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What would Christmas mean to you if you didn t have your faith?

(77 Posts)
sunnyspot Tue 17-Dec-13 17:43:29

Just that really.
I was pondering what I love most about Christmas.
Having fun talking, sharing meals and playing games with family and friends of course, but the highlight is always our candlelit carol service and my faith in God.
Take any of those away and I really don t think I would enjoy it at all..

msmiggins Tue 17-Dec-13 18:09:02

I am an athiest and christmas means a great deal to me. The return of the sun, light, hope, renewal, the joy and love of our family.
I don't need god or jesus to celabrate a festival that has been with us for many thousands of years before the invention of christianity.

mashyup Tue 17-Dec-13 18:16:55

I'm an atheist, Christmas means light in the winter and the nativity is a story about hope. Family, friends, peace, love, compassion.

sunnyspot Tue 17-Dec-13 18:57:38

That's lovely mashyup, I agree.
I have spoken to so many people recently who say they hate it all because they have to buy so much or their children will be disappointed, and they've got family coming who they don't get on with etc etc.
It all seems so sad as that is not what Christmas should be about.

msmiggins Tue 17-Dec-13 19:15:04

sunnyspot- I know a few religious people who have lots of family squabbles. I don't think being religious makes things any easier in terms of getting on with your family.

WhispersOfWickedness Tue 17-Dec-13 19:28:10

I'm an atheist. One of my favourite parts is the sparkly lights and decorations up in what would otherwise be a very dark depressing time of year.
I love the sense of family and community you get, there is excitement in the air and we get to be with family and celebrate a winter festival smile

msmiggins Tue 17-Dec-13 19:31:31

And Santa of course- christmas is a very magical time for many of us.

technodad Tue 17-Dec-13 20:25:15

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msmiggins Tue 17-Dec-13 20:31:44

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DioneTheDiabolist Tue 17-Dec-13 20:38:20

When I was an atheist, Christmas meant twinkling lights in the dark winter and sharing food/time with my friends and family.

This hadn't changed since I became a believer. The only real difference for me is I now cry my way through Christmas Eve mass every year.fblush.

msmiggins Tue 17-Dec-13 20:42:15

Dione drink is a terrible thing isn't it. grin

BertieBowtiesAreCool Tue 17-Dec-13 20:45:13

That's unfair. The OP clearly finds a lot of solace in her faith. I think it's nice.

To me it's about tradition, family, celebration. I am not religious but I enjoy singing Christmas songs even if they have a religious base because of the tradition. I am able to enjoy the roots of the story even though I do not follow that particular religion.

msmiggins Tue 17-Dec-13 20:50:36

I thought it was quite funny.
THe OP can do as she likes. Implicit in her post though is that christmas must be pretty meaningless for those of us lost souls who don't do jesus.

She may not be able to enjoy christmas stuck only with the love and company of her family sharing a meal etc,- but many of us can have a ball.

Gunznroses Tue 17-Dec-13 20:51:37

If you are a christian it is more of a religious festival which you celebrate with family and friends.

The OP is pondering if she didn't have her faith what would xmas mean to her, she feels it would be rather empty and is asking others with faith how they would feel.
technodad is out of order to call her life 'sick', OP is not criticizing anyone without faith who celebrates xmas, but her faith has always been at the centre of hers, carol services etc. msmiggins why don't you just admit you hate xtians period because i can't see anything sanctimonious in the OP, its just christianity in itself that raises your hackles?

Gunznroses Tue 17-Dec-13 20:58:24

msmiggins i think you need to read the OP title again because she said 'what would it mean to you if you didn't have faith', not if you don't have faith, BIG difference! You've given it your own ugly twist with that huge axe your holding.

msmiggins Tue 17-Dec-13 21:02:29

But the OP thinks she wouldn't enjoy christmas at all without god- others are pointing out that there is so much more too christmas that even christians use as a way of celebrating.
Christmas can be religious for some, it's also a very important secular festival heavily laden with pagan symbology.
Even most christians celebrate christmas in a very pagan and secular way along with their christian bias, and they don't deny that just bcause they have to do the manger thing.

I can't see how easy it must be to contemplate jesus while helping kids hang up their stocking awaiting the clatter of cloven hooves on the roof.

niminypiminy Tue 17-Dec-13 21:07:27

If I didn't have my faith it would mean what it did for all the years I was an atheist. It would mean decorations, and presents, and spending time with family (with all its lovely and all its horrible bits) and time off work and lots of special telly, and a marker in the year and the beginning of real winter weather, and traditions and carols and sparkly lights. All of that is fine, and some of it is wonderful.

But having faith makes it more special. Now it is about the coming of Jesus into all our lives, about the joy and hope that the Christmas services celebrate, about the special waiting and preparing time of advent, and the journey to Easter.

So it's not that I didn't love Christmas before I was a Christian -- I certainly did. But I love it more now.

LittleBabyPigsus Tue 17-Dec-13 21:07:32

My parents are not religious, I am a Christian. We all enjoy Christmas the same amount I think, just in different ways.

sunnyspot Tue 17-Dec-13 21:08:25

I really didn t intend this thread to become yet another atheist v christian thread.( And thank you mashyup and WoW for an atheist view without the digs)
It was really aimed at believers, wondering what difference their faith makes to them at Christmas.
td - Of course I didn t mean spending time with my family etc have no value without God, and I think you know that. I meant that my faith - as well as my family/friends- makes this time of year extra special FOR ME. I know it doesn t for you, but that wasn t the point of the thread.
Happy Christmas to you all.

msmiggins Tue 17-Dec-13 21:09:57

Sunnyspot that's not very clear from your original post:

"carol service and my faith in God.
Take any of those away and I really don t think I would enjoy it at all"

Gunznroses Tue 17-Dec-13 21:12:29

msmiggins Others are pointing out how they feel about xmas and the things they enjoy which is valid, that however does not invalidate how OP personally would feel if she lost her faith. You don't seem to understand the difference and are trying to mock/humiliate the OP because she mentioned her faith which you don't like.

This really is a very light hearted thread based on personal musings that you're trying to use to stir up a into a fight by insinuating things OP never said. Merry xmas!

sunnyspot Tue 17-Dec-13 21:13:43

Thank you BertieBowties ( love the name!) and Gunzroses for understanding what I meant.

technodad Tue 17-Dec-13 21:31:04

I wasn't intending to (and still don't intend to) make this a christian vs atheist thread either, don't get me wrong.

It is just a very strange thread which is worded in a way that implys that life is not worth living without your faith, which I find really odd. Not because I am not religious, but because I don't think I could ever imagine writing such a negative thing about spending a lovely day with my family.

I think if you had said "Take any of those away and I think it would lose it's edge as my favourite day of the year", then I would have moved on to the next thread without posting. But to say "Take any of those away and I really don t think I would enjoy it at all." suggests something I find a bit unsettling. You have said that you wouldn't enjoy spending a day with your friends and family eating a meal at all, which is strange.

Gunznroses Tue 17-Dec-13 21:42:10

technodad you are trying to think for the OP! Maybe she spends all yr eating and dining with her family and celebrating different ocassions with them so doing it on xmas day is not unpleasant but not particularly special either, her focus on xmas day is the birth of Christ and the religious festivities that goes with it, so if you took that away its not really xmas is it? Its just another day with the family.

sunnyspot Tue 17-Dec-13 21:47:58

td -I'll give one last shot at explaining then I'm going to lie down in a darkened room!!!!
I really don t think I ( I, as in me personally, not speaking for anybody else ) would enjoy Christmas if I didn t have my family,friends and faith around me. And the highlight of my Christmas is being with these friends and family at the carol service.
I really don t know how else to say it.

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