Positive Atheism Forum
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'Tis The Season
What Does X-Mas Mean?
Carey Sherrill

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Send Us Your Views Any Time Of The Year

      What is the original
      point of Christmas?

     Celebrate renewal of Sun God
     Revitalize economy in the North
     Excuse for One Kick-Ass Party!
     All of the above
     Celebrate birthday of Jesus Christ
     Other: 

(Like prayer, this form doesn't work. Llike prayer, it's just for show!)

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To:
Subject: Re: 'Tis the season...
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000 7:32 PM

I will throw this out to the list for response, as I suspect that the responses will be varied and, for the most part, insightful.

First, I would disagree that it began as a celebration of Jesus, but rather as a festival to -- (are you ready for this?) -- bolster the economy! As such, the Solstice is, to me, a purely secular festival. Now, this doesn't mean that I celebrate Christmas (or Solstice), but this has more to do with my personal quirks and tastes than it does about religion.

True, I abhor having to listen to Christian evangelism in the form of hymns broadcast over the PA at the grocery store, while on hold because "your call is important to us," and even in the rain shelters of our government's transit system. And true, each entity gets a complain from me if the music is any more hard-core than "Frosty the Snowman" or "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire." But last year I got even by purchasing a karaoke CD called "Twisted Holiday" (SoundChoice 8557 -- Karaoke Wholesale in Phoenix will ship a single CD anywhere in the U.S. for $4.00 -- 888-900-3472). This karaoke CD contains my all-time favorite, Tom Lehrer's "A Christmas Carol." I can still remember all the words from when I was a kid, when, in graphic arts class, printed the words onto a card with a picture of a cactus and sent it out to all the relatives. That was the last card I sent until a few years ago when I found the now-famous "I don't exist" Santa that has since graced our front page.
  

 
A Christmas Carol
by Tom Lehrer
(without looking)

Christmas time is here by golly
Disapproval would be folly
Deck the halls with hunks of holly
Fill the cup and don't say when

Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens
Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens
Even though the prospect sickens
Brother, here we go again

    On  Christmas  day you can't get sore
    Your fellow-man you must adore
    There's time to rob him all the more
    The other three-hundred and
             a-six a-ty a-fo-o-o-u-ur

Relations sparing no expense'll
Send some useless old utensil
Or a matching pen and pencil
Just the thing I need! How Nice!

It doesn't matter how sincere it
Is or how heart-felt the spirit
Sentiment will not endear it
What's important is -- the price

    Hark! the Herald Tribune sings
    Ad-ver-tis-ing wondrous things

    God rest ye merry merchants
    May ye make the Yule-time pay

    Angels we have heard on high
    Tell us to go out -- and Buy!

So, let your raucous sleighbells jingle
Hail our dear old friend Kris Kringle
Driving his reindeer across the sky
Don't stand underneath when they
          fly by
   

 

       

       

That's what Christmas has always meant to me!

Seriously, it doesn't take much looking to find out where I come from with the winter season and celebrations. Where are YOU coming from? Let us know how you cope or if you don't or if it's just another day or if you let it all hang out like nothing's wrong.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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From: Art Haykin
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: Re: QUESTION: 'Tis the season...
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000 8:17 PM

Except for the truly devout and pious, all nine of them, Xmas has a become a grotesque joke, a commercial imperative, and a boon for the kids. I wish people a "Merry Christmas" with about as much conviction as I put in "Have a nice day." a homily I've come to detest. It's mostly automatic, and is little more than a bromide, like "Nice weather we're havin' " or "How are you?"

This small talk is called "stroking," and we all do it. I simply do not feel conflicted, and I use expressions like "God help us" or "God only knows" or "Thank God" all the time. They're just words.

In Orange County, CA, exterior home lighting competitions are of Guiness proportions, with 1000s upon 1000s of lights being commonplace, or more is better! This, and nativity scenes that would make C.B. deMille envious. Tourist flock to witness this ego driven madness.

Like the 4th, and other observances, the original meaning is utterly lost on most, "Christians" especially. Puck said it best "What fools these mortals be."

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From: "ma pickle"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: Re: QUESTION: 'Tis the season...
Date: Friday, December 01, 2000 9:07 PM

I'm working Christmas. Can you say time and a half for working a Monday? I celebrate the Winter Solstice - and I don't consider it a secular holiday but the good old Pagan festival it is. Was hoping to have the day off but am going back to Boston the week before Christmas to visit my family, my Mom has advance cancer, will be my second trip back this fall/winter, but will get up early and greet the sun with lit candles (since a bonfire might upset the neighbors).

Ingrid

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From: "LC Whittle"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: What does it mean?
Date: Saturday, December 02, 2000 5:50 AM

Dear Carey,

Christmas is a winter break. It's a pause. You don't have to enjoy it any less if you despise the commercial trapping. If you do, simply don't participate. Don't buy anything. By all means, have a decent meal. Sit around in your pajamas and read a good book. If that's all you do for Christmas, that's fine.

No one can make you celebrate a christian holiday, a muslim holiday, a jewish holiday. But it is a holiday taken by the majority of people around us. Just take the day and make it your own, and ignore all the idiotic hoopla leading up to it. You can do that for presidential elections, you can do it for yule.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
**LC**

Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.
Ariel, from The Tempest, William Shakespeare The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
John Milton (1608-1674) [Paradise Lost]

http://home.earthlink.net/~lcandl7/page1a.htm

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From: "Larry"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: xmas
Date: Saturday, December 02, 2000 8:59 AM

Xmas is a fun time for me, even as an atheist. The religious part of it (which is really not much) I ignore and I enjoy the rest of it. How many atheists refuse to take off the religious holidays? How many refuse the xmas bonus at work? None I bet. What is not to like about the lights and color, the good food etc. Xmas does not require anyone to actually do anything of a religious nature so what is the problem?

K1zw
Larry
Qcwa

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From: "James Call"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: Re: QUESTION: 'Tis the season...
Date: Saturday, December 02, 2000 9:57 AM

Doc,

Christmas has long been one of my favorite holidays. Well, that always sort of sidled back and forth between Halloween and Xmas, but the reason was always the same--it's the parties! Generally the best parties are at Xmas. Sometimes Halloween edges out because of the costume thing and maybe especially because of the mask thing. But I think more people party more around Xmas than any other time of the year. There is more drunkenness, more singing, and more office sex. Jolly tis the season, indeed! This tradition is apparently an ancient one. This is off the tip of my head but I believe that Dec. 25 was Zeus day for the Romans, their biggest celebration of the year and occasion for a huge bacchanalian, Dionysian romp. In fact, the Christians probably arbitrarily chose that date for their big one so they wouldn't miss the party. This winter solstice event was probably an ancient one when the Romans picked it up.

I must say I have long taken a sniggering enjoyment out of the fact that many of the accouterments of Xmas have a more recent pagan origin. In fact, Celtic animism has survived probably no more apparent in our culture than in the Xmas tree, holly, and mistletoe. And mistletoe! How much office sex has that one engendered!?

The potlatch aspects of obligated gift giving are disturbing. Isn't insane that many businesses depend their economic health and viability on the useless, never-to-be-employed gifts that people by their friends as Xmas? I think if you have to buy gifts they should be restricted to your own children and to someone you are having sex with.

Where is Christ in all of this? Don't ask me.

James Call

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From: "Joanna Hannigan-Gaither"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: Re: QUESTION: 'Tis the season...
Date: Saturday, December 02, 2000 10:25 AM

As always, how delightful and inciteful you are! Bravo! I'm writing my check and shall get it in the mail this week--so I can enjoy a hard copy of your zine!

As a child, I physically suffered pains to my posterior for "spoiling the fun for others" regarding the truth about this dubious end of year holiday. Being a history buff, I did my homework and traced the celebration back to its pagan roots, and delighted in pointing this out to others.

It's never made sense to me to pile all of ones good wishes and joy into a few weeks or days in December. I celebrate being alive, enjoy and inbibe all year round. I also refuse to use the term Christmas, which means, I believe "Cristes maesse, or Christ's mass." Years ago, Andy Rooney wrote a biting editorial, which was published in TV Guide (12/7/91). His points included: "there's too much childlike faith that carried into the real world ... the sooner one gives up the idea that he/she can get something for nothing and learn to make it on his/her own, the better off he/she will be. The Santa Claus fable is why we always hope for the best instead of working to make the best happen." I agree with Andy -- don't wish -- do.

More of us need to be more verbal and unaccepting of this holiday as anything more than a reason or excuse to celebrate life in general. I'll be in Barbados from 12/20 to end of year, and while I'm very generous to those I work for and with, I don't exchange cards or gifts. And like Scrooge, I do not go around with the words Merry Christmas on my lips.

I fondly recall Tom Lehrer's poem, and add another favorite by Calvin Trillin, which points out the absurdity of the season

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From:
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: Re: Coping with Christmas --
Date: Saturday, December 02, 2000 12:51 PM

I personally don't observe any holidays but I don't see why atheists cannot "hijack" Christmas/Yule from those who hijacked it from the pagans. Instead of it being a day to celebrate religious convictions we can observe the holiday as a day of recognition of people's belief in non-existent beings or patently absurd ideas. We could keep Santa Claus as our icon/mascot (or perhaps put bigfoot in a santa hat) and come up with our own carols and stories ("The twelve days of Roswell" or "Deck the halls -- then deck Pat Robertson" -- you get the idea).

Tony Castleberry

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From: "Chad Robb"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: Re: QUESTION: 'Tis the season --
Date: Saturday, December 02, 2000 1:50 PM

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter don't give me any reason to feel excluded. I am reminded that they were originally Pagan holidays and of the things they originally stood for. Thanksgiving has nothing NOTHING to do with Pilgrims. It is a bit disgusting to see child-like Puritans and cute little Indians (now very rare -- probably became non-PC) when what it was originally about was celebrating the life of those who have lived and were alive because people would definitely be gone by next spring. Winter was no fun. Thus Yule, or Winter Solstice, or Christmas. Another celebration of life in the midst of Death toll. And Easter. When the cold is over, YAY! One of my two children lived! or My Grandfather is still alive! Thus everything is being born and blooming. Second chances and a longer gift of life.

As long as you look at it from the point of view that they are milestones of survival, they become quaint. Our life-spans no longer require a year-by-year hullabaloo. Even so, it's good to be alive.

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been standing in my place but who will never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara -- more, the atoms in the universe. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Donne, greater scientists than Newton, greater composers than Beethoven. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I that are privileged to be here, privileged with eyes to see where we are and brains to wonder why.

There is an appetite for wonder, and isn't true science well qualified to feed it?

It's often said that people 'need' something more in their lives than just the material world. There is a gap that must be filled. People need to feel a sense of purpose. Well, not a BAD purpose would be to find out what is already here, in the material world, before concluding that you need something more. How much more do you want? Just study what is, and you'll find that it already is far more uplifting than anything you could imagine needing.

You don't have to be a scientist -- you don't have to play the bunsen burner -- in order to understand enough science to overtake your imagined need and fill that fancied gap. Science needs to be released from the lab into the culture.

-- Richard Dawkins
"Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder"

Play along.

"It's not a crime to give into pleasure"
-- Frank-N-Furter
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show"

-- Chad Bryan Robb

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From: "E. Ingrid Anderson"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: Re: QUESTION: 'Tis the season...
Date: Saturday, December 02, 2000 4:57 PM

There is another way to look at the "Christmas" holiday. In many places, particularly in the northern parts of the world, it is so dark this time of the year. Having celebrations, esp. those involving lights and candles, helps alleviate depression and gives people something to look forward to in the bleak times of winter. It has probably even been life-saving at times. Focusing on family and friends instead of either religion or commercialism can make the holiday season meaningful. Or maybe do some volunteer work, helping a neighbor, visiting people in a nursing home, prison, etc. People, whether atheists, religious, or whatever really need to simplify their celebrations. The commercial frenzy is disgusting, and putting a guilt trip on people who don't buy-buy-buy by saying they're hurting the economy is ridiculous.

E. Ingrid Anderson

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From:
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: Re: QUESTION: 'Tis the season --
Date: Sunday, December 03, 2000 10:56 PM

First off, I have to say the lyrics to that song is brilliant. I think I'll have to hunt down an mp3 of that.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand -- I don't really give an sitt about Chri$tma$. Yes, I'm an atheist, and perhaps some part of me should be offended (perhaps it is), but the whole holiday thing just doesn't interest me AT ALL, whether it be participating or criticizing, so I just go on about my business and do what I have/want to do. But, this can cause conflict with family/friends, though. That's the tough part -- for some reason, whenever I tell someone I don't want ANYTHING for Chri$tma$, they get offended, and try to get me stuff anyway. <shrug>

I guess they just don't understand the idea of someone not wanting to participate in such a popular holiday.

Later,
Alexander Harris

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From: "Gijsbers V.A."
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: RE: QUESTION: 'Tis the season...
Date: Monday, December 04, 2000 1:54 AM

He! Another Tom Lehrer fan! I didn't know they even existed!

Victor

Visit me: http://www.phys.uu.nl/~gijsbers

"The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church."
     Magellan

"The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality."
     George Bernard Shaw

"To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin."
     Cardinal Bellarmine, during the trial of Galileo in 1615.

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From: "Christian Ambrose"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: Re: QUESTION: 'Tis the season...
Date: Monday, December 04, 2000 11:33 AM

I haven't celebrated Christmas since I was 10 years old. I quit believing in Santa Claus when I was about 6. The tales about him were too fantastic. My family doesn't make a big deal about holidays. My atheism is very recent but my attitude towards Christmas is still the same, just for different reasons. So, in a nutshell, Christmas will always be a day for sleeping in and maybe hanging out with family and friends. I just typically stay away from stores as it gets closer to the holidays as I don't like getting ran over. I admire the beautiful decorations as though I'm looking at works of art; I've even helped a Catholic friend look for decorations for his dorm. I enjoy the egg nog and really good fudge. Basically, I just don't actually celebrate the holidays but instead, like I said earlier, have that time for sleeping in and enjoying my loved ones.

BTW, cute song.

=====
Yours in reason,

Christian L. Ambrose

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From: "Bob Webster"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: FORUM_What_Does_X-Mas_Mean_9359
Date: Monday, December 04, 2000 7:11 AM

I love everything about X-mas that everyone else seems to hate! I enjoy the blatant commercialism and shopping for presents. It's the greatest people-watching time of the year, with so many frantic shoppers running around like acephelous chickens trying to find this or that on their list and forgetting everything about what they claim it's all for. I like to wander the malls, soaking up the atmosphere: The merchants rubbing their hands in delight, the parents trying to keep their kids in check while maxing out all of their credit, the kids going ape about presents and Santa. Must come from being a religious atheist; probably warped my mind or something.

The real fun is getting together with my family and having a purely secular get-together over dinner and presents. We seem to be closer at this time than any other. I feel it's harkening back to the true spirit of the season: Partying, celebrating the return of the sun and life, and looking forward to another year. I'm sure that, if it wasn't for the Christian hijacking of this most human of holidays, most atheists would enjoy it as much as anyone else.

Thanks,
    Robert Webster

"We've got a date with Destiny, and it looks like she's ordered the lobster."
-- The Shoveler (Mystery Men)

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From: "Bill Garrett"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: FORUM_What_Does_X-Mas_Mean_9359
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000 6:26 AM

Xmas (and I do mean Xmas; let's take the Christ out of Christmas) is still a fun time for me. I enjoy the giving and getting, and the eating, and the festive atmosphere. I've learned not to let the religious undertones bother me, and just have a good time. I may even go to church this year, as part of my child's education. I want him to know what the rest of the culture is doing, even if he decides not to accept it when he's older. We live in the deep South, so I guess during the prayer I will celebrate the feeling of being a Martian castaway on a strange planet, which is a feeling I do keep all the year. <grin>

I wouldn't join a movement to eliminate Xmas, mainly because I don't wish to be assassinated. But also because it's possible to forget the so-called origins and enjoy it for what it is today -- a big party with a little lip service to old traditions. A time when atheists and theists can enjoy the one (unacknowledged) thing we have in common -- the love of a good time.

So come on, revel with me in some mild hypocrisy. Celbrate the animistic origins of mistletoe, and Wotan, the bringer of good things and progenitor of Santa Claus, and what genius the early church showed in co-opting the biggest festival of pagan antiquity. And most of all, enjoy the giddy feeling of being lost in a cosmic fun house. But do have a merry Xmas.

Bill G

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From: "briangrace"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: FORUM_What_Does_X-Mas_Mean_9359
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000 11:05 AM

I am an atheist as well, and totally agree with you. I am a musician, and every time the holidays roll around I get to make all kinds of extra money playing stupid X-Mas gigs. It gives me a feeling of wonderous joy every time I know that these Christmas "whores" are willing to give some of their money to me. Thank god for Christmas. Hallelujah.

Brian Grace
music web page: www.mp3.com/briangrace

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From: "LC Whittle"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: An atheist's holiday
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000 6:03 AM

Cliff, concerning your question about what other atheists do for this holiday.

Check out straightdope.com and search on christmas for a good, sometimes tongue-in-cheek history of christmas.

I consider the pagan beginnings. I think people need a winter holiday. Call it a solstice break. Call it winter break. Call it hanuka (sp!), christmas, kwanza, anything you want, but it comes down to this: it's a break.

It's an excuse to decorate, to exchange gifts, to eat too much, to drink too much, to do nothing, to travel, to stay at home with a good book. Forget the maccabees, forget jesus. As a society I don't think we have enough holidays.

I celebrate christmas anyway I damn well please, and it pleases me to string colored lights and buy gifts for people I love.

Jesus is not the reason for the season. He just got co-opted because the pagan holiday Saturnalia was so popular, it threatened the early christians. So they adopted it.

As I have adopted it. It's my hedonist winter holiday.

Thank you,

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
**LC**

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
Thomas Edison

http://home.earthlink.net/~lcandl7/page1a.htm

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From: "Eric Rogers"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: What the Christmas Story really means
Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000 2:01 PM

Cliff,

This time of year we are bombarded with Christians telling us about the "true" meaning of Christmas by rehashing the birth of Jesus myth over and over until it becomes as tiring as the scene from it's a Wonderful Life where Jimmy Stewart is running down the street yelling to everyone. Sure it makes a nice story. A god-man comes from the heavens to redeem humanity.

What could be more peace inducing than a message of divine salvation, especially when it's delivered to people who have been taught to believe that they are a wicked and adulterous generation of vipers? But Christians seem to never to comprehend what they are actually saying. In a nut shell, here is the true meaning of the Biblical Christmas story:

The supreme creator of the entire universe looks across billions of light years and finds one small galaxy. In the corner of that galaxy he finds a rather mediocre solar system. One of millions within that galaxy. He looks to one of the smaller planets in that solar system and finds hundreds of thousands of species of living organisms, but he picks just one of those species to concern himself with. Then he decides to create a bizarre little game with them. He creates a place of everlasting torment and tells them to obey him or they will suffer for eternity. Although he is the supreme creator he can't seem to control this one species very well so he changes the rules a little bit and decides to mate with one of their females so that 33 years later, a mere blink in cosmic time, the poor chap can endure a brutal death. He does all this just to try and convince the rest of the species that he really is a good and loving god.

I think it's time to find a new Christmas story.

Eric Rogers

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From:
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: Re: QUESTION: 'Tis the season ...
Date: Saturday, December 16, 2000 12:53 PM

I love the "holiday season!" I like people! I like the music, the lights, the decorations, the parties and etc.

I send out over 150 "holiday cards" to friends and acquaintances all over the country. I decorate to the max both my home and my boat and have won decorating contests for both. Although I don't particularly like to cook, I often prepare sit down dinners for as many as 14 people for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although I am not a Jew, I also have a Menorah and light the Hanukkah candles as I have some Jewish friends.

Whether we like it or not, we are still living in a Judeo-Christian country. Rather than keep protesting and fighting it, I love to party and I just "join them" in their "show." It would not make any difference to me if we celebrated "Bedrock Days" or the "Pokemon" season.

For me the holiday season is not a "religious" thing. It is a commercial thing to boost up the economy and keep the "Hallmark" stores in business! I don't mind that except I am getting tired of all the gift buying-giving and receiving a bunch of "crap" that I am running out of room to store it.

In the past couple of years I turned over a new leaf and started hand making all my "holiday cards" out of the ones I have received before. I am no longer buying and wrapping 60 gifts every year. We have the "Goodwill Gift Giveaway." Except for the small children in the family we all give each other things that we no longer need or want that someone else might have a use for. With two income families dominating our society today, most everything we really want, we buy for ourselves when we want it! We don't wait all year until Christmas to get something we really want badly or really need. So at Christmas time all we get is a bunch of stuff we didn't need or want anyway.

Let's face it! Except for a very small portion of the so called "Christians," Christmas is commercial more than anything else. Let's just PARTY!

Sioux

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From: "Richard Dobbs"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: FORUM_What_Does_X-Mas_Mean_9359
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 13:58:18 -0800

In response to the person upset about the commercialization of Christmas.

First I'd like to point out that, that was it's intention when it was created. You don't think Dec. 25th was the actual day (or even close) to the day Jesus was born do you?

The way I get through the aggrevating and obnoxious peagan holiday is by remembering that it has become a celebration of a person who did in fact change the world. Even if you don't believe in God or that Jesus was the son of God, Jesus still inspired millions of people who might not have had anything else in life to live for.

So what the heck, enjoy the mass depression, the yelling obsenities in traffic, the standing in long lines muttering under your breath how you hate lines, enjoy the "christians" overindulging in food and alcohol, and know that the true spirit of Christmas is the birth of someone just like you and I (exept he was more vocal and persuasive).

So, merry x-mas to all, and if you see them, tell Santa and God I said hello. Happy hunting.

Chris

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From:
To: <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: FORUM_What_Does_X-Mas_Mean_9359
Date: Saturday, December 30, 2000 1:41 AM

this email is coming from an observer who is not an atheist, rather, is a deist who does not find your emails to be very "positive" but full of disrespect, resentment, and just bad feelings towards Christians who are recognizing the birth of their lord and savior.
first, it seems as though the general secular public, not the Christian religion, has commercialized Christmas.

second, using the argument that the Christian religion is in the wrong does not justify your actions of blatant intolerance of those with views different from your own. i'm not asking that you accept the views of others, but one cannot expect others to respect one's views if the respect isn't mutual.

just a thought.

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From: "Richard Dobbs"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: FORUM_What_Does_X-Mas_Mean_9359
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 13:58:18 -0800

In response to the person upset about the commercialization of Christmas.

First I'd like to point out that, that was it's intention when it was created. You don't think Dec. 25th was the actual day (or even close) to the day Jesus was born do you?

The way I get through the aggrevating and obnoxious peagan holiday is by remembering that it has become a celebration of a person who did in fact change the world. Even if you don't believe in God or that Jesus was the son of God, Jesus still inspired millions of people who might not have had anything else in life to live for.

So what the heck, enjoy the mass depression, the yelling obsenities in traffic, the standing in long lines muttering under your breath how you hate lines, enjoy the "christians" overindulging in food and alcohol, and know that the true spirit of Christmas is the birth of someone just like you and I (exept he was more vocal and persuasive)

So, merry x-mas to all, and if you see them, tell Santa and God I said hello. Happy hunting.

Chris

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From: D
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: FORUM_What_Does_X-Mas_Mean_9359
Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2000 10:23:57 -0500

I celebrate Christmas as a day roughly coincident with an early recognition of a massivly important scientific achievment in observational astronomy.

Men fear death as children fear the dark.

Dan

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From: "Larry Edwards"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: 'Tis the Season
Date: Tuesday, January 02, 2001 1:01 AM

Dear Mr. Walker,

After reading Carey's concern over the "Christmas" season a few thoughts came to mind.

The first was that Christmas was a political move by St. Augstine, a Roman ruler. He used the invention as a way to bring the citizens of Rome together and to help his leverage in the Senate.

The second is that the celebration was condemned by the Puritans and was thus illegal.

As for the economical aspect of this season, people have always complained that it is too commercial. If people can make money at something they will.

My kids like the toys and no one is comeing to make me go to church so that I could have "everlasting eternal life" so, hey, what's the big deal?

Larry

Graphic Rule

From:
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: FORUM_What_Does_X-Mas_Mean_9359
Date: Thursday, January 04, 2001 8:50 AM

Dear people (I don't know who I'm writing to).

You mentioned atheists of all flavors so I thought I'd write. I'm 16 and am the only one that I know that doesn't believe in god. My parents are extremely strong Catholics by the way. About Christmas, I believe that there is so much going wrong in the world that we don't know about that could affect us, but doesn't. So what you don't know can't hurt you. So what if the economy stays moving because of Christmas, that seems like a pretty good thing to me. What happens if the economy isn't helped out by Christmas? I don't understand the tree though.

I like Christmas because I have something to look forward to. Gifts!!, but that's pretty much the only thing. My girlfriend is the one that got me all the phat gifts. My parents took all my gifts back because I refused to go to Christmas Mass. I told them I had no reason to. They said it was a family tradition, I told them going to church didn't sound like much of a family tradition so I didn't go. I am one that doesn't really like to take part in too many events that don't make any sense. Well there's my two cents.

Hymay Esgalante von Gouldenburg

Graphic Rule

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