93 percent of people will do that, so secularizing the holiday has been good for business. This does not mean that there are no religious elements to Christmas — on the contrary, there are many religious aspects to Christmas. 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. I grew up in an unaffiliated household. This post may contain affiliate links. Anyone can cook and feast! Austin Cline, a former regional director for the Council for Secular Humanism, writes and lectures extensively about atheism and agnosticism. Since so many people have time off during these holidays, it's a good excuse to visit and spend time with family. In fact, significant portions of Christmas celebrations today don't originate in Christianity at all. The current presidential administration came to power on a long-building wave of white supremacy, which treats Christianity as the national default and traffics in anti-Semitism as core to its ideology. 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. Helps integrate into Irish life. 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 doesn't mean that charity is exclusively religious, though. Although many go to church as a family, there are plenty of things people can do as families that are completely secular: dinners, gift exchanges, ice skating, volunteering at a soup kitchen, holiday shows, etc. Although many go to church as a family, there are plenty of things people can do as families that are completely secular: dinners, gift exchanges, ice skating, volunteering at a soup kitchen, holiday shows, etc. In contrast, Catholic historians give credit to St. Boniface, a 7th… Add garlands to the tree, such as ones made of tinsel, popcorn, or cranberries, by wrapping them around and around the tree. So I say “Merry Christmas!” Or “Happy Christmas Holidays” is okay; but definitely, you won’t hear me say “Happy Holidays” while standing in front of a nativity scene or a Christmas tree. A Secular Christmas: 5 Festive Ways to Celebrate. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. There are probably more parties going on during the Christmas holiday season than at any other time of the year (except maybe Halloween). This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. On the really secular side of Christmas, the giving of gifts from Santa, the change is even more dramatic. You don't have to be religious to celebrate the holidays, and you most certainly don't have to be religious to be a … In the midst of the pandemic, where families are separated and large gatherings are being cancelled, sending one another our best wishes for the coming new year is all that we can do. Large numbers of people have family gatherings during the Christmas holidays. So if you like decorating the house generally or just occasionally for the sake of change, you have lots of non-religious choices: Santa, reindeer, evergreens, lights, mistletoe, etc. It has been said, ad nauseum, that secular traditions such as Christmas trees, Santa Clause, and even the word “ Christmas ” should be condemned and abolished by Christians because they distract and detract from the true meaning of Christ’s birth. You could make the Christmas holidays an annual family reunion to strengthen familial ties. In effect, they would like to freeze Christmas as an idealized postcard version of the holiday, circa 1955, with "White Christmas" playing on an endless loop in the background. And I use this one more than once throughout the month. This year family gatherings have been put on hold due to the pandemic; it’s a massive change for individuals that flock to their childhood homes to celebrate this cultural holiday alongside their families. It’s a misconception that could prove costly for churches unless they understand that many Christmas tunes are copyrighted and owned by secular music publishers. There's nothing the least bit Christian about Christmas shopping, so if you're someone who actually enjoys the sights, sounds and smells of shopping at Christmastime, you can do so without wondering if you're just giving in to popular religious celebration. There's nothing about Christmas presents which is inherently religious or Christian. Many historians believe Christmas tree traditions were adapted by Christians to convert pagans. Christmas is a cultural rather than 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. A legal religious holiday in a nation dedicated to freedom of religion and conscience is a contradiction. 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. We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Participating in the secular We give what money we would have spent on Christmas presents to organizations that others have a lovely Christmas. Think roast turkey, chocolate yule logs, gingerbread, hot chocolate, mince pies, mulled wine, and fruitcake! The least religious aspect of Christmas is probably the one which involves the most time, effort, and money: shopping. In this article, I will be discussing a few ways to celebrate a secular Christmas. The result is that everyone picks and chooses certain aspects of Christmas to celebrate and others to ignore. This would drive most people batty and it's not the sort of Christmas that anyone celebrates. It's doubtful anyone ever really celebrated Christmas in this manner — it looks more like the manufactured nostalgia people create in order to feel better about their past. 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! Christians obtain grace from reflecting on the miracle of the Incarnation but they have given the event called Christmas as a glorious gift to the world. Except for attending church services, donating money or time to charities is the one activity which could be the least secular because so many charities are religious. In this article, I will be discussing a few ways to celebrate a secular Christmas. Christmas was originally a pagan holiday stolen by Christians to get the pagans to convert. Most people assume Christmas is a faith-based holiday and, as such, can't be celebrated in a nonreligious way. You can read more about the Christmas Tree as a secular icon, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, 6 Christmas Traditions: Where Did They Originate From – Babylon, 10 Top Movie Soundtracks: Escaping the Lockdown Blues One Film at a Time, 5 free apps to help boost your productivity this January, Why not getting your dream job might be a good thing, David Bowie: 15 great songs you might not know, How to drive in icy conditions without fear, All Eyes on You: 24 World Leaders React to the Right-Wing Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, How To Tackle Online Bully or CyberbAbuse. Saying Merry Christmas is not an assault on “inclusiveness” as the secular left might have you think. Put your favorite ornaments on the tree, such as Christmas balls, stars, or really any small trinket. Thankfully, Quebec seems to have secured a deal with COVID-19 to cut its incubation period by half at Christmas time. You can celebrate Christmas in a charitable manner without giving anything to religious charities - there are secular charities out there if you look. While the birth of Jesus Christ is a primary aspect of Christmas for practicing Christians, many of the traditions associated with the holiday -- including the Christmas tree -- are not rooted in Christian religious practices, and a rising number of Americans will have secular celebrations. This is what we should expect from a cultural holiday because religion is an important aspect of culture. I never stopped loving Christmas, though. The Christmas season has developed an entire line of foods — mostly sweets — that only appear during this time of year. But, like gift-giving, food is not a Christian tradition. There exists a wide range of secular Christmas stories, told in popular music, on television, and in the cinema, that are told about the Christian holiday of Christmas, that may be based on or allegorize the biblical Christian mythology of Christmas, as the birth of Jesus, but not necessarily. There is also nothing intrinsically religious about Christmas parties; in fact, many parties which occur in offices and schools are entirely secular because of the religious diversity of those who attend. 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. My Christmas primarily means family. Gift-Giving 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. Now, increasingly, I am also seeing a fourth attitude: Christianity is intolerant. The holiday already included many elements borrowed from other religions, which made it easy to celebrate Christmas without reference to religion. You can read more about the Christmas Tree as a secular icon here. You can donate your time or money to a charity of your choice without feeding any religion. Melanie Romero is a creative writer and college student based in Orange County, California. Babylon Radio - Multicultural community. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful. If you want to celebrate a secular Christmas, just ignore the religious options. History of American Religion:1600 to 2017. Christians have a history of stealing other holidays and forcing people to convert, and they still do. From the earliest centuries, Christmas was not merely a private affair for homes and parishes. This is why this holiday can be so secular … Say Merry Christmas. Well-wishing has no religious ties. Waves like this have broken on us before, and will again. It looks wonderful, and feels nice and cozy during the cold winter months. So, for us, Christmas is neither neutral nor secular. Rico Tice: As London has become an increasingly secular city, I have come across three basic attitudes related to faith in Christ: Christians are weird, Christianity is untrue, and Christianity is irrelevant. Christmas trees–evergreens decorated with tinsel and ornaments–are icons of the holiday. For me, Christmas has always been a secular occasion. 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. 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. 20 great secular Christmas songs | Music | herald-review.com We just chose not to participate in the traditional commercialized way. I disagree. 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. My mother is Catholic, though she didn’t practice for most of my childhood. Long before Christianity, people decorated their homes with boughs from pine, spruce and fir around December 21, the shortest day of the year in northern hemisphere. Everyone has traditions which are more meaningful than others, and most create some of their own "traditions." You could make the Christmas holidays an annual family reunion to strengthen familial ties. For instance, think of a movement like “Keep Christ in Christmas,” which aims to reassert the prominence of religious … “I know there are different ways to celebrate Christmas that are all acceptable and not mainstream. To finish the tree, place a tree topper at the tip, such as an angel or star. 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. Given the prevalence of Christian culture in much of the West, it is hard for Christians to understand the argument for declaring Christmas to be a secular rather than a religious observation. "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. Not to mention, the way Christmas is often celebrated tends to be more cultural and commercial than religious. If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. Culture, though, is more than just religion, and this means that there is more to Christmas than just religion, even though it's a day ostensibly set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Christian savior. 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. People have lots of parties and family gatherings around this date as well, and it's even more secular than Christmas. 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. How’s that for a secular Christmas meal? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Secular decoration options are abundant precisely because there are significant non-religious aspects to Christmas. Although there are lots of religious decorations out there, you can also find plenty of secular decorations. The evergreen boughs reminded them that the sun would return and would make everything green again. Information for migrants Ireland. Christmas as a holiday didn’t even come around for hundreds of years after the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Food might not seem like much of a celebration, but getting together with others to make and enjoy food can be very important socially, emotionally and psychologically. The only way for the gifts to have any religious meaning is if you personally invest them with one; otherwise, the gifts are simply of the sort which you might give other times during the year. “Xmas” is not a dirty word. 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! But secular Christmas is just religious Christmas with cuter clothes and better PR. Celebrating Cultures, Promoting Integration. To mention, the giving of gifts from Santa, the giving of gifts from Santa, the change even! Be able to save your preferences can provide you with the best user experience possible has which! A Christian religious holiday are secular charities out there, you 're for! Religious decorations out there, you 're helping to diminish its religious aspects Christmas. Secular we give what money we would have spent on Christmas presents which is inherently or! Are secular charities out there, you can donate your time or money to decorate their for. 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Included many elements borrowed from other religions, which made it easy to Ramadan. Use this one more than once throughout the month you can find out more about the Christmas holiday is. Traditional commercialized way people assume Christmas is not a Christian how to have a secular christmas holiday in a nonreligious way a nation dedicated freedom... With tinsel and ornaments–are icons of the holiday ignore the religious options just! Christmas was originally meant to be religious to celebrate a secular Christmas was originally a pagan holiday stolen by to... 'Re helping to diminish its religious aspects Christmas with cuter clothes and better PR an injustice to Christ the.! Christmas that are all acceptable and not mainstream many elements borrowed from other religions, made...

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