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I was telling a few of my friends about the Christmas party when one of my friends stopped me and said "You mean Holiday Party." I stared at her blankly for a moment in surprise, "No it's a Christmas party." Sure everyone is invited and more then welcome, certainly we weren’t doing anything particularly religious besides a few of the songs we sang and the ubber Christian step team performance. But we are a Christian student organization; we have a right to celebrate our faith. I mean you wouldn't tell the Pagan student alliance that they had to change Beltane celebration to a spring festival and include a few Easter traditions in it as not to offend others. That would be crazy.
Now let me make it perfectly clear that I think the whole "war on Christmas" thing is bullshit. I feel like in most situations "Happy holidays" is a much more appropriate greeting. It's what I more frequently use, or my other favorite to wish to friends "Happy Atheists get Presents Day! “I feel that public institutions should not subscribe to any one religious systems tradition and should respect the beliefs of all who work there. It is good that my chorus did songs a Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and a few completely non affiliated winter songs.
Yes cookies, strings of lights, the colors red and green, popcorn on strings, trees, and a fat guy in a red suit really are not the most Christian things but they are fun. They help create a warm and joyous atmosphere that our holiday is all about. It's about togetherness, and family, and the spirit of giving. It's really not our fault that the religion we follow happens to have had some brilliant parking people in the past.
Some of the stuff does have a reason behind it. We exchange gifts on Christmas to celebrate the day that God gave the greatest gift to us, his only son. Christmas lights have taken the place of candles lit in prayer. And Santa is a much exadurated form of St Nicholas who dropped bags of gold down poor peoples chimneys so that their daughters would have a dowry and not be sold into prostitution.
I'm not going to lie, I love Christmas. I love as a religious Holliday and even as one that is commercial. Yea some people do go totally overboard and get greedy, but as a whole I think the wide appeal of Christmas is not a bad thing. Weather you believe that Jesus is the son of God, a charismatic guy who got a lot of followers, or a rather popular fictional character; there is something that just fits about a man who said "Love thy neighbor" inspiring a holiday where people are reminded to show others that they care.
Now I'm not just talking about gifts here, I'm talking about the greeting cards where everyone gives an update or a picture showing how everyone is doing to friends and family they don't get to see often. I'm talking about the food drives and the people from the Salvation Army who stand in the cold for hours ringing a bell to help get money for the homeless. I'm talking about holding open a door for someone or smiling at a stranger. There is always something magical about this time of year for me, it’s like the world seems like a more beautiful kinder place. Something about it makes me want to look at the world as if I were a child again, as if anything could happen.
I love this Holiday, and I understand why a lot of people hate the commercialism and the religious aspects. But I love Christmas, I totally do. I love the religious stuff and the meaning, and taking time out to be with family and friends. I also love all of the bright lights and decorations. I love giving gifts to people almost more then I like to receive them. I love Christmas music. And honestly now, who doesn't like cookies?
I'm not saying everyone should feel my joy for this celebration. I'm not saying that the commercialism of the holiday hasn't gone a bit overboard. I'm just saying it's the fricken Newman organization, we are Catholics lets us have our Christmas party. We won't try to convert you, we might encourage you to sing or make crafts (greeting cards and popcorn strands in case you were wondering), but really if you just show up for five seconds to steal cookies and hot coco we are totally cool with that too.
But it is a Christmas party, and no one is forcing you to go to it. I really shouldn’t have to apologize to anyone for my faith and our traditions. I was born in 1985, I had nothing to do with the development of Christianity or the commercialisation of it. Everyone should be able to celebrate their faith be it in nothing, in humanity, or in the flying spaghetti monster to each their own. But let the Christians celebrate Christmas
A few days ago, my dad and I were watching TV and a commercial came on. I don't know what it was for, but in the commercial, a family pulls up to their grandmother's house for Christmas, and the grandma is standing on the porch. They all yell hellos out the window to their smiling grandma. Then the driver says, "I think we're done here," and they all drive away.
I despise Christmas not because it's a christian holiday but because everyone pretends to be nice and charitable and they make decide that charity is nice for once because people need the extra help around the holidays or something. It seems like the economy is dependent on the money spent on christmas presents and decorations. Everyone becomes way too excited about christmas coming and what presents they will get. It sickens me to think that so many people are so heavily influenced by material possessions. All of that money could have been spent on so many better things. I suppose some people just find comfort in being able to spend time with their families. I don't. I don't like my family at all. And when a family is divorced, christmas becomes multiplied so that all i feel is disappointment multiplied. And there's nowhere to go and hide away on christmas because everything is closed. everyone else is with their families and i'm stuck alone in a miserable place.
I am not Christian and my mother's finally coming to grips with the fact that maybe Christianity isn't the way or THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH. This year, she looked at me while I was watching TV (some show that had nothing to do with the subject) and said, "There really wasn't a baby, was there?" I looked at her for a moment, then replied, "Does it really matter?"
I don't know why I love Christmas so much. I'm Agnostic. And even when I was a Catholic, I never really cared about Jesus' birthday very much. But I love hanging lights in the trees when it's really cold outside, and I know more Christmas carols than anyone. I'm willing to bet you anything. I seriously once took an hour long car ride seeing how many Christmas carols I could remember. I didn't stop singing until I pulled into the parking lot. And I still had songs left to go.
It could be the family thing, but I see them at other holidays that I don't like half as much as Christmas. And I'm not such a huge fan of presents. I think I just like the month long anticipation. And the novelty of it all.
I remember when Christmas was magical. Everything about the season seemed soft, cozy, and happy. I remember struggling to stay awake in the car on the long drives to take my father to work, trying to see as many of the Christmas lights as I could. I never really got into the presents, though, even as a kid. My parents never had the money to buy much, and I always hated seeing my grandmother waste money on things like Barney towels. I've always hated seeing anyone waste money.
There's just no point.
I never really quite understood the point of Christmas. Scholars have done all that they can to show the lack of a link between this holiday and the birth of Christ. The holiday becomes more corporate with each passing year. So much in fact that the farse defining characteristic of Christ's birthday is outweighed by the launch dates of new video game consoles. I can't remember believing in Santa Claus. I always figured it was my parents. They made sure that we went to bed early which seemed suspicious.
As my siblings and I grew older we put our whits to work. We were determined to find out whether or not this Santa business was real or just a sham. In reality, we already knew that it was our parents but they persisted in telling us it was Santa. They played their games and we played ours. For a consecutive number of years we stayed up later and later. This in turn required our parents to stay up EVEN LATER to fulfill this illusion. I can't remember exactly when they finally gave up but I remember it being funny. So much work to uphold a tradition.
To this day we don't go to church on Christmas. It's not a religious holiday. We simply partake in the karmaic value of such a day. We put aside all of our bullshit for one day and attempt being nice and greatful for what we have all day. We enjoy the company of those around us and share whatever we have. I guess it's more of a communal celebration than anything. I do know that for the entire month of December I avoid any and all shopping centers filled with vigilante mom's on a mission to buy anything and everything in their way. What a pain in the ass that has become. I always know it's Christmas time when packages I'm sending and receiving take forever to process.