Christmas Laid Bare

OK.. I’ve been trying to write this for a couple of weeks and have struggled to slim it down to something small enough for you to read but with enough details to express my thoughts, let me know what you think.

There are people in my life, close, dear and friends and social media friends who have anti Christmas views and go out of their way to express them.  I have written my thoughts on the subject with the hope that they can understand and perhaps change their minds a little.

What do I NOT believe?

I don’t believe it has much to do with Christianity – Christmas belongs to the Christians as much as Football or Cricket belongs to the English.  Yes.. ok.. they may have been involved in setting up the religious thing but it is now been taken over by so many non-Christians, commercial organisations, that Jesus doesn’t pop into people’s minds when they are going about getting ready for Christmas. So much so that it’s been renamed to Xmas long ago!!  Non-Christians can express/experience the Christmas ‘spirit’ as good as or better than some of the Christians!

I don’t believe Christmas is about midnight mass or mass spending – I don’t believe in god and I like giving gifts but giving of gifts has been hijacked by the commercial organisations to push us into buying bigger and better things. A gift has to be relevant and useful and meaningful, it doesn’t have to be expensive.  You can paint a picture yourself, bake a cake or give a promise IOU, these things don’t cost money but mean much more than a dancing bear or any variety of singing fish!  The society we live in has developed the meaning of love in terms of money, but you don’t have to follow that, break away and do your thing but it doesn’t have to be ‘do nothing’. You can buy whatever you can afford, if you’re fortunate enough to be able to buy someone an expensive gift; great otherwise a small meaningful gift or a loving hug will do just fine!

I don’t believe Christmas tree, Turkey, Puddings, Fancy lights are necessities for Christmas, nice but not a necessity.  They certainly didn’t have Turkeys or Pine trees in the Middle East 2000 years ago!! These are obviously time based additions to the Christmas event.  If you chose not to have them, it doesn’t make you a bad person. If you can afford them and wish to follow the modern trend, great.. enjoy what you can how you can.

I could go on.. but you get the idea!!

What DO I believe?

I believe much like many other man made events in our calendar year, Christmas is a date set aside for whole family/friends occasion. We have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day so why not a Family/Friends’ Day?  I know a lot of you will say that every day is that day, why have days set aside.. well my thoughts are quite simple.. in the hectic lives that we have; the day to day events don’t give us the time or the opportunity to meet up with, call or otherwise express our love and feelings for all the people we owe so much to and love so much.  A day set aside for these events allow us the time to stop and think and do what we all need and desire.

I believe that as human beings we all need love and affection, no matter how tough our lives may be, once we hold someone we love in our arms, all we want is love.  Sometime we don’t get that love back because not everyone is working off the same set of life instructions.  We all take knocks in our lives but if we look around there is normally someone there to who thinks that we are important to them.  We don’t have to agree with the people we love, I believe there is a separation between love and agreement.  We love people for many reasons, having a common agreement may be ONE of the reasons but not the only one.  So even if you don’t believe in Christmas as a religious event, it is not a reason not to show the love you have for all the people in your life.

I believe that family/friends circles have widened much more than ever before, more people are getting divorced and remarrying resulting in step-relations making families bigger and our friends are now not only next door or at work but also at all the places we visit and of course the social media sites that we use, although we can’t call all our social contacts friends, there will always be a few that you take into your friends circle.  Our lives are much enriched by these extensions to our lives and a lot of our new ‘relations’ may have nothing to do with Christianity but because they are friends or family we can enjoy the Christmas time with them.

I believe it is important to be with the people you love or your friends on the Christmas day, but if for whatever reason you can’t then being in contact with them is better than nothing.  Christmas is time for us all to say to those that we love.. ‘I love you’. It is nice if you can say it to their face but sometimes it is just as good if they get your message by other means and in this day and age of multi media communications, it is almost impossible to be out of contact!


For those who are caught up in disliking Christmas for all the reason above and more.. I have just this to say.. Look again.. Christmas is NOT what you may hate, some people may be pushing you into thinking about it that way.. but you don’t have to go along with them.. it is your love and friendship that others are looking for even if it doesn’t seem that way!

You don’t have to go to the midnight mass to feel the Christmas spirit but if you do then that’s great you have included your religious beliefs in the celebration but if that is not for you and if you can just hold someone, call someone and tell them that you care about them.. that is Christmas in its purest sense.

What about Christmas and Nudity? Well let’s leave that for another day!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all..XX

17 Responses to “Christmas Laid Bare”

  1. Mike Says:

    Christmas is a Holy time of the year, for believing Christians. I am a non believing Christian, who celebrates the holiday, not the event. I work in a school, outside London, where we have several denominations. I know, many of our children, want a present, and celebrate the holiday. The significance of the occasion is lost to them.

  2. Glady Says:

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging
    on websites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be helpful to read content from other writers and use a little something
    from other web sites.

  3. Jim Says:

    Christmas is really Christian. The growing secular winter festivals that people have at that season do give everyone some emotional and perhaps spiritual experience. They can call it what they like, even Christmas, if it pleases them. Whatever these experiences are, and undoubtedly most are meaningful in their own way, they are not actually Christmas—whatever the name may be. Just as looking into a campfire is very pleasant, it is puja only for those whose disposition and attention is right. Similarly, only those who carefully seek the true inner spirit of this time actually experience true Christmas.

  4. Thomas Says:

    So, Happy Birthday Jesus X.
    Long ago I stopped giving Christmas presents. My friends are all well off and don’t need anything I can buy them. So now I take whatever extra money I have and make donations to animal rescue organizations and my friends are perfectly ok with this. I don’t give or receive presents at Christmas.

  5. northlondoner Says:

    Interesting thoughts. Since your post there has been the comments made by Alain de Botton about the structure to life that religious festivals bring.

    Your comments about a day for family certainly ring true, and also it is almost the only day where shops are closed, at least in the UK.

  6. paul hurley Says:

    i think christmas is only another excuse for drunkeness
    as we all know that the real meaning, that god sent
    his only son so we could have life with god forever.
    thank god for that
    anyway keep bare twelve months a year.

  7. Milton Says:

    I truly appreciate your writings about Christmas. Its the joy that the whole world celebrates. In today’s world we see so much of differences in communities that there is no time for people to come together and share there love and feelings. And Christmas, does just the same. Almost everywhere in the world we see preparations and celebrations and functions and programs taking place where the whole communities come together. And the month of december just gives the reason for all one reason to forget differences and come close to one another thus spreading love. Something that is most needed in the world today.

  8. David Bennett Says:

    May I refer you to a booklet published some years ago by the National Secular Society “Did Christians Steal Christmas?” This points out that the pagan midwinter festival variously named Saturnalia, Natalis Soli Invicti (Rebirth of the Unconquered Sun), or Yule; was misappropriated by the early Christian Church for its own purposes.

  9. Paul Says:

    Well said.

    I think that goodwill at this time of year also extends to work colleagues, neighbours and even strangers who seem to find time to spend a moment as they pass you in the street.

    Even I am less grumpy but normal service will be resumed by February.

  10. Sandy Beach cat (@SandyBeachcat) Says:

    “Non-Christians can express/experience the Christmas ‘spirit’ as good as or better than some of the Christians!”
    Well, yes, but it kind of depends on what you think the Christmas spirit is!
    Since I am one of the religious ones, it’s about the promise/prospect of forgiveness. Of being loved by God so much that he came down to earth to give us a second chance. Thing is that it’s God’s “official” birthday. (Well the Queen has one.) We hijacked it from the pagans by having our party just before Beltane. Hence, it was always an excuse for a party, and the “comercialisation of Christmas” & the tendency to drunken excess, isn’t really new. Western society has just got consumerism & drunken excess down to a fine art these days. 😦
    A lot of people see it as just an excuse for a booze up, which saddens me greatly. It’s my God’s birthday for goodness sake!
    So, anyway it starts out with the idea of a child coming offering forgiveness, because of love. So it should be natural to love others & forgive at Christmas. (By the way the x in xmas is for the cross; which was the ultimate price paid for that forgivness. Oh, & the mas is a Mass, as in a religious observance. I even used to spell it Christmass, but the spell checker didn’t co-operate.) I’ll grant you that forgiveness doesn’t really figure in the world view of quite a lot of so called “Christians”, some of them quite high profile. My wife once sent one of them a bible with the relevent passages underlined. It had no noticable effect.
    Anyway, Christmas should be about love, & forgiveness, not about a big blowout & a spendfest. I’ll agree with that!

    • Brad Filippone Says:

      A slight correction SandyBeachcat: I am a pagan, a Wiccan specifically. Just so you’ll know, Beltane is the fertility ritual and it occurs at the end of April. The sabbat (religious day) that falls around Christmas is Yule and occurs on the Winter Solstice, which usually occure three or four days before Christmas, but 2000 years ago the two days coincided. As well, the 25th was chosen by the early Christians, as you say, “hijacked” from the pagan, specifially the Romans, who called the day Saturnalia. Curiosly, some old traditions, Roman or otherwise, have been adopted by the Christian, such as what we now know as the Christmas tree or the wreath.

      • Sandy Beach cat (@SandyBeachcat) Says:

        My bad, yes, I meant yule/winter solstice.

      • Brian Somers Says:

        Brad and SandyBeachcat are both right in the origins of Christmas is in Yule which was celebrated in by the devotees of Mithraism.

        There are many Christians/Messianics who think Christians and Messianics should not celebrate Christmas for that reason (I am in this category), but two thousand years later, most don’t see what the big deal is (rest of my family). Even the Jewish Hannukah has morphed into 8 mini-days of Christmas or Yule, if one wishes to be historically correct! 😉

        I think we can all agree everyone loves a good party, but each of us parties differently and in our own styles and for different reasons. Equally, as Lady God1va says, we all need to give and receive love (paraphrasing slightly).

        As a Messianic who doesn’t want to observe Christmas as the Birth of Jesus Christ (for various reasons I think it was in the fall during the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot), I do find myself relating to those who don’t believe Jesus was the Son of God on Christmas Day. So what I have found myself doing is to respect those who do think Christmas is Christ’s birthday by giving and receiving love with them, but I will also go out of my way to wish my Jewish friends Happy Hannukah. I just realized that as I don’t have any pagan friends that I’m aware of, Happy Yule isn’t in my vocabulary. I also just realized that my Hindu friends and I don’t exchange greetings around Christmas time either.

        Reflecting on this, I think Lady God1va has done well to identify two timeless things we all have in common as humans, our need and capacity for love, and our nudity. We can all relate to each other on these two bases.

        All that said, now eagerly awaiting Lady God1va’s blog on Christmas and Nudity! 🙂

  11. Dale Harrison Says:

    Just curious…why don’t you believe in God?

  12. rafaelsaraiva Says:

    Since a couple of years ago, I started having a different approach to life, much more positive than before. I used to complain a lot, including holidays and celebrations.

    Now I appreciate much more these days, and realize the real opportunities provided by these moments. The time you spend among your friends, family and loved ones are the ones that gonna last longer in your mind and heart, no matter what’s your religion or beliefs.

    So, my message is: try to extract the best you can from these good opportunities life gives to us. Do not waste time being so negative.

    Happy Holidays to everyone!

  13. Colin H Says:

    “if you can just hold someone, call someone and tell them that you care about them.. that is Christmas in its poorest sense.”

    I disagree. I think that is Christmas in its richest and most important sense. Whatever we call it, we all need days when we take time to remember the ones we love.

    Good post. Merry Christmas!

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