Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love to go christmas caroling and my favorite eating a big christmas dinner.
Christmas has an interesting history. It was not a holiday in early America, and in fact was outlawed in Boston for a few years. Christmas didn't become a federal holiday in America until 1870. I anticipate one day in the not-too-distant future Congress will pass a law abolishing it as a federal holiday for political correctness.
I don't think that will go over to well with Americans .
Theology aside, I don't think it will ever be abolished because it is a huge economic driver at this time of year. It would be political suicide to abolish xmas for a slew of reasons, including religious idiologies which are still dominant in NA. It's far too celebrated to abolish it.
My 2 pennies.
Exactly we have entrenched christmas in so many aspects of our culture.
I didn't say we would abolish Christmas -- just the federal holiday due to separation of church and state. The First Amendment to the US Constitution states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". IMO declaring Christmas as a federal holiday violates that law. (Public Law 90-363)
The way i see it half Americans celebrate it has a religious holiday and the other half celebrate it has a normal holiday. So if the government was to abolish has a federal holiday there will be alot of people offended by it. Some people may see it has an insult to their religion.
30% of americans already see it as an insult to their religions.
Christmas does not belong to Christians
is often quoted. Well, what's the definition of Christmas then? I get the gist though. The time of the winter solstice has been an important tradition in many religions and cultures. This 'festive' period is not the sole preserve of the Christians. Like most other notably Christian entries in the calendar, they pretty much usurped the important dates of other religions and customs.
A nice article here - not too sure about all the references, but anyway...
Most people already know that Christ was not born Dec 25th, but most likely in the spring. But the very name CHRISTmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ. One of the early Pope's decided Dec 25th would be as good a date as any to celebrate since that date is already celebrated for other things.
Many people suffer from the misconception that Christmas is a Christian holiday
Well, it wouldn't be called Christmas if it wasn't a Christian holiday. Why not just name it "Winter Festivals" or something like that?
In today's retail they abbreviate christmas to Xmas to eliminate the Christ aspect of it and to make it more about the presents ant the gifts,
Xmas as an alternative to Christmas actually dates back several hundred years. The X comes from the Greek letter, chi, which is the first letter of the word that we know in English as Christ.
Rev, you're preaching to the eternally ignorant. ;)
30% of americans already see it as an insult to their religions.
I guess that kind of is true...
Christmas let our year end happily.
Well I'm as Athiest as it gets and i don't want to lose Christmas on account of secular governments. I like the festive time of year, the family gatherings, the food, the goodies, and the list can go on. Let's keep Christmas, call it whatever suits the person giving it a name and carry on! :)
No one said anything about abolishing Christmas, just abolishing the American federal holiday. Nothing else would change.
Rev- that may be but still retailers are using it i. Way too divert people from the true meaning and to make it more about the presents. I know i work retail.
I would be pretty pissed off if they removed it as a federal holiday, because I would most likely have to work on that day after they did that. In fact I think America should just make every religous day, from every religion, a federal holiday. I deserve more days off damn it.
I know i work retail
Is Taco Bell having any xmas specials this year?
Unfortunatly no we are closed on Christmas.
I feel your pain about needing more days off
In fact I think America should just make every religous day, from every religion, a federal holiday.
A friend of mine is from India and he says they have lots of holidays -- maybe you should move to India. As for me, I never liked holidays, too boring, I'd rather work.
I liked working on holidays. With almost everyone else gone the office was quiet with no interruptions.
Being half-Swedish, I can testify that Xmas has very little to do with Christianity. Sweden is both one of the most atheistic countries (if not the most) and one with the most Xmas traditions. Sweden is also one of the last places to convert to Christianity in Europe, and many "Christian" holydays are Christian only by name, as most traditions are still mostly pagan (e.g., inspired by the worship of stars, the sun, the spring feast on the remaining winter preserves, dancing around the first flowers blooming in summer, etc..).
Xmas is called "Jul" in Sweden, which is a old norse mythological name for roughly the month around the winter solstice. There is no Santa Claus (uhmm.. spoiler alert!), I mean, the stories told to children is about the "Tomte" (or gnomes... yes, the same as those garden gnomes.. small old men with pointy red hats) which live in the mountains, each having a particular village attributed to them, for which they make gifts and distribute them to their village by cross-country skiing (or riding a Julbock) door-to-door on the 24th of december. Some also have the Julbock distribute the gifts, which is even more pagan / old-norse mythology (the goat is Thor's magical goat).
Xmas time starts with the advent candles. More importantly, there's Sankt Lucia which many people see as more important than Xmas day. It usually involves getting all the girls (children) from the local area to dress up in white robes and singing traditional songs, often led by one young boy, the stjärngosse (or "star boy"). The whole thing has something to do with the arrival of the starry nights and darkness of winter (and stars are central symbols in all Xmas decorations and traditions). It's just a nice communal family party, that's why it's very popular. After that, it's a succession of Julbord (Xmas buffet) gatherings, usually with Glögg (warm, spiced wine). And then the 24th, when gifts are exchanged, among other simple traditions. Then, new year.. And finally ends on the "twentieth day" (20 days after Xmas), also called "three kings' day" or something like that.
My point is, religious belief has nothing to do with Xmas, you don't need the first to have the second, or vice versa. Traditions are fun, whether you believe in the non-sense myths they come from or not. I personally tend to find the pagan traditions much more fun and meaningful (in marking the times of the year) than those boring Christian traditions (it seems Christians want every holyday to be celebrated by going to church to hear the same old, boring stuff).
I don't see why Christmas would ever be abolished out of an argument of separation of church and state. I've never heard anyone claim so, other than those nut-jobs over on Fox News. True, some secular movements (FFRF, ACLU, Amer. Atheists) have fought to keep public institutions from building up religious displays, but that is far from wanting to abolish Xmas, and it's in clear violation of church-state separation. Most atheists and non-practicing Christians celebrate Christmas happily, and enjoy it as much as anyone else. Clearly, Christmas is simply not tied to a religion, and thus, the state can have this federal holyday without violating church-state separation. Christians claim Christmas for themselves, just like they claim marriage for themselves, i.e., they are delusional and ignorant of the fact that neither of those have anything to do with their religion (but they are free to infuse those traditions with their religious beliefs, but it doesn't make those traditions theirs).
And here I did it again, another insufferably long post. Sorry.
No no thats ok. I like it when you post i learn from you than i do school.
clearly, Christmas is simply not tied to a religion, and thus, the state can have this federal holyday without violating church-state
That's not true here in USA. Here, Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of Christ, probably 75% of all Christmas music has Christ as it's theme.
Christians claim Christmas for themselves
It's called CHRISTmas for a reason. Name it something else if you don't think the holiday is all about Jesus Christ.
Happy Holidays is as good as any.
just like they claim marriage for themselves
Christians aren't the only ones -- I heard just the other day that India made gay sex/marriage illegal. It's also banned in other countries, like Russia.
Diafol- i am a student but i also work at Taco Bell. Taco Bell is closed on Christmas but i also Learn tricks that retailers at other stores use, such as Walmart. But let's try to stay on topic.
Christmas is all a matter of perspective, for instance, for me Christmas is December 25th but it does actually not fall on Christs birthday (As Diafol pointed out, it was a part of a p.r. campaign by the early Christian church in the west to put it on the same time as the pagan winter solstice festivals,) Eastern Christian churches celebrate Christmas in January for example. To me the holiday has morphed from a religon basis to that of mainly commercialism but the good thing about it is it is a time when family can all get together.
Interestingly after the reformation in Scotland, the church outlawed all festive behaviour and declared that the day should be one of penance, fasting and prayer so all the celebratory parts were moved to New Years (Hogmanay,) hence in Scotland we tend to go all out in celebration at Hogmanay (party starts on 31st and lasts until the 1st or 2nd).