I'm an atheist! Here is a video that shows the reasons I celebrate!
I Still Can't Celebrate Xmas. Can You? Christians vs Atheists
Nambo, I know lots of adults who love Christmas. In my family, growing up non jw, I remember my parents being happiest at Christmas time. We did the spiritual/santa Christmas. I have fond memories of midnight mass, by candle light at the Episcopal Church.
Whether we celebrate Christmas or don't, the nice thing is we can do as we see fit, we are not forced to celebrate nor forbidden to celebrate, we can do as little or as much as we want. After 30 years as a JW, I am happy to have a choice.
I love Christmas, I always have, and it was something I wanted my children to participate in. The last time I celebrated Christmas I was 3 or 4. I remember the lights, the famly, the presents, dinner, and fun.
Now that we are no longer JW, we have slowly started celebrating the season so our children know the joy and magic of the holidays. There is a tree with lights, a simple nativity scene, and this year I plan on taking my boys to church. My husband is atheist, I am agnostic with Christian leanings, but even if I were Athiest I would still celebrate Christmas as a festival of lights.
Do what feels comfortable for you! Make the holidays special, something to look forward to in the darkness of Winter.
Interesting thought Loz, regarding the WT banning holidays as a way to dilute family bonds. For me, that's what Christmas is. It's a family tradition, a time we all gather to spend time together.
My family is pretty much all atheist, but we enjoy the celebration for other reasons. The lights are beautiful, people are generous and giving. It's great. Something really magical seems to happen. A few years ago my grandfather passed away just before xmas, the day before the birth of one of my grandchildren. I was exhausted emotionally. Suddenly my doorbell rang. I went to answer and heard singing. I opened the door to a group of young people, singing for joy of the season on my doorstep. It was so beautiful it made me cry.
Perhaps it's simply that the whole world shuts down and we all have a day free from work - otherwise it's next to impossible to organize work schedules to get us all together for a meal on the same day.
A Christmas song for the not so sure about Christmas. Even though it's a questioning song, it is still very magical.
I've only just discovered this interesting thread.
Someone suggested that Jesus doesn't get much of a look-in here in the UK at Christmas!
Nonsense! Even people who don't go to church still consider themselves nominally Christian...75% at the time of the last census. Schools have nativity plays and carol services, and Nambo, yes, there are a good number of Moslems and Hindus, and inter-faith groups that join with each other's festivals. Divali, for instance, is celebrated along the same streets locally that host Christian processions, and many of the same people take part in both.
There were some uncomfortable undertones in places in this thread, a thread I had missed until someone pointed it out to me privately. I would hope that everyone on JWN would extend sensitivity to the fact that every day new folk find This site as they emerge, probably shell-shocked, as so many of us were, after leaving the Borg.
Whether we celebrate Yule, or the birth of the Christ child, surely we can make room for Father Christmas alongside St Nicholas, nativity scenes and holly, Christmas carols and the manger alongside the mince pies and whatever midwinter celebratory festivities our joyfully mixed cultures and changing populations can offer?
Yesterday, in company with family, I visited some reindeer and some people of the Sami, from the far north, whose culture has them following the reindeer across northernmost Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway. We all sat in a circular structure that I would call a yurt as in Mongolian, except that these were Sami and their circular, portable dwelling has another name that I have forgotten. We heard tales of their midwinter celebrations and observances, which mixed their very ancient and so-called pagan traditions with Christianity. And we sipped birch tea. nice! if you get the chance, try it! I have a wonderful photo of the interior of that non-yurt, and if I can only work out how to get it from iPhone to computer I'll post it!
The way I see it is this. The WT tries very hard to keep its control by depriving its followers of anything joyful, and inventing constrictive rule after constrictive rule. The best way to shake off thoroughly all traces of their influence is to bear with other people's beliefs or non-beliefs and extend tolerance towards everyone. Let's enjoy all the traditions, and what better time to make sure everyone is happy?