I never stopped loving Christmas, though. This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. Every household celebrates Christmas (if at all) differently, so it’s important to note that, although religion might be the foundation of the holiday, Jesus is not always the reason for the season. 93 percent of people will do that, so secularizing the holiday has been good for business. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. “I know there are different ways to celebrate Christmas that are all acceptable and not mainstream. So, for us, Christmas is neither neutral nor secular. Melanie Romero is a creative writer and college student based in Orange County, California. Since so many people have time off during these holidays, it's a good excuse to visit and spend time with family. There’s no rulebook that makes cookie-frosting or movie-watching in pajamas religious, so take new leaps into secular Christmas traditions that wouldn’t be if it weren’t for the pandemic in place. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. The Problem with Christmas as a Religious Holiday . The Christmas holiday is a festive time, full of joy and celebration for Christians around the world, but for the secular population, it’s an awkward period during the year. And to reduce Christian feast days like Christmas to the same level as secular holidays is an injustice to Christ the King. But secular Christmas is just religious Christmas with cuter clothes and better PR. Although there are lots of religious decorations out there, you can also find plenty of secular decorations. Christmas was originally a pagan holiday stolen by Christians to get the pagans to convert. Secular Advent Calendar Ideas. You don’t necessarily have to label the Christmas tree as religious; find creative ways to decorate your evergreen to your own style or even to your own culture and put it on display. One of the long-standing traditions of Christmas has been to wrap and exchange gifts, and that custom doesn’t need to be forgotten when celebrating a secular Christmas. But here in America, where 76% of the country is Christian, non-Christians have adopted the most secular elements of Christmas, like Santa, Christmas trees, snowmen, stockings, etc. How’s that for a secular Christmas meal? Once again, preparing food holds no religious denomination; celebrating this time of year with homemade meals is a secular activity. Anyone can cook and feast! Many historians believe Christmas tree traditions were adapted by Christians to convert pagans. So, jump on a FaceTime call with or pen a handwritten letter to a loved one and describe how the distance is temporary and that you can’t wait to see them when times are safer! I disagree. Although Christmas has largely been observed as a Christian religious holiday, that has changed dramatically over the years. One may not get to sit down at the dinner table, go ice skating, or wander around a holiday market because of the restrictions in place, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make room for new household traditions. You can read more about the Christmas Tree as a secular icon here. We don’t begrudge other’s secular celebration of the season. When she’s not overworking herself to meet a deadline, she can be found drinking an iced chai at her local organic café, making sufganiyot from scratch, or collecting paperbacks. My mother is Catholic, though she didn’t practice for most of my childhood. But, before they were attached to the religious holiday, it was traditional in Germany to give a home to an evergreen during the Christmas season. Helps integrate into Irish life. Information for migrants Ireland. Should Atheists Ignore Christmas or Celebrate It? From the earliest centuries, Christmas was not merely a private affair for homes and parishes. When Congress declared Christmas a National Holiday, in 1870, Christmas ceased being a strictly religious observance and became a secular holiday. Even 80 percent of non-Christians engage in giving gifts at Christmas or … If you're looking for an excuse to have a party, this is as as good as any. There's nothing at all religious or Christian about it, so there are lots of ways atheists and non-Christians can celebrate it without any references to traditional Christian activities. One may not get to sit down at the dinner table, go ice skating, or wander around a holiday market because of the restrictions in place, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make room for new household traditions. Think roast turkey, chocolate yule logs, gingerbread, hot chocolate, mince pies, mulled wine, and fruitcake! This would drive most people batty and it's not the sort of Christmas that anyone celebrates. One of the most common myths is that ALL Christmas songs, carols or hymns are in the public domainand don’t require licensing or permission. "But those who have a good knowledge of history know that it’s the Christians who stole Christmas from the pagans, and it’s a celebration that people have had around the winter solstice, really. It's sometimes easier to get people to accept an ideology being imposed on them if they are told that it's "tradition" and the way things used to be rather than the truth: that it's a just a simulacrum of reality based upon an ideological preference for certain power structures. Well-wishing has no religious ties. 20 great secular Christmas songs | Music | herald-review.com Secular decoration options are abundant precisely because there are significant non-religious aspects to Christmas. Why You Don't Have to Be Religious to Celebrate Christmas. “Xmas” is not a dirty word. I go around collecting all the books we have in the house with a Christmas theme and put them in a basket for the kids to choose when this comes up on the Advent calendar. The evergreen boughs reminded them that the sun would return and would make everything green again. Christmas in the Philippines has outgrown its religious roots and has become so embedded in Filipino culture that it is as much a national holiday as it is a religious one. Does the greeting “Happy Holidays” have its roots in secularism? There’s nothing that puts a smile on our face like a stuffed-to-the-brim stocking with little trinkets or a neatly wrapped gift box housing a wishlist favourite we’ve had our eye on. It’s important to note how food can bridge the distance between two cultures: Jewish people, who celebrate Hanukkah, oftentimes go to Chinese eateries, since it’s the only type of establishment conveniently open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! The least religious aspect of Christmas is probably the one which involves the most time, effort, and money: shopping. Now, increasingly, I am also seeing a fourth attitude: Christianity is intolerant. Austin Cline, a former regional director for the Council for Secular Humanism, writes and lectures extensively about atheism and agnosticism. Christmas is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, which, in Western Christian Churches, is held annually on 25 December.For centuries, it has been the subject of several reformations, both religious and secular. For many, this admittedly strange — almost paradoxical — relationship between the sacred and secular presents a serious dilemma around the holidays. Some people do celebrate Christmas … The irony is that secular Christmas was supposed to be a solution for a … "My secular family celebrates Christmas by decorating our house & tree with lights, ornaments, Santa's and snowmen. Christmas is a cultural rather than a religious holiday. Subject: Re:secular Christmas is an oxymoron Anonymous I have some Christian friends who don't believe in celebrating the birth of Jesus on December 25 because the date is incorrect and the celebration is too pagan.