it was cool. As much as I complain sometimes the kids love the big houses all decorated that time of year. I know also have a smaller celebration time with my Erus as well. She celebrates Saturnalia.

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Easter: It's all about the candy, and we do an annual egghunt with friends at the park. We technically "do" the easter bunny thing, but I'm trying to let him know it's mom and dad at the same time. He's only three, so it doesn't matter at this point. But I plan on letting him know it's definitely all very much "pretend" as soon as that natural little kid skepticism sets in.

 

Christmas: All about food, toys, candy, and seeing family. I generally hate consumerism, but when it's a little kid and toys, I like it. He loves toys. :)

 

Halloween: always been me and my husband's favorite holiday. Halloween just rocks on every level. It's got it all.

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I grew up with the Christian holidays but done in a secular manner so I continue to celebrate in that way now. Easter is always just some chocolate eggs and sometimes visiting family for dinner...when we were kids we'd have easter egg hunts too. Christmas...we put up a Christmas tree, give presents, eat a roast dinner and visit family.

 

That's about it for us...don't really do anything for halloween, maybe just eat some sweets.

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I still love the holidays.

 

Christmas is awesome because it's friends & family & wicked food & presents and happy feelings & lights & trees & pretty music & good smells. And I get excited about the "rebirth of the sun," which is a little paganish I guess.

 

Easter's not such a big deal because I'm 22, living away from home, so I don't get Mom-food on this day anymore. However, I still like it because it signifies Spring to me. Rebirth is another theme here, yay, it's sunnier and the snow is almost gone and spring is here once again. And I like bunnies. And chocolate. I want a Creme Egg dammit. And an easter bunny with Rice Krispies, they're my favourite. I always loved the egg hunt. Mom and Dad did that for me right up until I graduated high school. haha.

 

I don't even know if Thanksgiving is supposed to be religious or not. It isn't so much around here. In Canada, Thanksgiving is in October. To me it's kind of like a celebration of Fall. That's my favourite season. It's about being thankful for all we have, and for a good harvest.

 

And Halloween just absolutely rocks my socks, and always have. I don't even eat much candy, but I used to love trick or treating. Love getting dressed up! It's so fun!

 

So yay holidays. They don't need to be religious at all. I see them as more celebration of different seasons. I kinda like the pagan Wheel of the Year thing...

 

I'm really rambly...

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I'm just curious as to how many of us still celebrate "Christian" Holidays in a more secular manner. Do you skip church and just have fun with your kids doing egg hunts? Do you take a pass on Christmas or just gather with family for that purpose alone? Do you celebrate it's more pagan aspects? Do you boycott it altogether?

 

Since leaving xtianity I still end up doing a lot of the Holidays, but never with the religious purpose in my mind. I'd actually like to transition to doing more pagan centered traditions. I find celebrating the actual seasons to feel a bit more real to me than *Yay God!*.

 

So, how do you (or do you) handle Holidays?

 

My father was a Lutheran Minister, so there was a lot going on around Christmas and Easter. As a child, we'd do Christmas devotions each night, light the advent candles, and then go to services (usually the family only went on Christmas eve). And similar activities around Easter.

 

But, interestingly, we still did the secular activities (christmas trees, presents, easter egg hunts, etc.)

 

So it was a pretty easy transition to make for my wife (also christian at that time, also atheist now...) and I - we just do the secular activities. Initially after we were married, we would get invitations to go to services around the holidays with others in the families, but we politely declined them, and in the past couple of years they've stopped.

 

I enjoy the holiday season too much to not do it...

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Yule - as mammoth as my surviving family can provide. so Hell, yeah.

 

Easter - this year I was flying back from Italy, but I've studiously ignored Easter for most of my adult life... I commonly worship at the local Garden centres or B&Q (weather permitting... this is England after all)

 

Others - there are others?

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Yule and Ostara (aka Easter) I suppose are the ones I put the most effort into, but only because I'm married, now. My dear wife is all about the holidays, and thankfully hasn't lost her happy spirit. Me, I could give a fuck less about them, but I know it's natural and healthy and human to have holidays, so I try to enjoy myself when party-time rolls around.

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Easter for me has always been a Polish Food Festival, the one time a year that my aunts take the time to prepare by hand foods taught to them by their grandmother. If you took away that aspect, I don't think I'd want to acknowledge the day at all.

 

Christmas is all about Santa. Without Santa, there is no holiday.

 

I do miss when I was married to a Cultural Jew. Loved the Passover meal and celebrating "mini-XMas" I mean Chanakuh.

 

On the plus side, for custody purposes, I get my son for all Christian holidays, and she gets him on the Jewish ones. So much better than to fight over who gets him for which holiday. Keep that discussion for the official State holidays.

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I do the whole "skip church" thing and hang out with my family.

For easter, my little sisters do the whole egg thing with my nephew. I think it's cute. Sometimes I'll dip a hard-boiled egg into some dye-filled water. I think it's kinda funny how my egg always turns out looking like crap. But that's all I do for easter.

As for christmas, I only "celebrate" it to be with family. My great grandma is about 85 years old, and I want to hang out with her a lot before she kicks the bucket. I also see a lot of people treating me with half-respect on my dad's side of the family who would otherwise treat me like a godless heathen (sometimes I laugh at that because in christian terms, it's what I am).

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