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feministmama
12-23-2005, 02:00 PM
For religous reasons? Or they just don't like the whole commercialization thang? Or they just don't like it? Or whatever?

Xmas brings up bad memories for me. (Its a long story) And the whole consumingness of it is pretty gros. And I'm not christian. Killing poor trees bothers me too. But I have a kid and he enjoys the time with his Grams and stuff. And they give him a TON of crap that I could never afford. (He's getting an iPod from one gram :rollseyes: ) So I put up with it but I don't enjoy it. I do like the lights though. I wish we did it year round.

So is anyone offended by non xmas likers? Is there a war on xmas like Bill O'Reily says? (Altho I really should ignore him, he's jsut a bully)

CateKnits
12-23-2005, 02:03 PM
I'm not a Christian, but my family does Christmas...It's really got nothing to do with Jesus, though. I think it's just the only way we're all going to get together.

margie
12-23-2005, 02:32 PM
I do Christmas all the way, but I'm not offended by those who choose not to celebrate it. I do think that the commercialism is extreme, and I do wish it were easier to escape some of it. We try not to put a lot of emphasis on the whole gimme gimme thing, and get the kids into giving more than receiving, but they are kids. There's only so much we can encourage.

My family all comes to my house for Christmas, and I do enjoy having everyone here- we put a fire in the fireplace, and enjoy each other's company. Plus, I love giving people gifts- especially this year, since I knitted something for everyone! :cheering:

Jan in CA
12-23-2005, 02:42 PM
My "immediate" family is not religious (or christian) although the extended family is and they are various religions. It makes no difference. For us it's a time to come together and enjoy each other's company. Consumerism does bother me some and I am rethinking our shopping ideas. A lot of times it's kind of fun to find a special gift for someone.

In answer to your question, no, your beliefs or your feelings about Christmas do not bother me. I do hope that you can find some joy in the season for you and your son though. ;)

jodstr2
12-23-2005, 03:04 PM
So is anyone offended by non xmas likers?
I'm not offended. this season means lots of things to lots of folks - or doesn't mean anything at all. for me: I love the lights, the decorations, the FOOD :heart:, the time off from work, seeing my kid happy to receive stuff he put on his list... but I'm not religious, and quite honestly the gift buying/making has me stressed out every year.

Jeremy
12-23-2005, 03:07 PM
I don't celebrate Christmas but I do enjoy many of the positive aspects of it. People are generally happier, more forgiving and live more in the moment. They tend to think more about the what other people may need or want. I also enjoy the lights and decorations. I can't count how many times people have wished me a Merry Christmas despite the fact that I was wearing a yarmulke. I always thank them anyway since I probably will enjoy a nice kosher Chinese meal and a movie on that day :D

humblestumble
12-23-2005, 03:38 PM
I'm not a Christian, but my family does Christmas...It's really got nothing to do with Jesus, though. I think it's just the only way we're all going to get together.

Same here. It's just family getting together and sharing love and gifts from the heart. I also love watching the specials. I just love winter and family though (what little of it there is here).

I don't like the commercialism of Christmas, or all the crap in the stores. Or the traffic (jeez)...but I love family and giving them something that puts a smile on their faces.

melaniedc
12-23-2005, 03:50 PM
I celebrate Christmas because my family does, and it's nice to have something in common with them once in a while. The overall generosity that the season tends to bring out also makes me very happy.


But I don't call myself a Christian (find it way too limiting), I am very spiritual though. I tend to say Happy Holidays because you never know what other people choose to believe, or not believe.

I love the decorations, the feeling of 'anything is possible' in the air, and the giving of gifts. Ixnay on the traffic, rudeness, and calories, LOL.

Nomad
12-23-2005, 03:57 PM
I am Christian but not devout. I live alone so I don't get a tree for myself & my family are all in the UK so we don't get together. We don't even send cards or gifts as the shipping costs more than the gifts. I usually try to call my parents on the 25th if I can.

In the last 9 years I've spent 4 Xmases in Muslim countries, 3 in US/UK/Europe and 2 in an ex-Soviet country.

This year that means New Year mostly. Orthodox Xmas (Jan 7th) is a holiday in Ukraine but it's not celebrated much. Although they do put trees up which is a bit strange as they don't start cutting them down until after New Year when I'm used to being about ready to get rid of mine.

I don't get offended by anyone's celebrations - I celebrate whatever those around me are celebrating. :lol: Why miss out on an excuse to have fun?

Jenelle
12-23-2005, 03:59 PM
All of my family members celebrate christmas. I think everyone besides some of our family(they are Jahovas Whitness's[I think that's how you spell it? :?? ]) celebrates christmas. To me, its a time for getting together with family and spending time with them, not getting gifts. It's always a charm to watch people open there gifts that you give them and then flip out because its what they always wanted(hehe... that happens every year...).

Christmas here is just opening things that we need(I don't have any younger siblings, so for me I open up clothes, jewlery, make-up, ect.), just some gag gifts thrown in too(ahh I can't wait for this year :lol: )...

I don't take offense to people who don't celebrate christmas. Some people preffer not to celebrate it because of religious beliefs or from past exsperiences. I enjoy christmas with my family, because most of the time, christmas is the only time I ever get to see some of my relatives.

And theres also good food made too :rofling:

Angelia
12-23-2005, 04:04 PM
We do celebrate Christmas, but I am not in the least offended by those who don't.

There's plenty to despise about this season--the rudeness of shoppers (I spent 8 years in retail--I have seen the ugly underside of Christmas shopping); the rush-rush-rush to buy gifts not because people want to be kind, but because people have bought into the hype--oh the waste of it all; the sickening commercialism, and yes, Femmie, the chopping down of trees--since I was four, I cry every year when I see the trees no one took home left to die on lots, or those tossed out curbside after Christmas, with the sad reminders of their former glory fading on them...but that's another story.

I look at the season the way I do wedding anniversaries and birthdays: show the people you love--(and by extension humanity in general)--that you care every day, not just on certain days marked on the calendar. Anything else just seems empty and forced. I'm much more happy giving or receiving a gift a propos of nothing--motivated only by love and friendship.

Jackie M.
12-23-2005, 04:18 PM
I love everything about Christmas. I love the lights, the noise, the music, the decorations, the get togethers, the food, the way people seem to be nicer that time of year (except when you're stuck in traffic), family gatherings, when normally you don't see them and of course the giving. I am definitely NOT offended by those who don't celebrate Christmas. I respect all religions and beliefs and get more offended by Christians who are upset at those who aren't. People like Bill O'Reilly want to stir up trouble but it isn't working. He probably brought it up to take the heat of his own troubles.
Jackie

misstialouise
12-23-2005, 04:59 PM
Being a Wiccan, I don't 'celebrate' Christmas... ie: the birth of Christ.

I've renamed this season "Santa Season" for myself, as it's a time where I can count on seeing all of my immediate family (most of which *are* Christian and celebrate the birth of Christ).

Being able to give other people a little happiness through both spending time with them, and giving them a little token of 'love' that I've carefully thought about and chosen or made for them, makes ME happy too.

As the 'holidays' I observe are more in a solitary practice, they do not require a tree, presents, eggs etc the "Santa Season" rituals, I'm more than happy to participate in.

VickiIL
12-23-2005, 05:06 PM
I respect all religions and beliefs and get more offended by Christians who are upset at those who aren't. People like Bill O'Reilly want to stir up trouble but it isn't working. He probably brought it up to take the heat of his own troubles.
Jackie

I may be sorry I said this so please understand it in the caring way I am trying to say it.

As a Christian, Christmas to me is a religious holiday although I am not offended in the least by those who want to celebrate a secular Christmas or no christmas at all. I think so often what happens in these "religious" debates is that NEITHER side understands (or takes the time to understand) what the other side is saying. I don't believe Christians are bothered by those that want to have a secular holiday. I don't believe Christians are trying to force others to have a religious holiday when they don't wish too. (Now granted I am speaking for myself and the Christians I am surrounded by.)

I really feel it boils down to mutual respect. I respect the beliefs and traditions of others. I would never disrespect Judiasm by calling the Menorah a candle stick. Nor would I disrespect Islam or Buddism or another religion by secularizing their religious symbols. I think Christians are asking for nothing more.

Now when it comes to Bill O'Reilly...he has a gift for adding fuel to ANY controversial subject and blowing things entirly out of proportion.

Everyone should feel free to celebrate or not celebrate ANY holiday...Religious or Not. Based on their own personal convictions.

Again I hope this was taken in the spirit it was intended.

knitncook
12-23-2005, 05:22 PM
We don't. We celebrate Yule, the winter solstice. I was raised Christian though and do tend to do "Christmas" with my parents with a present for each person and dinner. Actually this year we are doing "Christmas" tomorrow as my mom has to work Christmas (she's a hospital chaplain.) My family is sort of odd (understatement of the year). My dh is agnostic with Buddhist leanings. My oldest daugther and I are Pagan. My youngest son is pure agnostic. My middle child is atheist. We celebrated Yule on Wednesday by lighting candles, telling stories, decorating a tree, decking the halls with boughs of holly cut from our yard, and awaiting the new sun's rebirth. We had soup and bread and baked cookies during the day. We try to limit the gifts we give each other to things that we created or that can be used for our "creations." (So easy to do with 3 knitters in the house!) :lol: Sometimes we give things that are true needs (like dh is getting an electric blanket as we have taken a challenge to not turn our heater above 60 and send the excess that we would spend to the gift program at the electric company.)

Angelia
12-23-2005, 05:29 PM
That was nicely put, Vicki! :heart: And yeah, Bill O'Reilly is a gasbag. A noxious gasbag.

Ack, after re-reading it, my earlier post seems very surly--I do have wonderful Christmas moments! Like yesterday: on the way to my parents' house, the dh and I drove through about a five-mile stretch of road on which some of the small fir trees were decorated--some had garland, some had ornaments, some had both. (I'd say there were about 50 of them total, but we certainly may have missed some.) We just found that so cool and so sweet! And I just experienced several random acts of kindness at Target.

This season can be beautiful!

earthchick
12-23-2005, 05:33 PM
I am a Christian (a minister, in fact) and am not in the least offended by people who do not celebrate Christmas. I AM offended by the crass commercialism and incredible social pressure that surrounds what is, for me, a religious holiday. I find balancing the spiritual and family aspects of Christmas with the social obligations and gift expectations to be extremely stressful. Since I am a religious professional, I also feel fairly burdened by my professional obligations during the season. All of this makes it difficult for me to have the kind of holiday I would prefer. It makes me sad and sometimes cynical.

One year, I celebrated winter solstice with a pagan friend of mine. It was his first time doing it (and mine, too, of course), so we looked up stuff on the internet and just put it together ourselves. I actually found it quite meaningful, and really appreciated that there was no cultural baggage laid onto it the way there is wtih Christmas.

Jaxhil
12-23-2005, 05:40 PM
I am a Christian who does not celebrate christmas :thinking: weird, huh?

LOL...the reasons are because (for my immediate family and I anyway, I am not trying to tell anyone they are wrong to celebrate in whatever way they chose! The Bible tells us not to judge what others celebrate or what way they do). We feel that christmas has its roots in non-christian celebrations. Many of the customs were originally part of celebrating the winter solstice, and not part of Jesus' birth at all. And no one actually knows exactly when He was born, anyway, as far as I know. There are some rough estimations but no one knows for sure.

We chose not to put up a tree or decorations (but I do admit I *LOVE* the lights!!) or give massive gifts to all. We do give gifts, here and there, but because we want to, not because we have to. We make extra cookies and goodies at this time of year to give away, but they are not Christmas cookies.

I grew up celebrating christmas, so I do love the music, the songs, and the lights. I miss some of it but there's lots I'm happy to do without -like wasting tons of $$ on gifts that aren't appreciated for long (the kids get bored with them so quickly!) and killing myself to make sure we didn't forget anyone (wether we can afford it or not). And last minute shopping -UGH!

But I am not bothered by those who do celebrate. I'm certainly not going to bah-humbug anyone because they do choose to!

This has been an interesting thread!

rebecca
12-23-2005, 06:01 PM
I am not bothered by those who don't celebrate Christmas at all. I am a Christian and proudly say so to one & all :D . I am not at all happy with the mass commercialization of the holiday (as with most holidays, actually!). My family & friends get togethter have time together, to exchange gifts & eat (naturally!) And, out of the mouths of babes, as it were, there's always a young one that asks what are we giving Jesus for His birthday :D My answer is more time...as I will undoubtedly tell my niece Sunday morning when I know she will ask..LOL! My baby (20 now, was the 1st one to start with this question out of the blue one Christmas :D ) Christmas is a wonderful time of year for many things ;) Although, when one sees people being rude people @ the mall & pushing & shoving (pushing & shoving I am very sensitive to since I'm on crutches..happened last nite, actually), etc, it's makes me wonder what goes on with them and me being me, I stop & say a silent prayer that he/she have a wonderful holiday & better day!
Bothered by those who don't celebrate..of course not ;) I don't think that would be the right thing for me to do at all :D
I do wish you all a very, very Happy Holiday :D

kimmie
12-23-2005, 07:01 PM
I'm Christian and we celebrate Christmas. I do NOT like all the commercialization and all the hustle and bustle...the feelings of guilt because I can't get all my cards written...again...or the cookies baked, etc. I feel that the "reason for the season" gets lost. Someone at church said something the other day that really stuck with me. She said that she wished that we could do all the presents and "stuff" on the 25th and then have another day - a quiet, reflective day - to remember Jesus' birthday. That makes so much sense to me.

I do feel like our society bends over backwards not to offend people of other religions and those with no religious faith, and rightfully so, but it seems more and more that it is vogue to make fun of Christian beliefs. That makes me sad. Part of the problem, I think is that the media reports all the wacky things that a minority of "way out there" Christians say or do that in no way reflect what I think, believe or do. Saying one is a "Christian" is very broad and means completely different things to different people beyond the one fundamental and obvious belief.

Religion and politics are touchy subjects, so I hope I didn't offend anyone.

kimmie

feministmama
12-23-2005, 07:04 PM
I wish I could get together with all of YOU ALL for the state sponsered day off. We could sit around the fire and knit and eat cookies we all made and make fun of Hilde (just kidding) *sniff* I :heart: you guys *sniff*

dustinac
12-23-2005, 08:19 PM
I really feel it boils down to mutual respect. I respect the beliefs and traditions of others. I would never disrespect Judiasm by calling the Menorah a candle stick. Nor would I disrespect Islam or Buddism or another religion by secularizing their religious symbols. I think Christians are asking for nothing more.

:?? I hope I did that quote thing right LOL.. I agree.. It does come down to respect.. I have no problem with someone not celebrating Christmas.. I think thats one thing that makes this country so wonderful we don't have to follow a set religion or holiday.. I am Christian and we celebrate I love getting together with my family and then I enjoy the excitement in my children as they get ready for St. Nick... My grandfather however was a very very strict Southern Baptist and Christmas was not celebrated.. My father cannot wait now for the holidays he was the biggest kid in the house when I was growing up LOL.. We get my grandfather something like I made him a scarf we just don't call it a Christmas gift just a thinking of you gift... ;)

Angelia
12-23-2005, 08:26 PM
I wish I could get together with all of YOU ALL for the state sponsered day off. We could sit around the fire and knit and eat cookies we all made and make fun of Hilde (just kidding) *sniff* I :heart: you guys *sniff*

That sounds wonderful!! :inlove: :inlove:

Carol_OH
12-23-2005, 08:59 PM
yes, all of us gettin together would be MARVELOUS!

Our immediate family (DH and son and I) start the season off on the Winter Solstice. We light the tree, and give one gift to each other.

We also celebrate Christmas Day. I was raised Catholic, and there is a lot about the church I love (and much I don't admire, but I choose to look at the good stuff) and I usually give a total of three gifts to my son on Christmas Day - incorporating the Gifts of the Magi idea here! I also set out our manger scene on Christmas morning.

I am not a christian and haven't been for over 20 years, but the overall thoughts of giving, and the 'birth' of the light are universal.

Nice to hear everyone's thoughts on the matter.

OH, and when my son was younger, I gave him TINY gifts the 12 days of the holiday season (which I believe starts on the Solstice and ends on January 1st) We don't do this anymore - being nearly 18 years old, tiny gifts aren't so exciting to him anymore! ;)

tab
12-23-2005, 09:31 PM
I don't really celebrate Christmas, but my boyfriend's parents are pretty devout Christians so I get it anyway. My dad and his wife do the gift-giving thing as dictated by society, but they're agnostic, I'm pretty sure. My mom and her husband are something like pagans, but they also do the gift-giving thing. I prefer to celebrate the solstice quietly, lighting my candle and enjoying thoughts of longer days to come. Of course, I also love excuses to buy things for my boyfriend, and Christmas is a pretty good one. If only I could talk him into accepting gifts for things like Imbolc...
I'm definitely not offended when people wish me a merry Christmas. It's the dominant holiday, or at least does a very good job of pretending. What I don't understand is when people get offended when people say "season's greetings" or "happy holidays". Someone is wishing you well here, and I can't see why you would be offended by it. It's the same sentiment as "merry Christmas" but with different words.

KellyK
12-23-2005, 10:02 PM
OMG, Femmy...I was SO worried that you were lighting a fire under something...Im SO glad I was wrong! This is another testament to the respectful and WONDERFUL people here at KH!

This thread has been FASCINATING!

As for me, we celebrate Christmas, but I dont consider myself Christian in the dogmatic sense. I honestly DONT KNOW if I believe that Christ was the son of God...I dont know about the walking on water or the rising from the dead after three days. I DO, however, think he was a person (there is historical proof of that) whose life is worth emulating. Love love love and forgive. I LIKE that!

What does that make me? Agnostic? Im not even sure. My real beliefs are centered around being a GOOD person. And, I suppose that when I think of GOOD, I think of the Christian ideal of Good...as opposed to the, oh, i dont know, buddhist sense of Good.

And, although I dont like the pressure of the season, I DO love an excuse to give gifts. I LOVE presents! I love giving and receiving them. I love wrapping paper and ribbon and the idea that Im thinking of someone and/or they are thinking of me.

I am RARELY offended by anyone's belief system. On the contrary, I find tradition, culture and religion FASCINATING. I was not raised in a church, although I attended a Lutheran church with a friend between about 3rd and 8th grade. I am jealous of people who have what seems to be an innate sense of faith. I dont know if Ive ever felt anything like that. Additionally, my family has been in this country for centuries. I dont feel like I have any real ethnicity. SO...I find cultural tradition beautiful. DH's family is Polish and BOY was his mom happy when I got all excited about Christmas and Easter Vigilia!

Did I write too much? ARe y'all asleep yet? :lol:

newbieknit
12-24-2005, 12:24 AM
You can add me to the list of people who do not celebrate Christmas. I don't mind if other people do if they understand the significance of the holiday. My husband's family like to get together on Christmas or Christmas Eve just so they feel like they're doing the 'right' thing. They don't even care about God or any other diety. They just want to be able to say 'yeah, the kids came over for Xmas and we all had a swell time!'

Now, his cousins and such will spend close to 15k on their children for Xmas... they can't afford to let their son play hockey, but between them and their parent's those children will get close to 15k in gifts. The kids aren't even grateful! They'll actually tell you they don't like your gift at all (they're 10 and 12 yrs old). Two years ago they told me I let them down because they each needed big TV's for their bedrooms and I didn't buy them!! I don't even have a television in my bedroom!! Since that little incident I have been taking the little money I usually spend to get them a couple gifts and purchased yarn and made hats and scarves for foster children.

I don't understand how one religious belief gets a federal day off when no one else's religious holiday gets a mandated day off to spend with friends and relatives. That's about the only irritation I have.

Just once I'd like to say 'hey, since we're all off work on Beltane, let's get together!'

I'll be lurking around here the next couple of days... as I hide from christmas!

I hope this post doesn't come across as offensive to anyone. I have no problem what others decide to do with their lives, as long as their hearts are pure. Knitters hearts are always pure!.. pure wool... :heart:

KellyK
12-24-2005, 01:54 AM
What's Beltane?

humblestumble
12-24-2005, 02:58 AM
Being a Wiccan, I don't 'celebrate' Christmas... ie: the birth of Christ.

I've renamed this season "Santa Season" for myself, as it's a time where I can count on seeing all of my immediate family (most of which *are* Christian and celebrate the birth of Christ).

Being able to give other people a little happiness through both spending time with them, and giving them a little token of 'love' that I've carefully thought about and chosen or made for them, makes ME happy too.

As the 'holidays' I observe are more in a solitary practice, they do not require a tree, presents, eggs etc the "Santa Season" rituals, I'm more than happy to participate in.

We've kinda done the same thing. It's more of the spirit of Santa Claus, like giving and family. We definitely don't put any thought towards the Christ. Besides, I know that his birthday wasn't even around this time of year, hah.

humblestumble
12-24-2005, 03:01 AM
Now, his cousins and such will spend close to 15k on their children for Xmas... they can't afford to let their son play hockey, but between them and their parent's those children will get close to 15k in gifts. The kids aren't even grateful! They'll actually tell you they don't like your gift at all (they're 10 and 12 yrs old). Two years ago they told me I let them down because they each needed big TV's for their bedrooms and I didn't buy them!! I don't even have a television in my bedroom!! Since that little incident I have been taking the little money I usually spend to get them a couple gifts and purchased yarn and made hats and scarves for foster children.

I don't understand how one religious belief gets a federal day off when no one else's religious holiday gets a mandated day off to spend with friends and relatives. That's about the only irritation I have.



Wow, sounds like some kids need to find out the value of life and not material things. This is quite saddening to me. It's not about getting anything...

As for the Christian holiday thing, I think that happened because the majority of the nation os Christian based (as far as I know). So, majority rules, I guess (except for election day)

Carol_OH
12-24-2005, 04:18 AM
What's Beltane?

my anniversary! :D

May Day, KK!

here's the wiki notations
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltane

gimmesanity
12-24-2005, 10:03 AM
This thread is fascinating.

I was raised Roman Catholic, but I'm not practicing anymore. It's a decision I came to a long time ago after a lot of thought. My husband was raised Lutheran, and he doesn't practice either. This will be our first xmas as a "family" with DD. Before she was around, we didn't bother with a tree. I'd put up a wreath, but that was about it. We view xmas as a free, paid day to get together with our family. We do exchange gifts, but we don't go overboard.

I do think that the spirit of the holiday gets lost in all the gift receiving/giving. I have two brothers, and growing up, there were many years where we would get one gift for all of us (and them some pj's or underwear for each of us.) Like, one year, we got a new tv set for the three of us. Another year we got Atari for all of us (I don't know if any of the younger KH members would remember Atari....)

I don't remember ever grumbling or not being grateful for the gifts we receieved, and I credit my parents for that. For us, this holiday isn't about who go what or how many gifts are under the tree. It's about doing whatever you can to make sure that everyone is together.

Now that my brothers and I are grown and living all over the country, we always make sure to make it home for xmas. I've been in the military for 9 years, and except for last year when we to DH's family in CA, I've been home every year. My brothers are always there, too.

So, yes, we celebrate xmas in a sense, but it's totally centered on the family.

~Sharon

knitncook
12-24-2005, 10:06 AM
What's Beltane?

Beltane is May 1st, May Day. It is the celebration of fertility. I like to equate it to the Pagan version of Valentine's Day but different (yeah, that made sense :roflhard: )

KellyK
12-24-2005, 10:18 AM
And how does one celebrate Beltane/Fertility Day?? :shock:

(I read the Wiki article...it doesnt say.)

Debbie
12-24-2005, 11:37 AM
Well, I don't really know .... but I am thinking there is an obvious way to celebrate fertility day :)

Sorry to be a smarty pants, KK ... I just couldn't resist !

KellyK
12-24-2005, 11:39 AM
Deb...you are in the LAND of Smarty Pants here! NEVER apologize for that!! :roflhard:

Jan in CA
12-24-2005, 12:03 PM
And how does one celebrate Beltane/Fertility Day?? :shock:

(I read the Wiki article...it doesnt say.)

:shock: Ohhhhh I'm getting something for the first time now. :shock: One of the guys at the fire station used to say "Hurray, hurray it's the first of May, outdoor fromping starts today!!"...and I thought he just meant because it was getting warmer or something... :roflhard: :roflhard:

feministmama
12-24-2005, 01:04 PM
the guys at the fire station used to say "Hurray, hurray it's the first of May, outdoor fromping starts today!!"...and I thought he just meant because it was getting warmer or something... :roflhard: :roflhard:

Oh its gettin warmer all right :roflhard:

jodstr2
12-24-2005, 01:44 PM
I wish I could get together with all of YOU ALL for the state sponsered day off. We could sit around the fire and knit and eat cookies we all made and make fun of Hilde (just kidding) *sniff* I :heart: you guys *sniff*

*hugs* :heart:

misstialouise
12-24-2005, 04:20 PM
I have to say, this discussion is one of the reasons I LOVE this forum!

We have a bunch of differing views on "THE" holiday of the year (as most of us - if not all- live in Christian based societies), and yet there is no name calling, no "I'm right/you're wrong".... just total respect that we're all different, beleive different things, and celebrate different holidays.

MWAH!!

Beautiful people!!!!

dustinac
12-24-2005, 04:54 PM
:thumbsup: oh yes on another board I use to post on often this would have turned into a WW III battle within 5mins it was posted.. and its a board about teddy bears :shock: one reason why I love this forum and another reason why you don't see me on the teddy bear board hardly anymore.. ;)

Ingrid
12-24-2005, 06:17 PM
TEDDY BEARS!!! How dare you bring up something so controversial as TEDDY BEARS!!!! :rofling:

We should ask Amy to rename this to Knitting Help and Respect.com. It would be so appropriate! :heart: Everyone!!

Lindsey H
12-24-2005, 06:57 PM
I am a Christian. I am not offended by those who do not celebrate Christmas but I am offended by the mass commercializtion it has become. My kids do not watch commercial TV and we do not have video gomes. Because of this Ben usually only comes up with a couple things he wants, not 87. Actually this year I had to help him come up with ideas :lol: . We also don't spend hours shopping so he does not see all the toys in the stores. All of this helps keep things in perspective. We spent maybe $100 altogether on the kids. Of course my mom goes a little overboard :rollseyes: . I don't see the harm in including Santa in the celebration as long as Ben knows that we are celebrating Jesus' birth. Actually like many of you I have knitted most of my gifts so I have only been out in the mayhem once when we went shopping for the kids.

I know this sounds non-PC but traditionally this has been the Christmas season. The reason stores make so much money during this time is that people are Christmas shopping so for them to exclude Christmas from their advertising makes no sense. Just as most Christians are not offended by those who do not celebrate Christmas I do not think most non-Christians are offended by seeing "Merry Christmas" in stores or hearing it during the season.

So I Joyfully Exclaim:

Merry Christmas

brendajos
12-24-2005, 07:12 PM
here's the thing, i don't think most stores actually have excluded per se the word Christmas from their advertising as much has they have included all December holidays into one. I think the the only people who actually HAVE made an issue out of this are the fundies and the people who really are willing to take advantage of it. I see it totally as a distraction to keep people from paying attention to what is really going on in the world.

I was talking to one of my best friends while driving home for christmas last night and i kept saying that i didn't understand WHY i have been so lacking in the spirit (btw...seeing the tree lit up when i got home last night fixed that for me! :thumbsup: ) and she said "do you suppose that it has anything to do with all the "crap" that is going on in the world that most people either seem to be ignoring or just don't see?" I realized that she hit the nail on the head...with all the hooey over people saying that some of us are trying to take Christ out of Christmas nobody was having to report on real issues.

I am Christian and i completely LOVE the spirit of the season. I love the fact that people are more generous and often smile more. Sure there are a lot of bitter angry people and all i can think is how blessed I am that my life is better than that. I don't think that there would be such a commercialization of the holidays if we didn't let it happen. If we accept that our kids HAVE to have the Xbox 360 or the holiday will be ruined then the commercialization wins out. I listened to a woman go on about her 5 year old yesterday. She told me that she was getting out the presents from their hiding spot and he only had 10 that were around $20 each and that just wasn't enough. So she went out and bought 10 more PLUS some robo thing that was over $100 just by itself. And then she proudly claims that her child is spoiled.

and THAT is the reason why the commercialization of the holidays won't stop....meanwhile she IS one of the people who complains about Christ being taken out of Christmas while also saying that right now Santa is important to him and that when Santa goes away she will teach him about the "magic" of Christ. (magic was her word and it grated on me but i didn't say anything)

I think that it seems like everybody here has a pretty healthy perspective of what is going on and what is really important. I think it is the rest of the world we all need to worry about! ;)

Emeraldcutie
12-24-2005, 11:54 PM
My family Celebrates Christmas.

We have made it a family occassion to gather together, share stories and pictures of the years events. (We are all very busy and don't see each other as often as we would like).

I have tried to take alot of the commercialisn out of it for my kids and centre around helping others. They are pretty understanding that way. I do buy them each one big gift from their list and a couple of smaller ones. Every year my daughter gets the guiness book of world records (her fav).

We try to donate time and energy into helping others, by knitting for the NEOnatal unit near us (we have twin neices who were premies and my daughter was in there for a month after her birth). And we raised money and supplies for the local animal shelter. We organized a knitting group that meets once a week for two hours to knit hats, blankets etc for the shelters in town.

Out of everything, my children have fonder and more lasting memories of the things we did or do instead of what they got, and thats the way I like it.

I love hearing about different ways of celebrating.

Laura C

Izze
12-25-2005, 06:19 AM
My family never really celebrated Christmas. At least, not the family that raised me (my biological mother). The winter solstice was celebrated (Welsh Witches in my family, tracking back at least ten to twelve generations), and presents were given, but during the twleve days of christmas (one a day), and nothing outrageous like an Xbox or anything. Usually stuffed animals, yarn (mad crocheters in my family... mad like Hatters! :roflhard: ), or really good books.

This entire commercilized christmas thing is new to me (I still haven't figure out how I missed noticing it as a child :thinking: ), and I REALLY don't like it. When I give gifts, I want to give something really good, and not because I feel pressured by a holiday. Hence why all of my friends are up to their eyeballs in handmade cards, crocheted blanets and afghans, and origami (I was trying to become a Tsuru Hime -a woman who can fold a thousand paper cranes a thousand different ways- as a child. ).

So I generally just go to the movies on Christmas day (Memoirs of a Geisha, score!) , and call up some friends, and just hang out and chat. And, if I can get enough people (not to mention remember to buy the supplies ahead of time) I pull out my good kimono from storage and have a nice little tea ceremony, to keep up my memory. I hated learning that ceramony as a child (my mother insisted, as I'm part Japanese and was raised Shinto), but love to perform it so much now. It really is relaxing when you're not getting graded on it. :roflhard:

But I don't mind the people that celebrate christmas. That's their perogative. And if they enjoy the holiday, then all the better for them. 'Tis the time of year for having fun, especially with family and friends. (The ones that stand around at bus stops telling people not stepping into churches that they're going to hell for not being a christians don't really rank as 'good' in my book though. More like needing a good, swift kick in the arse. :x)

KellyK
12-25-2005, 12:23 PM
Izze...that sounds like a LOVELY tradition!

VictoiseC
12-25-2005, 03:35 PM
WOW there's so much to read here I can't believe it!

You could write a book FemMama from these stories! Well, maybe. :lol:

I once wrote a short play about my mother. This was before she died.
It had a lot to do about, well me complaining that my mum NEVER invited her 3 daughters (me being the oldest) for the holidays. she HATED Christmas.
All she ever did was say how much she hated it. It was really wierd coz we had great Christmases at my grandma's (her mother) when I was little, driving through snow storms to get there and eat a big roast goose and Czech pastries. But with my mum, we didn't celebrate Easter together, Christmas or Thanksgiving. Granted we lived in different states but she just did not want the mess created by cooking in her house. My parents would go out to a restaurant with my other 2 sisters, or my sisters would cook.

So, there's no get togethers now she's gone and my husband and I always spend our holidays alone but WE HAVE A GAS! We are Christians, returning Catholics after a 20 years absence. My mum's death had to do with that. I love going to church but I also question all the things attributed to Jesus and keep saying I'm going to go to the bookstore and do some research but then I never do.

Well, as for the trees, we're in upstate New York and right up this little road from us is a Xmas tree lot. My dh and I had this argument yesterday coz he doesn't like cutting them down either. But let me tell you, I think something's magical about having that tree in the house. It's just so cool, the first night you light it up. There's spirits involved I think, not to mention aromatherapy! I heard on the radio today for every tree cut 2 trees are planted. I tried this in my 'reasoning' yesterday: America is a huge country and we just have a whole lot of room for growing trees and they are all around us there's just so many & they grow pretty fast. And we go through so much all year, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, why not a little crazy joy? Well, I'll stop coz I know how you guys feel that are opposed and I respect that.

As for the commercialism, IGNORE IT. Just ignore them all! I guess it's really hard with kids (I don't have any). I always think my kids would be different but I doubt it if it were true. (sorry to hear about REBECCA getting pushed around that's amazing)

Why do people wait til the last minute anyhow? I sometimes don't give any gifts then send one a month or two later or anytime of the year.... that's fun to do.

Okey doke. The fire's lit down stairs, there's a bottle of champagne chilling and I'm making pureed chestnuts for the first time OMG I left them boiling downstairs for too lonnnnnng!

Happy Holidays :heart:

Angelia
12-25-2005, 04:00 PM
FM, this thread is wonderful. Thanks!

Victoise, I completely understand the magic of having a real tree in the living room! My family started getting the bound root-ball trees about 25 years ago, so we get the live tree AND we have a ceremonial planting outside after Christmas! Just looking at each one of them reminds me of the specifics of particular Christmases--it's really neat. Of course my parents live on many acres of land and actually have the space to plant so many fir trees...I realize that is not an option for many, though.

The dh and I don't even have to worry about having a tree. The cats have made it clear that we cannot. (Well, they LOVE them, but therein lies the problem...) Maybe someday we'll have a bigger place to live and can shut off one room and make it the Christmas tree room. Until then, well, only the mantle gets decorated. :D

kayeknit
12-25-2005, 04:35 PM
We celebrate Festivas in our house. We get a pole instead of a tree. Just joking. :lol: (For those of you who never watched "Seinfeld", sorry.) We do celebrate Christmas with my family (my husband is from Europe), but I hate every minute of it. For me, it just means more stress than ever, more work, etc. etc. I HATE the commercialism. I think we have SO distorted the meaning of the holiday. It's just about $$$. (What would Jesus say about that?!?) I consider myself a Christian, but definitely not in the traditional sense. To me, a Christian is simply someone who tries to live his/her life as Jesus taught (with love, tolerance, acceptance, simplicity, etc.). :heart:

partydiva
12-25-2005, 07:04 PM
This discussion has made my day. I had to keep reading it to the end.

First of all, I am a Christian and do celebrate Christmas. I don't do live trees because I'm allergic to pine needles, they are extremely messy, and takes a special day for the trash company to come and get them. Too much hassle.

Anyway, I'm not offended in the least bit with people that don't celebrate Christmas. My father is a JH and hasn't celebrated anything but Passover since I was 12 (now 31). The commercialization is enough to make you hurt somebody. I have 2 younger kids and they usually get what they ask for. I don't go overboard because I have to make sure that the lights stay on, the water is running, it's warm inside, and we still have a place to live after it's all said and done.

After years of not doing anything together, my family came together and had a Christmas dinner where I cooked and we exchanged gifts. The gifts were nice but spending time with family was nice since we all don't live in the same area. This is probably the only time of the year that everybody can get some time off from work.

This year I was totally stressed out with the last minute thing. I couldn't wait until it came and went so that I could resume my normally hectic life :rofling: . Next year I think I will make everyone's gifts. Some people don't realize how much time goes into making personalized gifts. I wonder what everybody will think next year if I suggest that all gifts have to be handmade? That will probably be a complete mess and we probably won't be able to get together. Maybe I can save my time and money and put them into my hobbies........ I have so many of them.

Thanks again for this topic. It was very refreshing.

nicolethegeek
12-25-2005, 08:22 PM
Post-writing note: warning, very long post!!! :shock:

Well first of all, I have to admit that I avoided this topic like the plague until just now. I've been an admin on a few lists where any topic even remotely controversial will be blown completely out of proportion. Respect and tolerance for others was non-existant there, and I feared for that here... I shoulda known better! :oops:

That being said, I *do* consider myself a Christian, even though I haven't been in a church since my 9 year old daughter was christened. I've become more religious in the last 2 years since losing my mother. A lot of that has to do with some terrible things that happened {many of which were that year} which have made me realize that all things happen for a reason, and I choose to believe that those reasons are God's and He will reveal his reasons to me when the time is right. I am fortunate that my DH shares the same beliefs as I. We tend to agree on most things, and religion is one of them, thank God! {sorry, couldn't resist!} :roflhard:

I liked the school that my older children attended for a while. The population there had a fairly large proportion of Jewish children and December was spent learning about all kinds of different holiday traditions. I still remember my kids coming home and telling me how much fun they had playing with a driedel! There's a TV commercial for some company on right now that combines all the various names into one... I think it's boyforpele13 that has it in his sig line. I laugh like crazy every time I see it! To me things like that teach tolerance. I may not agree with your beliefs or traditions, but I'm certainly not going to disrespect you for having them, and I expect the same in return.

Our family celebrates Christmas in our own way. My mother's family has basically written us off since her death, and even though over 75% of them live within a 30 minute drive of us, no one {including my younger brother} in the family had seen my youngest daughter except in a few photos I sent online {I was 4 months pregnant with her when my Mom passed away}. My DHs family are all on the other side of the country. So our Christmas is *just* us. If we have any friends that we know will be alone that day, we invite them over. Christmas Eve is the only day I'm guaranteed to have off from work, so we do something special together that night. Last year we bought a family holiday DVD that we watched together. This year DH and I took out my oldest son {he doesn't live with us anymore} and his GF out to play pool for a couple hours since the pool hall was open until 10. That was really nice because he hasn't really spent any time with us at all since we kicked him out in April. I got one of those 15-in-1 game sets for the older girls and they were able to test out their new chess skills on each other {they're 9 & 10, they joined a chess club at school}, as well as beat Mom at a game of parcheesi! Everyone gets a new pair of pyjamas to open Christmas Eve. This year I put on the presents "from Gramma", partially so we'd know which ones they were, but mostly because it was a tradition my Mom started, and one of the ways we keep her alive in our hearts.

At 9 & 10, Christmas really seems to become a contest to the kids... I remember being that way myself... where all that mattered is what cost the most and what was the biggest. DH and I had a talk with them about the meaning behind stuff. We brought up the Christmas where I had surprised DH with a completed afghan. We asked both girls, which present was worth more, the Xbox which cost about $200 {which DH had gotten as an early present that year, and still plays a lot}, or the afghan which I had used about $40 of yarn on. Both girls said the Xbox. Then I asked DH. He replied, "I play the Xbox a lot, so it's worth quite a bit to me. But the afghan is priceless because you made it with love. That's worth more than all of my Tiger Woods put together {he's got 3 or 4 of them!}." Another opportunity to teach the kids a bit about Christmas came when we were taking them to the children's party DHs company puts on. Our 3yo DS thought we were going to a birthday party. DH was trying to correct him when I had said, "Well we kinda *are* going to a birthday party. It's a birthday party for Jesus, but you get the presents." I then went on about how we get presents on Jesus' birthday because he gave us the ultimate gift. It ended up being the perfect time to help the kids understand our beliefs.

Some of that must have hit home, at least in the 10yo DDs mind, since I had an interesting conversation with her this morning. Santa brought 9yo DD the Barbie recording studio to go with the Canadian Idol Barbie she got at the kid's party. 10yo DD got a stable of small toy horses to keep her treasured beanie baby, Hoofer, company, as well as a guinea pig nest. 10yo DD and I had a conversation about a month ago about how I'm allergic to animals with hair, and guinea pigs have hair... so this gave her the clue that she may be getting a guinea pig or gerbil soon. She told me, "Becca may have the biggest present, but I like mine better." :cheering: YES!!! :cheering: IT SUNK IN!!! :cheering:

Working in retail, this time of year drives me nuts. Strangely enough, it has helped me to try and teach my kids more about tolerance/respect and the spirit of giving. One of my 10yo DDs best friends is Muslim, and I've encouraged her to ask her questions and such about her holidays and traditions. When she was younger, her best friend was JH, and her question one year was if they celebrated Thanksgiving {since she knew they didn't celebrate birthdays or Christmas}. So we asked them! All I've tried to do is teach our children our system of beliefs and traditions, and the reasons behind them; while at the same time teaching them a respect for other's beliefs and traditions, as well as a curiosity about them enough to learn about them.

AidanM
12-25-2005, 11:30 PM
www.witchvox.com used to have a series called "You Call It _____, We Call It ____" And took most of the major holidays such as Christmas and Easter and explained how they related to Wiccans and the more general Pagan community. There's one about Beltane, if I'm not mistaken.

nicolethegeek
12-26-2005, 10:31 AM
www.witchvox.com used to have a series...
Thanks for posting this! I find stuff like this absolurely fascinating. It's amazing how many "Christian" customs have their basis in the much older pagan religions. It helps that I'm an information junkie, plus it never hurts to learn more about that which you do not know. :D

KellyK
12-26-2005, 10:36 AM
MOST of them do...made it easier to convert the pagans.

VictoiseC
12-26-2005, 11:36 AM
I'm still reading these fabulous stories! Really kind of a nice Christmas thing in itself itsn't it? I also wanted to say how great it is that the forums/discussions here never stoop degenerate what's the word! become ugly. I left the only other site I used to visit a long time ago after a giant brouhaha began over Martha Stewarts poncho. What a mess that was. So! It's mighty refreshing to see such sensible and sensitive people here.

Oh that's such a great idea about planting the trees each year and then remembering which Christmas they came from. I think I'm going to have a talk with my DH and consider doing that next year. I love it and we can always use more trees in our yard! THANK YOU for that.... I had forgot all about it.

:thumbsup:

Ok, now we just have to get through NEW YEARS EVE. :shock:

knittingdoula
12-26-2005, 11:44 PM
Well, I haven't seen any posts from fellow Jewish knitters, so I'll bite.

Frankly, I view this whole time of year with a bit of amusement. On the Christmas side, you see people putting themselves into massive amounts of debt to provide their children with "stuff", a choice I find dubious at best. Thankfully, there are lots of people who try to emphasize the less materialistic portions of it, but it's an uphill battle, which makes me sad.

On the Chanukkah side, I see Jews also trying to make what is a very MINOR religious holiday into the Jewish Christmas. This makes me nuts because a) we're not Christian and shouldn't feel like we're guilty for not having Christmas and b) it displays a massive amount of ignorance about our own religion. I see so many secular Jews going all out for Channukah, and not for a host of other far more important Jewish holidays.

As an Orthodox Jew, I do not mind in the least when people wish me a Merry Christmas. Why should I? Most of the country celebrates Christmas. I do not worry myself with getting all snarky over another holiday. If friends ask me about the origins of Chanukkah, I tell them. We keep it as small as possible in our home, emphasizing the miracle of Chanukkah and not the miracle of gift giving. We light the menorah, make some latkes and enjoy the family. It is a blessedly lightweight holiday in terms of cooking, which is fabulous for me, given that I'm the one in charge of cooking in our home.

I wish everyone a very happy holiday season, and a beautiful new year. (Although the Jewish new year was back in October! :) ) Please, everyone, count your most treasured blessings .... the PEOPLE who grace your life. My heart aches quite a bit, knowing Liza will never come home and will never celebrate another holiday with us. So for us, we feel doubly grateful this year for the great blessing of life and family.

Alison

Jeremy
12-27-2005, 12:02 AM
:thumbsup: Thanks Alison, P.S You are not alone :D

KellyK
12-27-2005, 12:30 AM
Alison....that post was BEAUTIFUL. And, you are SO right. Thank you for that!

Jeremy
12-27-2005, 12:39 AM
Alison, I guess you missed this :D I don't celebrate Christmas but I do enjoy many of the positive aspects of it. People are generally happier, more forgiving and live more in the moment. They tend to think more about the what other people may need or want. I also enjoy the lights and decorations. I can't count how many times people have wished me a Merry Christmas despite the fact that I was wearing a yarmulke. I always thank them anyway since I probably will enjoy a nice kosher Chinese meal and a movie on that day :D

May your daughter's memory be for a blessing. Jeremy

nicolethegeek
12-27-2005, 08:30 AM
Alison, my heart goes out to you at this time... This was my third Christmas without my mother. Regardless of whether or not this time of year is an important holiday or not {it's not the most important holiday for Jews or Christians}, it's a time of year where most tend to really focus on family and getting together. It does get a bit easier, but not by much. Everything is still just below the surface. I can now buy ONE package of icy squares for my DH each year without completely breaking down, but I still can't bring myself to buy Chanel No. 5 perfume. I have finally stopped trying to phone my mother with something or other that I wanted to tell her. I remind myself that she's now in a better place {with her brother}. I know that she's around since my youngest DD has learned things that my mom tried {and failed} to teach all of my other children. I also keep her alive in our hearts by carrying on certain traditions that she had that were important to me.
I do not know the circumstances around your daughter's {am I correct in assuming she's your daughter?} death, but from your signature I am guessing that it was in the line of duty. She gave of herself so that we all can live freer. Even though I do not live in the US, I have many of the benefits of a free society due to our close proximity. I have several relatives in the Canadian military and have very strong beliefs and opinions about that. But I do know that if any of them died in the line of duty, regardless if I agreed with that duty or not, they would be heroes in my heart for their ultimate sacrifice.

tigger0229
12-27-2005, 10:09 AM
rebecca, very lovely post.
I am also a christian who celebrates Christmas (the birth of the Christ).

knitncook
12-27-2005, 11:47 AM
As an Orthodox Jew, I do not mind in the least when people wish me a Merry Christmas. Why should I? Most of the country celebrates Christmas. I do not worry myself with getting all snarky over another holiday.

Alison, have I told you how absolutely cool I think you are? :D This is how I feel. I figure we live in a prodominantly Christian society so seeing and hearing "Merry Christmas" is about as natural as if I lived in a prodominantly Jewish society and someone would wish me mazel tov or whatever it is Jews wish each other on their holy days. Or if I were in a Arabic or Hindu or Buddhist or Shinto or Pagan culture where their holidays were mostly honored. I even wish people a Merry Christmas if they wish me one first (Or I might say, "And to you as well.")

Kirochka
12-27-2005, 01:06 PM
(Having written the following, I thought I'd better come back to the beginning and say that it isn't really in reference to what I've been reading here so much as a blowing-off of accumulated steam from media reports of the past month or two! Sorry for unloading it on all y'all, but feel free to skip it... it just felt good to have somewhere to put it, and with any luck, it's out of my system now.)

My husband grew up Catholic (and was in a seminary for 8 years, studying to be a Franciscan friar, until he started going through major changes to the point that he now considers himself an atheist, with an interest in Tibetan Buddhism); I'm from a Jewish family, one in which my parents spent my entire childhood incredibly conflicted about religion (my brother was bar mitzvahed... two years late; I can probably count the times I have been in a synagogue on one hand; we had seders with my Polish immigrant grandparents, but I've been to just one seder since they died in the 1980s; my parents, since my father's mother died nine years ago, have gotten very involved with genealogy and with Chabad, although both are at least agnostic and possibly atheists). I've been an atheist probably as long as I've had the vocabulary to understand what made me so different from most people I've ever met.

All that is as background to the fact that we have a Christmas tree in our living room, as a tribute to my husband's background and traditions, and a menorah in our kitchen, as a tribute to mine. Both of these make us feel warm in the memories of childhood; neither of them now has any personal religious significance for us. We don't exchange gifts; my husband goes and does a Christmas gift exchange with his children and their families.

I can't imagine anyone being offended by what holidays other people do or don't celebrate. The issue this year, it seems to me, and not for the first time, has been media and political figures (some of whom have books to sell on the topic, not coincidentally) insisting that saying "Happy Holidays" instead of referring to a specific religious holiday is somehow an "attack" or a "war" on those who do celebrate the specific religious holiday. (But only one: no one I've heard of is out there saying "If you say 'Happy Holidays' instead of 'Happy Chanukah,' you're part of the long-standing war on Judaism.") As I see it, insisting on public institutions or stores or such referring to a specific holiday is insisting on the secular society privileging one group (those who celebrate that holiday) over others (those who celebrate others, or none). Yes, the group that does celebrate the religious holiday may be in the majority, but a majority of the population doing anything has never been enough in itself to mandate it for all of society (as an aside, it seems to me lots of important changes and developments in society have been in spite of the majority view, not because of it) - and besides, no one has ever prevented anyone from celebrating the holiday of his choosing. If you're in a church, or a private home, or a private gathering, or a private institution, or a group of private individual people, I see nothing wrong with choosing to refer to a specific religious holiday. If I am greeting someone I know to celebrate Christmas, I say "Merry Christmas"; if I am greeting someone I know to celebrate Chanukah, of course I say "Happy Chanukah" - it's simple.

If you're a department store wanting to appeal to as broad a sector of the multi-cultural population of the country as possible, though, why wouldn't you use a more inclusive, more broadly appealing phrase - after all, your purpose is to sell as much as possible, not proselytize for a particular religious viewpoint. Plus, those who are calling for boycotts of stores that say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" seem to be saying that the stores should use only Christmas to sell, sell, sell... how odd. Is that what they're saying the birth of their Messiah is all about? If you're a government institution that purportedly represents the interests of all Americans, not just Christian Americans or Jewish Americans, no matter how large or small a portion of the population they constitute, why would you use a phrase that excludes some Americans and privileges others? I don't think anyone can seriously say that public marking of Christmas is being beaten down or lost or diminished: I've been hearing Christmas carols and seeing Christmas decorations since Hallowe'en. The local bank and the local car dealership and various other locations have that ubiquitous white cut-out nativity scene displayed on their lawns and will no doubt for weeks to come. If there's a "war on Christmas," it's being lost, hands down.

Ah, well. I guess John Gibson has sold as many books as he can for the moment, and perhaps we'll be spared more of this... until next October, when it will all start again. My guess is that this "War on Christmas" noise was a manufactured media distraction from real problems in the world, a way for media outlets and political figures to grab attention, and not particularly important for everyday people. who go about their business, celebrate their holidays, and do their best to share joy and happiness with those they love, and with the world. At least, that is what I hope.

Happy New Year to everyone!

KellyK
12-27-2005, 01:23 PM
Karen...I know how ya feel & I agree. People need to pick their battles. A good wish is a good wish.

Now, that said, how DARE you wish me a Happy New Year! IM not having a new year....Im staying in the OLD one! :roflhard:

Ingrid
12-27-2005, 01:26 PM
I'm with Kelly!! You can celebrate December any way you want, or not at all, but let's not bring up the New Year!! Waaay to controversial! What about the cultures who do not celebrate New Year on January 1!

Angelia
12-27-2005, 01:30 PM
Yep, I agree Kelly and Karen. Good grief. Some people are just too touchy. I haven't seen a "War on Christmas" anywhere except in the media. I almost choked on my own spit when I first saw Gibson's book in B&N.

Blech.

On to less deluded things! Or maybe not...about the new year and its potential for happiness....I'm kinda happy in this one, too.

I don't turn 40 in this one. :rofling:

Ingrid
12-27-2005, 01:35 PM
I don't turn 40 in this one either! :roflhard: :roflhard:

brendajos
12-27-2005, 01:39 PM
ya know what my favorite christmas decoration EVER is......The plastic light up ones that people put in the yard willy nilly.

Nothing says "Happy Birthday Jesus!" than a plastic light up baby Jesus in the creche....even better when the plastic light up santa is hanging out with the wise men!

:rollseyes:

I must say though, that as much as they annoy me, they do make me smile a lot!

Kirochka
12-27-2005, 01:42 PM
Neither do I (turn 40)... 44, yeah, but not 40! :shock:

(I actually don't feel a day over 12...)

Angelia
12-27-2005, 01:52 PM
Nothing says "Happy Birthday Jesus!" than a plastic light up baby Jesus in the creche....even better when the plastic light up santa is hanging out with the wise men!

:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

They make me laugh, too! Oh, sort of related: remember the house with the hideous synchronized Christmas lights & music that someone posted a link to awhile back? That is now on a beer commercial! (For Miller Lite, I think...)

(I actually don't feel a day over 12...)

I don't act a day over 12...but I think that might actually be a problem. :D

Kirochka
12-27-2005, 01:59 PM
Oh, can I just say, the thing that's got me most riled up this year? The ads for Coke that feature the happy penguins and polar bears partying together!!!

There's going to be a generation of kids growing up thinking polar bears and penguins live on the same continent! (Well, they may, but not outside of a zoo!)

(Not that my husband and I have a thing about penguins... oh, no, not us. No.... there aren't at least five penguin ornaments on our tree. Oh, no...)

Angelia
12-27-2005, 02:03 PM
I regularly have students who can't even identify what continent they live on, much less the continents of polar bears and penguins. These are college students, for crying out loud! It's just so sad.

Have you seen March of the Penguins?

Kirochka
12-27-2005, 02:06 PM
It's the only movie we saw in a theater this year!!!! :D

By the way, Angelia, where are you in Alabama? My husband and I visit Sand Mountain and Lookout Mountain, plus B'ham, several times a year for Sacred Harp singings!

Angelia
12-27-2005, 02:18 PM
I'm in Huntsville but from Albertville--right atop Sand Mountain! How cool is it that you've been there! Whereabouts on Sand Mountain? (It is HUGE.)

How did you like March of the Penguins? I've heard it's fantastic, but kinda sad...

Kirochka
12-27-2005, 02:23 PM
(Yes, I'm getting sucked into this website instead of doing something more constructive around the house... I'm home from work since I was feeling sick this morning, but I'm fine now and goofing off...)

We've been to Albertville! We spent some days one summer vacationing in Guntersville, on the lake. Usually we're in Henagar and Ider - the big hub of Sacred Harp singing on Sand Mountain - and every April and August we sing in Collinsville on Lookout Mountain. Our next visit to Henagar will be the end of January, for an all-day singing the last Sunday. We always love to visit Alabama!

We loved "March of the Penguins," but yes, there are some painful and sad parts - the penguins don't all survive... :(

Kirochka
12-27-2005, 02:24 PM
I forgot to say, quite often we sing in Huntsville the Saturday before the first Sunday in May, at Burritt Museum on Monte Sano...

Angelia
12-27-2005, 02:32 PM
I'm glad you're feeling better!! Now you can just hang out with us! :D

I was born in Guntersville--my dad's from there, too. It's beautiful there! :inlove: And the lake is ginormous. When they added a dam for TVA several decades ago, they flooded the town, which is why the lake is so big (and why the town is shaped so oddly).

Oh, about 10 or so years ago, when Brad Pitt was still with Gweyneth Paltrow, he came to Guntersville to buy a house on the lake. I don't think he ever actually bought one...they broke up soon after. Of course everyone was haunting G-ville to get a glimpse of his loveliness!

Wow, I just can't believe you've heard of Sand Mountain, let alone visited it! It really is a small world, isn't it?! :happydance:

Angelia
12-27-2005, 02:33 PM
I forgot to say, quite often we sing in Huntsville the Saturday before the first Sunday in May, at Burritt Museum on Monte Sano...


Oooh, Burritt is beautiful! What a lovely place to sing! I'll come to see you this May! :cheering: :cheering:

Jeremy
12-27-2005, 02:43 PM
I know this is way off topic but what is sacred harp singing?

Kirochka
12-27-2005, 02:45 PM
Oh, about 10 or so years ago, when Brad Pitt was still with Gweyneth Paltrow, he came to Guntersville to buy a house on the lake. I don't think he ever actually bought one...they broke up soon after. Of course everyone was haunting G-ville to get a glimpse of his loveliness!



Mmmm... Brad Pitt.... we just rented "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" just to gaze at Brangelina (very stupid movie, but very, um, esthetically pleasing...) (Er, I should say we just rented the movie so I could gaze at Brangelina... probably my husband was just gazing at Angelina. Personally, I think she's even hotter than Brad...)

(I think we've hijacked this thread!!!)

Do come to Burritt Museum for the singing! I'm pretty sure we'll go again this year to that singing (we have to figure out a way of scheduling our singing trips without breaking the bank, but that's a great singing so we'll probably keep it in the schedule this year). It'll be on 6 May in 2006, I'm pretty sure.

Angelia
12-27-2005, 02:46 PM
I know this is way off topic but what is sacred harp singing?

Here's Amy's page (http://www.knittinghelp.com/content/personal/shape-note/index.php) about it, which includes links. You can even see a pic of her singing!

Kirochka
12-27-2005, 02:49 PM
I know this is way off topic but what is sacred harp singing?

A-ha-ha-ha!!!!! Another chance to try to suck people in to Sacred Harp singing. Our Beloved Webmaster Amy is a Sacred Harp singer and is coming to Chicago in a couple of weeks for one of our annual singings. [Edited to add: well, for an Illinois knitting gathering, but also the singing!!!!] The short version is, it's four-part a capella community singing of songs with primarily Christian texts, from a shape-note tunebook published first in 1844 called The Sacred Harp. Best site for more information is at http://fasola.org - I maintain a site for Chicago singings at http://www.woodbros.com/Singings.html Amy's home page has links about singing too!

It's incredibly fun, and all people are invited to join in, regardless of musical ability, religious conviction, age, sex, race, anything. It began in the South (and its traditional heartland is in Alabama, Georgia, Texas) but is present now throughout the country, plus in the UK even.

Now I've well and truly hijacked this thread!!!! :D

Angelia
12-27-2005, 02:53 PM
Now I've well and truly hijacked this thread!!!! :D

:rofling: :rofling: Yes--but it's fun!

Brangelina...HA! She is gorgeous, yes. I imagine the movie was verrrry nice on the eyes, even if insulting to the intelligence!

Kirochka
12-27-2005, 02:56 PM
Brangelina...HA! She is gorgeous, yes. I imagine the movie was verrrry nice on the eyes, even if insulting to the intelligence!

That sums it up perfectly!!

Must go take a shower... it's 12:55 p.m. and here I am still sitting in my pajamas! (Which would be okay if I were still feeling sick, but now is just total laziness!)

I'll PM you later about Huntsville etc., Angelia, so this thread can get back to its regularly scheduled programming! :D

Ingrid
12-27-2005, 03:30 PM
I don't turn 40 in this one either! :roflhard: :roflhard:

I "WISH" I was turning 40!....again.. :rollseyes:

It September I'll be turning 40 for the 13th time!! :shock: :roflhard:

Jan in CA
12-27-2005, 03:46 PM
I don't turn 40 in this one either! :roflhard: :roflhard:

I "WISH" I was turning 40!....again.. :rollseyes:

It September I'll be turning 40 for the 13th time!! :shock: :roflhard:

:roflhard: You caught the post before I deleted it. I was afraid I was hijacking the thread. LOL Well, I guess since I'm 53 I'd be turning 40 for the 13th time, too! :roflhard:

Angelia
12-27-2005, 03:47 PM
:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

At least you've gotten some use out of the "40" candles! That was money well spent for someone!

Ingrid
12-27-2005, 04:12 PM
Yeah, it's pretty much had it!

Angelia
12-27-2005, 04:47 PM
Well, here's a new one. May it last you many more years! :balloons:

Ingrid
12-27-2005, 04:48 PM
:balloons: Thanks! But I refuse to light it until September. I've got a few good months left in 52! ;)

Angelia
12-27-2005, 04:58 PM
You could just say you're forty-twelve, going on forty-thirteen!

Ingrid
12-27-2005, 06:02 PM
:roflhard: Actually I'm 30 twenty-two.

misstialouise
12-27-2005, 06:37 PM
I change decades in 2006...

30..

:S

Angelia
12-27-2005, 06:40 PM
:roflhard: Actually I'm 30 twenty-two.

And this is why I ordered half as much WOTA as I needed for my hugea booga.

Freakin' math!!!....$%#@ &*%$ #$@ :mad:

MaryS
12-27-2005, 06:42 PM
I just read through all 7 pages of this thread, and all I can say is:



HAPPY KH!!!

This is the most wonderful group of people I've ever been a part of.

( and in my "Ruthann" voice [from Laugh-In for those of you too young to know] "AND THAT'S THE TRUTHHHHH!)

HAPPY US!!!!!!!



Mary

feministmama
12-28-2005, 01:11 AM
I remember Lily Tomlin as Ruth Ann. Actually Lily Tomlin was the only part of laugh in that I really liked. That and the guy on the trike that would fall over. :lol:

cheesiesmom
12-29-2005, 11:16 AM
Sorry ladies, I just double-checked lilytomlin.com and the character was Edith Ann, and that's the truth. Pluth-h-h-h. Was a big fan of Laugh-In. Henry Gibson, I think, was the trike character. Artie Johnson, the DOM. Ruth Bussey was Gladys the homely spinster on the park bench. Why are all my namesakes stupid, homely butts of the joke???!! They were so popular you have to wonder what happened to them all.

I've spent so much time trying to get through my holiday knitting that this is the first opportunity I've had to catch up on the forum. I loved this thread. Very informative and insightful.

MaryS
12-29-2005, 11:22 PM
Thanks, cheesie!

You're right - it was Edith Ann. Somehow that wouldn't come to mind.

Where is MI are you? Any chance you might be interested in a road trip to Chicago on Jan 6th? I'm going to the Illinois Knit-in, and I'd love company on the drive.

Happy Knitting :XX: :XX:

Mary

Cristy
12-30-2005, 12:16 AM
I am Christian and feel strongly about my faith so I do celebrate the holiday as a religious holiday. I also have a 3 year old little girl who, although she attends a christian preschool, still sees her friends receiving tons of gifts and she gets very excited about the christmas lights (as any small child would). I don't discourage Santa but I do portray Santa in a Christian light (Santa brings gifts to remind us of the greatest gift we've received--Jesus). I do believe that my religion is "the way" or else I wouldn't be a believer although I also understand that (and Christianity clearly discusses) not everyone will be a believer. So for those who do not believe--I continue to pray and I embrace them and their traditions just as I would my Christian friends and family. One of my very best friends married a man who is not Christian and regularly makes degrading comments about Christianity. It's hard to listen to but I love him all the same--I just have to know my conversational limits when he and I are talking. I do love the trees and decorations--I love the spirit of Christmas and the way it seems to make everyone's heart swell--even if only a little. I have a very close friend who is Muslim and one who is Jewish--I spent time living in Japan as a college student studying Buddhism. I appreciate that everyone has their differences--it's what makes democracy so important (despite how little we seem to have left on some days!)
geeze..you got me going didn't you?! :D

cheesiesmom
01-01-2006, 01:41 PM
Where is MI are you? Any chance you might be interested in a road trip to Chicago on Jan 6th? I'm going to the Illinois Knit-in, and I'd love company on the drive.



Aw-w, thanks for the invitation Mary, but besides working full time, I don't get out too much as I have some mobility problems. Thank goodness I can order yarn online (or maybe, too bad)!!

Phretys
01-01-2006, 10:46 PM
First of all I wanted to say that this has been a very lovely thread that was a pleasure to read.

Now on to the other burning issue:

I don't turn 40 in this one either! :roflhard: :roflhard:

I "WISH" I was turning 40!....again.. :rollseyes:

It September I'll be turning 40 for the 13th time!! :shock: :roflhard:

:roflhard: You caught the post before I deleted it. I was afraid I was hijacking the thread. LOL Well, I guess since I'm 53 I'd be turning 40 for the 13th time, too! :roflhard:

Is 40 like a super magical number or something? Other than women turning 40 this year belonging to the controversial Fire Horse Girl club? ;) Why do I ask? Noooooo reason, really... :roflhard:

Debi

Ingrid
01-01-2006, 10:48 PM
Turning 40 makes you Royalty. Really! It's in the constitution and everything! :rofling:

Ellen Edwards
01-02-2006, 01:41 AM
Since I turned 40 in 1989, I am feeling very royal now!!
And I'm a Christian, a believer in the Christ, the only Begotten Son of the Living God. And I do not have an objection to those who do not believe in anything or anyone. I myself have gotten tired and frustrated with the way Christmas is marketed and celebrated!! We put up a tree when the children were young, but the best part was my Dh reading the Christmas story from Luke every Christmas eve, and reading Charles Dickens" Christmas Carol to the children beginning about the first of December. And the year my dd was 13 and my son was 7, we all got paper and pen and wrote something--a poem or just a few lines on how we felt. My children's things were endearing and somewhat comical, but my husband, who seldom writes anything but" I love you, Honey", on a card to me---wrote the most wonderful page on how blessed he felt and why. I have them all to this day, and take them out to treasure them every year.

Now my husband and I don't even put up a tree or decorations, but we travel to Alabama to spend Christmas with our son and his family. Our dear daughter passed away in '98, at 31, and we don't seem able to get in the "spirit" to celebrate unless we are around family. So we delight in seeing our little grandboy and watching our son "parent", as we spoil the little fellow rotten! :roflhard: :roflhard:

Now it's a new year--So Happy ....um...whateveryacallit!!! :blush: