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Bah humbug!


Fluent In Silence
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Christmas is shit isn't it? Yeah holidays are always good, but making your house look like the landing lights on a runway is great until a plane crashes into it and kills your whole family. Merry Christmas! Are there any religions which don't celebrate Christmas but also aren't bothered about foreskins? I'm an atheist so I have to fucking bore everyone with "Well actually Jesus wasn't born in December but early christians blah blah Saturnalia and shit." Try and guess what other people might like to get. Or, keep your money and everyone can buy something nice for themselves. Saves a lot of hastle. "Oh that's what I really wanted, and it's not going straight to the fucking charity shop." Avoid all that shit by converting to Islam or Scientology. I don't know if scientologicts celebrate christmas. It's probably the birth date of Major Hurdygurdy the all powerful alien overlord or whatever the fuck it is, because those cunts lack any originality. See Tom Cruise's acting for proof. Ooh! Owch! Whoooo! No I might've lost you if you're under 40. And I'm probably not making much sense anyway. This song is for anyone who finds christmas annoying.

 

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Flue, for an avowed atheist to talk about how annoying he finds Christmas is something like an American expressing irritation at listening to Britons sing ‘God Save The Queen’ - it ends up carrying very little weight because the matter really has nothing to do with the complainer, and the whinge ends up simply revealing more about the character of the irritable person than about the subject of the rant.

(This is especially true in the above case if the Yank is particularly idiotic and is cheesed off because he is under the impression that the British “stole our song”, thinking that the version we sing that starts “My country, ‘tis of thee” came first. Such people exist. I can only apologize.)

It’s not that Christmas doesn’t intersect the atheist’s life at all; the capitalist grotesquerie that Christmas has turned into pervades nearly every nook and cranny of the planet, and is co-opted in some form of observance as a Western-style tradition by many cultures in which Christianity is far from the mainline faith (Japan comes to mind). But the atheist’s critique of the holiday as hypocritical, misguided, overblown, or in some way divergent from its own dogma or tradition tends to fall very flat. The listener often simply thinks, “What’s it got to do with you?” and dismiss the atheist much like they might dismiss a grumpy old man muttering... well, “Bah humbug.”

Don’t like Christmas? Don’t celebrate it. Don’t give presents and don’t get any. Don’t sing, and for the sake of the God you’re quite sure doesn’t exist, don’t be merry.

But don’t forget the actual reason this holiday is when it is. It is a fusion of the Christian belief in the conquest of Death, and the pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice - the end of the shortening, darkening days and the death of the year, and the moment when the days begin to lengthen again, light increases, and life promises to endure. Same core spiritual angst, different approaches, fused together under the same solstice sun as Christmas.

Atheists are affected by the turning of the year the same as everybody else. So fine, don’t celebrate Christmas. But if you find ourself out at a pub on Christmas eve and everyone around you is eating, drinking and being merry, don’t curl an atheist’s lip in scorn - have a pint yourself and raise a toast to the end of the Long Dark.

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I don't mind celebrating Christmas for children.  Otherwise why not be nice all year long?  Pretend everyday is in the spirit of giving out of kindness, and not necessarily a financial contribution?

Christmas is nothing more than a commercial festival at his point.  Encourage people to overspend and then take a few days off?  It's nothing more than a commercial cycle we don't tell kids about. Yep Bah humbug

Edited by wookie
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i have to find some way to feel good about myself. My charming personality and rugged good looks will never get me there. So from August to december, every spare cent goes on xmas shopping

 

and it helps me, personally

 

i sometimes get home baked carrot cake in return, which is very special

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19 hours ago, Cerberus said:

Flue, for an avowed atheist to talk about how annoying he finds Christmas is something like an American expressing irritation at listening to Britons sing ‘God Save The Queen’ - it ends up carrying very little weight because the matter really has nothing to do with the complainer, and the whinge ends up simply revealing more about the character of the irritable person than about the subject of the rant.

Christmas has very little to do with Christianity. Religion isn't the issue, it's more about hearing that fucking Mariah Carey song 100 times. "All I want for Christmas is you." All I want for Christmas is for you to stop singing that fucking song.

 

19 hours ago, Cerberus said:

Don’t like Christmas? Don’t celebrate it. Don’t give presents and don’t get any. Don’t sing, and for the sake of the God you’re quite sure doesn’t exist, don’t be merry.

It's unavoidable though. My family will buy me presents and it'd be rude to say "Sorry, I don't believe in it". I got you some good will to all men (but not women). I got the women some myrrh. Nobody knows what myrrh is so it's just some cement mix in a festive box. Nobody has ever said "I wish I had some myrrh on me right now." My theory is that the third wise man didn't bring shit. "Oh we're doing gifts are we? Fucking gold for a baby? Flashy twat. Frankincense? What the fuck is a baby going to do with that? Yeah I've got a present. What is it? It's (scoops up some donkey shit) mrrrr? It's still warm." The little cunt is just a baby so he won't know shit. What qualifications did these three wise men have anyway? Why aren't they named? We know the names Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, but these are just three wise men. How wise were they really? Follow that star! I bet they were pissed as fuck. Three drunken fuckers wandered into the manger while looking for the strip club their mate Paul mentioned, and gave inapproriate presents to the baby Jebus out of embarrassment.

 

19 hours ago, wookie said:

don't mind celebrating Christmas for children.  Otherwise why not be nice all year long?  Pretend everyday is in the spirit of giving out of kindness, and not necessarily a financial contribution?

For the kids, yes! Only good thing about Christmas. I bought my nieces a nerf laser tag set last year and it was nice to see them pretending to kill each other. I try not not buy them gendered pink princess shit. The year before I got one of my nieces a book about female scientists. I'm sounding so woke. But "I want to be a Princess". That's not a realistic goal kiddo. Have you considered a career in one of the STEM subjects? You're bright and you could do that, and if any boys say you can't I'll come down there and kick the shit out of them. Because I want to set a good example for her.

By beating up children. Yeah I know and don't take all of this seriously.

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1 hour ago, Fluent In Silence said:

What qualifications did these three wise men have anyway? Why aren't they named? We know the names Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, but these are just three wise men.

Their qualifications were that they were magi, meaning that they were from among the wealthy, noble classes, counselors of rulers, and learned in the wisdom of their time. You seem very sure there were three of them, but the Bible gives no number; tradition has simply assumed so because three gifts are named. The Bible is also silent on their names, but subsequent tradition has it that they were named Gaspar, Balthazar and Melchior.

Reading further down, I see that, apparently, this holiday you’re kvetching about of a religion you don’t believe in is something that you participate in nonetheless? Huh. Undermines your credibility rather.

Now.

This is not your blog. This is an open board, and the rules are different. This thread is skating very close to being offensive to people of a particular faith, and when I decide it becomes so I will shut it down. At CB we do not tolerate attacks on people’s religious beliefs, regardless of what that religion is. Nor will we permit statements that may be blasphemous made in such a way that members will experience distress - referring to people’s Messiah as a little cunt is a bridge too far, here. This is a mental health peer-support forum, not Reddit. Don’t mistake CB for one of those forums where you enjoy tearing somebody another asshole.

Chill out.

Try the eggnog. It’s good.

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3 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

Nobody knows what myrrh is so it's just some cement mix in a festive box.

That will likely be a surprise to anyone expecting the fragrant gum-resin extracted from the tree Commiphora myrrha and relatives, found in the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. If you're going to wing it, I'd at least go with potpourri in a sachet.

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10 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

It's unavoidable though. My family will buy me presents and it'd be rude to say "Sorry, I don't believe in it".

On 11/26/2021 at 5:59 PM, Fluent In Silence said:

Or, keep your money and everyone can buy something nice for themselves. Saves a lot of hastle. "Oh that's what I really wanted, and it's not going straight to the fucking charity shop."

I'm an atheist and I rather enjoy some aspects of the holiday season. Also, for what it's worth, have you considered making donations to your family members' favorite charities in their names vs. trying to pick out gifts (assuming the charities aren't objectionable to you)? Or, if there is a common charity they all kind of like, just make one larger donation and have it be in all of their names and you can just give each a card expressing some kind of nice (or funny) sentiment and oh yeah, I made a donation this year in lieu of a gift.

I mainly do cards (because I enjoy any opportunity for cards) and usually a few people manage to get gifts if I've handmade or baked something or stumbled across something during the year that I think they would like (but I only stumble across something every few years so that's rare and I mainly just do handmade stuff or mailing cards with letters/messages). I get a lot of joy out of gift giving on my own terms. Sorry if you feel pressured in your family (or among friends) to reciprocate gifts. Some of the people I gift to don't gift back in the same way and it has never bothered me whether they do or don't.

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I don't mean to have a go at Christianity. Christmas doesn't have much to do with christianity anyway, and having an end of year festival isn't a bad thing at all. It's not even how consumerism has replaced good will and cheer to all men (not women). I think it's more the idea that Christmas is a special and magical time. "It's the most wonderful time of the year." It's a fucking disappointment is what it is. The idea that you're meant to be happy and surrounded by those you love. Well that makes me feel more lonely and makes me turn to the booze. That Christmas magic didn't reach me. It's probably just envy of those who enjoy Christmas. Surrounded by your family and loved ones, who you actually get along with and like spending time with. Rely on consumerism as an alternative to actual affection. I guess that's why I'm opposed to Christmas and am sounding like such a miserable bastard. It's a time when you're supposed to be happy, which can just highlight how unhappy you are. Some people are like "Yay Christmas! Christmas trees and fairy lights and eating roast turkey with the people I love." I'm like "Meh Christmas. I hope I don't get too depressed and spend the whole week getting wasted to numb the pain like I did last year. And the year before that. And the year before ... " So I do hope that people enjoy Christmas (really!) but it can be a tough time for some of us.

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2 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

So I do hope that people enjoy Christmas (really!) but it can be a tough time for some of us.

Christmas (especially because it follows so quickly after USA Thanksgiving) is a tough time of year for me as well. I was just trying to highlight one positive aspect of it for me and then went into "problem solver mode" regarding possible ways to deal with the gift giving aspect. Sorry about the problem solving mode. Can be a bit annoying. Picked it up from my mother (and years of therapy).

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17 minutes ago, aquarian said:

Christmas (especially because it follows so quickly after USA Thanksgiving) is a tough time of year for me as well. I was just trying to highlight one positive aspect of it for me and then went into "problem solver mode" regarding possible ways to deal with the gift giving aspect. Sorry about the problem solving mode. Can be a bit annoying. Picked it up from my mother (and years of therapy).

No you have nothing to apologise for. I'm being weird and grumpy and offensive. I really do hope that people enjoy Christmas. Don't let my miserablist interpretation of things get in the way. Not that anyone would. Good will to all men, and even women. Sorry. Hopefully you're familiar enough with my bullshit to know that I was joking there.

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1 hour ago, Fluent In Silence said:

No you have nothing to apologise for. I'm being weird and grumpy and offensive. I really do hope that people enjoy Christmas. Don't let my miserablist interpretation of things get in the way. Not that anyone would. Good will to all men, and even women. Sorry. Hopefully you're familiar enough with my bullshit to know that I was joking there.

There is a Christian based religion that doesn't celebrate Christmas, and the reasons they give for this actually make sense........They are Jehovah's Witnesses.....Among the reasons they give for not celebrating Christmas are 

.....Jesus commanded his followers to celebrate his death, not his birth.

......There is no date recorded in the Bible for the birth of Christ

.....Jesus apostles and early disciples did not celebrate Christmas......The New Catholic Encyclopedia says that "The Nativity feast was instituted no earlier than 243 AD, more than a century after the last of the apostles died.

.......Jehovah's witnesses believe that Christmas is not approved by God because it is rooted in pagan customs and rites ( 2 Corinthians 6:17)

https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/why-not-celebrate-christmas/

I'm not a Jehovah's Witness, but I actually know a few......Very nice people and they can answer any question you have about the Bible.

Something else interesting about Jehovah's Witnesses--They don't believe in hell....I won't go into the explanation here about that.

Edited by CrazyRedhead
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2 minutes ago, CrazyRedhead said:

There is a Christian based religion that doesn't celebrate Christmas, and the reasons they give for this actually make sense........They are Jehovah's Witnesses.

https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/why-not-celebrate-christmas/

I'm not a Jehovah's Witness, but I actually know a few.

I worked with someone of that faith once. It was a little odd because she accepted things like a gift card her boss gave her for Christmas but she did not give out any gifts herself or otherwise celebrate the holiday due to her faith. But she definitely accepted the gift card and stuff like that. Not sure if she was an anomaly or if that is normal.

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22 minutes ago, aquarian said:

I worked with someone of that faith once. It was a little odd because she accepted things like a gift card her boss gave her for Christmas but she did not give out any gifts herself or otherwise celebrate the holiday due to her faith. But she definitely accepted the gift card and stuff like that. Not sure if she was an anomaly or if that is normal.

Jehovah's witnesses are allowed to accept gifts if it is not specified as a Christmas gift....Maybe her boss told her that it was an appreciation gift for the work she had done that year?.....Not sure on that.

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2 hours ago, CrazyRedhead said:

Jehovah's witnesses are allowed to accept gifts if it is not specified as a Christmas gift....Maybe her boss told her that it was an appreciation gift for the work she had done that year?.....Not sure on that.

Thanks, maybe her boss did do that.

ETA: I really enjoyed working with her. Really great lady.

Edited by aquarian
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Coincidentally spotted daggy gift for mum's pile this morning 

 

Wooden duck in her football team colours 

 

Sounds stupid unless you know mum's history of multiple ducks as pets and affinity for brikabrak

 

And ordered summer pyjamas 

 

And will add a gift card 

 

Lockdown has meant that she has a stockpile of experience type gifts from previous gifts 

20211129_080442.jpg

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7 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

Christmas doesn't have much to do with christianity anyway,

 Perhaps not for you. Perhaps not for many. Perhaps not for many Christians. But there are some for whom the holiday holds spiritual significance.

7 hours ago, Fluent In Silence said:

I think it's more the idea that Christmas is a special and magical time. "It's the most wonderful time of the year." It's a fucking disappointment is what it is. The idea that you're meant to be happy and surrounded by those you love. Well that makes me feel more lonely and makes me turn to the booze. That Christmas magic didn't reach me. It's probably just envy of those who enjoy Christmas. Surrounded by your family and loved ones, who you actually get along with and like spending time with. Rely on consumerism as an alternative to actual affection. I guess that's why I'm opposed to Christmas and am sounding like such a miserable bastard.

Christmas Carol png download - 1600*1570 - Free Transparent Ebenezer Scrooge  png Download. - CleanPNG / KissPNG

Paging Ebenezer Scrooge - Mr. Scrooge, Mr. Dickens is on line one.

Look, buddy. I hear you. Once upon a time, I loved Christmas. I believed in magic. Then, I found out, quite on my own, by the deduction of my own goddamn too-clever-for-its-own-good brain, that Santa Claus was a deception. I have never recovered. I have ever since then desperately tried to find some sign, any sign that there is still magic in the world, but - bupkiss. What's worse, I even tried to manufacture it by perpetuating the fraud on my own children until I couldn't conscience it any longer; by that time, thank God, they had pretty much figured it out themselves and it didn't scar them. The trouble is, there's not a lot of difference between believing in magic and having faith in God. Perhaps it's because I still have a vestige of the latter that I also harbor, somewhere deep in my damaged child's heart, a hope that I will still find a way into Narnia (but no, I'm too old for that now. It only admits the young).

I once had a very large extended family, and Christmas was something of an undertaking to get around to see everyone. We had many Christmas traditions. Two generations of them are dead now, and within a few years, a third will be gone, too. The latest generation has built its own traditions within their new little family circles. I tried, too. But my circle broke, and my traditions never took hold. When I was growing up, Christmas Eve was the special time for my nuclear family - now I spend every Christmas Eve alone. It's brutal. The following day, I go to 'celebrate' with my extended family and all their warm, intact little circles, and every instant I'm there reminds me that I don't have one. It's like being invited to a group hug, except that all you can do is sort of wrap your arms around the group from the outside. No amount of hot cider is enough to beat off the chill. Every present might as well be an empty box, because I end up hollowed out when I get home.

I give them presents, thoughtful presents, carefully selected for each person, because I love them all. I prepare roast duck for the table each year - I harvest wild juniper berries from the farm just for the purpose - and prepare actual figgy puddings and yule log cakes for everyone to enjoy. But, to be honest, the food is mostly for my own sake because if I don't self-medicate myself with sugar I'll never get through it. The effort I put into it is exhausting. I usually end up staying up all night Christmas Eve trying to make sure everything is finished and ready. And for what reward?

But during that long, long, long night, I play carols. Not fucking Mariah Carey, or any of that sleighbell-jingly Dasher-and-Dancer nonsense, but music resonating with the intent of the holy-day. Who gives a fuck if He was actually born on December 25th? That's not the point. For a Christian believer, there was a time on Earth when the consequence for human sin was the death of the spirit. Then, in a single night, a being appeared whose purpose was to change that doom so that the human spirit could endure in spite of its nature. Life, as they say, is a bitch and then you die; but a Christian believes that this life isn't all there is. I don't know what atheists think happens to them when they die. I don't want to know; it's irrelevant to me. I know that I believe that this life is not all there is, because I have to believe that or go dog-barking insane.

Christmas as a holiday may now have so obscenely transmogrified through capitalism and consumerism that it now raises expectations so high that people can only be disappointed by them. Ever bigger, more expensive presents, grandiose parties, brighter lights, taller trees, richer food, happier, happier people, and everyone getting exactly what they want. Of course we're disappointed in that. What is Ms. Carey's song actually about? It's about a woman whose only wish for Christmas is for everything to center around her. She doesn't want a present from him - she wants him completely. And she ain't talking about Jesus.

So in the end, Christmas has become for me simply a moment of acute emphasis that my life on earth is painful, and ends up undermining the reassurance one ought to get from a celebration of the winter solstice. But I don't extrapolate that to everyone else. I didn't intend to observe Christmas this year; I intended to travel somewhere far away and at least be alone where being alone wouldn't be as painful as being alone surrounded by others. COVID put a hitch in the plans, or course, so it looks like another year to endure it. Fine. But I'll make the duck anyway, because the others love Christmastime together; it's not pointless to them, and I don't begrudge anyone a single moment of happiness that can be found on this miserable rock.

I hope you get this gripe out of your system here, because it's not going to be a good look on you out in public (see illustration above). That, and if you keep it up you'll run a significant risk of three ghostly visitations one night.

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3 hours ago, CrazyRedhead said:

There is a Christian based religion that doesn't celebrate Christmas, and the reasons they give for this actually make sense........They are Jehovah's Witnesses

CRH -

As you are not a Jehovah's Witness, I recommend that you do not attempt to expound on their beliefs. Jehovah's Witnesses take a rather equivocal view of the holy scriptures (an assertion that they would no doubt dispute) and you may or may not be correct. Also, the nature of your posts here and below seem to advocate for their beliefs, and even though you are not an adherent, we have very strict rules on CB regarding proselytizing. I'm sure that isn't your intent, but discussions of religion are best conducted on the Spirituality board where there is greater latitude for error.

I will say this regarding Jehovah's Witnesses: I grew up very closely associated with a family of Witnesses. My best friend, whom I have known since I was four years old, is from that family, and I spent much time at their house growing up. They tried and failed to convert me because my mother had already built a different faith in me. My friend is no longer an adherent, alone out of all her family. If her family were forced to acknowledge the way she lives (she does nothing more radical than smoke and drink the occasional glass of wine and is otherwise a brilliant, caring teacher of young people) they would be obligated to 'disfellowship' her - to shun, disavow, disown, and never speak to her again. Week before last, I travelled to our old hometown to help her lay her father to rest. He passed, in part, because their dogma would not permit him to accept a blood transfusion.

Yes, they can, and are most eager, to tell you anything you might want to know about the Bible - according to their...unique interpretation of it. It would be incorrect to represent them as impartial or unbiased Biblical authorities; they are active and aggressive proselytists. I will say no more. Further discussion may be undertaken, if desired, on the Spirituality Board.

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1 hour ago, Cerberus said:

Then, I found out, quite on my own, by the deduction of my own goddamn too-clever-for-its-own-good brain, that Santa Claus was a deception.

How dare you! Santa isn't real? Nah I think I've grouched possibly excessively in what I've said. Enjoy Christmas and even enjoy that Mariah Carey song if that's your thing. I doubt if anything I've said has ruined Christmas for anyone but ignore me and my miserrable crap. Bah humbug! But I don't want to drag anyone down if they like this time of year. It can be a difficult time for those who spend it alone though, and that's where the grinch in me comes out. Jesus wasn't born in December and Santa isn't real. So what? "All I want for Christmas is you, baby."

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