Holidays Without Religion Are Better for Everyone


kids holidayMy wife and I have a different outlook on holidays and the role they play in childhood. I believe they are crucial for forging bonds and memories. She thinks they are unnecessary and misguided. Funny thing is, she's a person of faith and I am a person that thinks "Faith" was a catchy George Michael song.

The religion that she was raised in does not observe holidays, and while I was raised in one that did, I was only going through the motions. But the motions were a lot of fun and I recall the holidays as some of my most cherished moments.

Basically, I celebrate Christmas to celebrate my loved ones, peace and my fellow man. I celebrate it for every reason a religious person might, except for the actual religion. I tend to lean towards Santa Claus and Bing Crosby.

She never celebrated a holiday when she was a child, and as such she doesn't have that patchwork quilt of so many memories keeping her warm every winter. But she does think they are fun, and she can't deny how much they mean to our children. To that end she agreed to celebrate them since religion was off the table, and only family, friends and love remained. Also, candy.

We made a deal, she wouldn't tell them there isn't a Santa and I would give the same respect to God. It has worked out swimmingly.

Our children celebrate every holiday and the good of each season. They love stories, songs, endless sheets of cookies, and their fellow man. It is all the fun and none of the religions trappings. They don't know how good they have it.

Do you have to work with holiday differences in your family?


Image via Whit Honea

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momto... momtolittleg

I am  very impressed that your marriage works so well with such fundamental differences.  You two have a tremendous amount of respect for each other to make it work.  My first marriage didn't work so well, in huge part because of religious differences (and serious stubbornness on HIS part).

My current hubby and I celebrate for the same reasons you do- for the fun of it.  We are, thankfully, in agreement about religion, and we really focus on the joy of the season.

brebay brebay

"She wouldn't tell them there isn't a santa, and I would give the same respect to god"  That made me laugh, I'm glad there are others who can see both myths rationally. People ignore the Pagan history of christmas, including the bringing indoors of the tree. I admire you for being able to reconcile your differing beliefs, I don't think that would work for most couples. You're absolutely right that everyone has the right to celebrate the holidays, including christmas, in their own ways, and it is the time together that forms the memories!

great... great-grandm338

grandmaExcuse me, I don't mean to be R U D E..But Christmas H A S..N o t h i n g do with santa..C..H..R..I..S..T..A..M..A..S..Represents the V..I..R..G..I..N..Birth of My  L..O..R..D..and S..A..V..I..O..R JESUS CHRIST..The bunny was not at the foot of the cross when Jesus took all the world's sin..Shedding HIS blood for all man and womankind..And Santa was the stable when Jesus was born..If you don't celebrate His birth..That's on you. Children need to know the truth,,But that too is on you..This article got the Holy Spirit in me raised up..I'm telling you the T..R..U..T..H..That J..E..S..U..S Christ..Is the reason for the S..E..A..S..O..N...

brebay brebay

@greatgrandm ....the bible is a work of literature written by fallible human beings to bring order and understanding to a society that didn't have the means to explain what was around them, why they were here, or how to behave. If you choose to believe the parables in it as truth, that is certainly your right, just keep your "truth" away from my kids! It amazes me how christians pull their kids out of public school to avoid them learning evolution, but don't think twice about attempting to indoctrinate other people's children.  Judging from your inability to form a sentence or a logical argument, perhaps you should have paid as much attention in regular school as you did in Sunday school...

MamaK88 MamaK88

I'm Pagan, my husband is non-religious.  I celebrate Solstice (the REAL reason for the season) with my Circle, and as a family we celebrate X-mas, the secular holiday with the reindeer and Santa mythology. 

My family is Catholic, so our daughter (3 1/2 yrs) is exposed to some of the Baby Jesus mythology as well...but it is taught as such: mythology. 

lizzig lizzig

my husband & i come from completely different backgrounds both religiously & ethnically.  we celebrate the holidays, thanksgiving & christmas, as a time to be with those we care for.  a time to give to others.  a time of joy & caring!

religion is not brought into any of our celebrations.  we both agreed that we want our children to grow up developing their own opinions & ideas of religion.  we talk about all the different celebrations that occur in winter; christmas, kwanza, yule, etc.  they know the religious & spiritual beliefs behind these celebrations & how some of the traditions rose out of those beliefs.  but for them, like your family, the holidays are a time for fun & loved ones. 

fave82 fave82

I feel sorry for all of you.

great... great-grandm338

grandmaYes, you do have the right to believe and to worship..or not to believe and not to worship..Everyone from Government to private citizens are trying to delete Jesus Christ from Christmas..But this old great Grandma refuses to give the minority of people the right to delete my Lord and Savior..from my heart and my soul..The Bible says's that in the last day's people will be scoffer's and deceivers..that will love a lie..So yes, you have the right..If only you Knew the real Joy of Christmas..

brebay brebay

No one's trying to "delete" anything form your "soul." By the way, the fact that rationalists are a minority in no way gives merit to your beliefs. If the majority were always right, we would still have slaves, you wouldn't have the right to vote, men would have ownership of their wives and children, and we would be burining women at the stake, only to find out they weren't really witches after all...

lizzig lizzig

great-grandm338, not to be rude but if you knew the history of the holidays, christmas & easter, you would know that the christains "borrowed" from the pagan celebrations, incorporating symbols & traditions into their celebrations to "convert" more into christianity.  even celebrating the birth of jesus in december when he wasn't born until spring.  this i learned from my pentecostal minister grandmother by the way!  as she said, "jesus didn't have a christmas tree in the stable with him, but it made celebrating his birth more appealing to others".  santa is a symbol of giving, which, if you believe in god, jesus & the bible, isn't that just what god was?  giving?  after all he gave us "his only son". 

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