Celebrating as a Pagan, Athiest or Non-Christian: Christmas

One thing that almost everyone has in common is a belief system of some sort. Whether it be Christian, Wicca, Pagan, Atheist or any other numerous beliefs out there, they all hold importance. This importance does not lessen when holidays come. Many people struggle with how to incorporate a holiday such as Christmas when they do not believe a certain way. This becomes even more important when children are involved and family traditions are discussed and wanting to be started.

Simple Changes for the Christmas Holiday Celebration

Want to still celebrate the holiday but more for fun or around other beliefs versus Christian views? This can still be done without demeaning anyone or the beliefs held so paramount. Call it something else. Wiccans and Pagans commonly refer to it as the Winter Solstice. Some Atheist’s celebrate the fun of gift giving by simply calling it Yule, a Winter Festival or Santa Day. Changing the name is the first step to feeling better about it. For other common names used throughout the world, visit rochedalss.eq.edu/xmas.

Make traditions that are in line with the belief followed for the family. Is it going to be commonplace or the typical for the child(ren) in the family, no. Does it really matter though? The belief followed is a personal choice and kids of all ages learn to meet society with differences. Beliefs are no different than how they dress, talk, look etc.

Whether it’s lighting candles, giving thanks to the appropriate target(s) or any other numerous traditions, make them personal and relevant. This holiday like many others can be celebrated as a personal attribute to the beliefs held dear or a holiday celebrated just because it’s fun to do so. Whatever the choice or manner, make it fun and it isn’t wrong.

Various Christmas Traditions that Can Be Altered

  • The Christmas Tree

Contrary to popular belief, the tree was a symbol widely used among many varying cultures and religious practices. More on this can be viewed at Religious Tolerance.org. It is not strictly a Christian symbol but a symbol of nature and one that can be enjoyed with any belief followed. Wonderful family time occurs around the decorating of the tree.

Ornaments can make the tree distinguished for the belief. There are ornaments and decorations out there for the tree of all varying types and beliefs. Even tree toppers no longer have to be stars but can be faeries, Druids, Father Winter, angels…etc. Have fun picking out decor for the tree that represents the belief followed. Even making ornaments creates a personal touch and memorabilia for the family to cherish for years.

  • The Feast

This too can be easily changed and mixed however relevant and desired. If giving thanks to the appropriate target is necessary, say the words common to that belief. If invited over to others who celebrate different, stand quietly and observe their thanks. There is no precedence saying all must take part. Just be respectful of others and expect the same in turn.

Choose food appropriate for the beliefs being celebrated or just plain have fun and choose what is desired. This too can be as elaborate or simple as the people desire it to be. No way is right or wrong. Just a personal choice and expression of opinion that is everyone’s right to do so.

  • The Season’s Greeting, Merry Christmas and Other Sayings

Make this personal too. Many Pagans and Wicca practitioners reply to such statements with their own holiday greeting such, “Blessed Be.” Atheists tend to lean more toward the generic, “Happy Holidays.” Whatever the saying of choice, make it respectful and when used, say it kindly. It’s not a statement to make a point but a kind gesture in return of another kind gesture.

Enjoy the Celebration and Make it Special

No matter how people decide to go about their celebrations or the lack thereof, it is a personal choice. There is no right or wrong, only personal opinion and the right to express it in the manner chosen (that is respectful and mindful of laws and others). Enjoy the time of year and may the winter be kind and safe to all.

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