I don't have much against Christmas, and enjoy most of it, but someone on Atheist Nexis posted this article and I think it's Interesting and amusing. I've always been a lover of truth and didn't feel comfortable telling kids the Santa story as if it was true. It felt like lying to them.
It also helps them develop their imaginations and learn to distinguish truth from reality. St Nicholaus was a real person from whom the myth was born. I've only ever met one person who claims that the truth about santa totally killed him inside, but if you met him you would see that's not out of the ordinary for him, but others I know that did the santa thing growing up were never bothered by it. It was just a fun thing they did. I've met some people who do the Santa thing and some who don't, so in a way it's an experience to reflect on when teaching them about god. I'm Atheist, I don't believe in god but I know others do. So I teach my kids to respect others beliefs. I tell them everyone believes differently and the difference between belief and fact.
Although I always did find it humurous that it has been deemed socially acceptable to say Santa doesn't exist but how dare you tell a believer that their god doesn't. There's about the same amount of proof for both the magical version of santa and god.
I temporarily forgot about the "If you're naughty, Santa won't come" part of it. That's the part that bothers me the most. I've never told anyone that. I think it's a poor way to get kids to be good.
Bah, humbug much? :P
Haha. I don't understand the need to divorce yourself from a cultural tradition in favor of science? I can pretty much guarantee that atheist homeboy will be celebrating New Years this year, drinking champagne and maybe even kissing a special someone at midnight. New Year's is also an unnecessary holiday he was "indoctrinated" into as a child. Doesn't mean it isn't fun and worthwhile.
As I'm sure many of us here are aware, many Christmas symbols and traditions are actually pagan in origin. That didn't stop Christians from adapting it to their own religion, and the fact that it's Christian hasn't stopped it from evolving into a largely secular holiday. About 90% of Christmas celebration is non-Christian. And that includes people taking special time to think more about others than themselves, give gifts, maybe even donate to the food bank or sponsor a less fortunate family's celebration. Christmas is the holiday in our culture that most exemplifies the spirit of giving and caring. Not to mention all the yummy food and fun times. It seems like an awful shame to waste such a positive holiday just because Christians also use it as a time to remember some of the more profound aspects of their religion and celebrate their mythology.
As for Santa, that's really a whole separate issue to me. As adults we celebrate Christmas just fine without doing the whole Santa thing, so I see that as pretty optional to the whole experience. Personally, I grew up believing in Santa and it was pretty fun and exciting. The difference between Santa and religion is that when your kids figure it out, you tell them they're right and the jig is up. But, I totally get the argument for not wanting to flat out lie to your kids too. Agree that the naughty and nice fear tactics can go (as handy as they may be for parents :P).
Logic and facts are important, but they're not the only thing that's important. You don't need to pit them against stories and imagination. It's a well-developed imagination that makes learning about the stars fun - the ability to imagine what space is like even though you'll probably never go there. It's people with great imaginations that bring us rich escapist worlds like in Harry Potter or Star Wars. Imagination makes kids believe they can be anything when they grow up - the cold, hard facts of life kill that as we get older. Obviously you can not do the Santa thing without squelching all their creativity, but this idea that you do science instead of Christmas is kinda silly to me. There's a place for both...an important place imho, and balance is important.
All that being said (WOW I am long winded!), I know people who just aren't into Christmas (obviously not me hahaha) and get that it isn't for everyone. That's cool. I just think if you love Christmas, you don't need to feel compelled to drop it just because you no longer believe in The Bearded Fellow in the Sky.
(Spud, this is obviously a response to the blog post, not your comments on it...I generally agree with you about the Santa thing hehe)
I am not an atheist. But I also no longer celebrate Christmas. Even as a child I new that the concept of a fat man in red taking a sleigh around the world in one night was just a load of bull funky. Thankfully my father taught me the true pagan origins of all the holiday traditions, such as the tree and the mistletoe and all else. Being I am not a pagan, I see no reason to celebrate pagan traditions. I would not and could not in good conscious tell a child that Santa Claus exists in a way that is represented by the world today. I take a lot of heat from people because I do not celebrate these holidays. But I do not give heat to those that do. And when they say it is the most wonderful time of the year, I almost choke. It is the time of year when people are at their greediest and most hurried and rude. Just go shopping on Black Friday.I did once. I was pushed, shoved, hit, people taking things out of others carts. Never again.
haha fair enough! I don't see an particular problem with not celebrating Christmas if it's not your thing. It's true shoppers get mean around Christmas!
Idaho Spud- Thank You so very much for posting this. I LOVED reading about divorcing Christmas, it was well said and almost made me cry a little. Cause divorce is kinda sad, even when it is just necessary and the right thing to do. I related so well to this article and needed to connect with something today:) I have a similar debackle with Christmas. If it weren't for the kids still at home, I would be divorcing it as well, for the same reasons. We have changed Christmas quite a bit to suit our new non-religious views, but if it were just my vote, it would be gone altogether. Thanks again.