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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2004
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    146

    Default Does anyone NOT celebrate Christmas?

    For a number of personal reasons, I don't really like Christmas and would prefer not to celebrate it. I'm not religious so I don't really see the point in celebrating because it seems to be highly commercialized and only about getting presents. I usually just get stressed out trying to find the money to buy gifts for everyone. I told everyone not to get me anything this year, but of course they did. For those that don't celebrate, how did you get your family to respect your wishes? Do you still buy gifts for other people? I've thought about just asking everyone to donate to some charity in my name next year if they really want to get me something, but I don't know if they would do that either.


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  2. #2
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    Jan. 28, 2003
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    Hollywood, but not the one where they have the Oscars!
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    I do not, but I have to play along since I am a trainer. Clients don't understand and I got tired of trying to explain.
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
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    Center of the Universe
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    I don't. I'm not a christian and find the whole "expected to participate in the madness of gift-giving" thing to be extremely offensive. I don't buy gifts for anyone, and if people insist on giving me stuff I thank them very insincerely and then usually chuck the junk straight in the trash.
    You can't control other people- if they feel they must give you gifts, so be it; but you don't have to participate.

    I do a solstice-day feast, which everyone seems to enjoy. Eat and cheer on the return of the sun. No expectations, no gifts.
    Last edited by wendy; Dec. 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM.


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    Default

    I don't celebrate Christmas per se, I celebrate Yuletide. Which doesn't mean I'm a wiccan or anything, I just don't celebrate it as the birth of Christ. Anyone who wants to do it that way is fine by me. The guy deserves a birthday.

    The commercialization irks the heck out of me too. I don't give gifts (well, for some people under some circumstances I do) but I'm perfectly happy to receive a modest one as an expression of someone else's good will and Christmas spirit. I may bake you some cookies or give you a hostess gift or something. If someone I know really needs a little something and I can afford it, Christmas is the perfect context to get them to accept it as a gift. I bought my sister a mini wardrobe of maternity clothes earlier in the month because she has other needs to spend her money one. (Merry Early Christmas)

    Our family dispensed with the gift exchange years ago to everyone's mutual satisfaction. It took a few years to get used to it. We still get together Christmas Eve and eat alot. The whole country shuts down, so honestly, what else is there to do


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
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    8,675

    Default

    We don't celebrate either. I did make stockings for a couple needy kids through a program at work (we sponsored a few local families with kids for Christmas). We do get together with my FIL and his girlfriend, but rarely on Christmas Day - this year we had brunch at their country club on Sunday.

    We only have one relative that is local (the FIL) and we don't have kids...and pretty much everyone we know knows we are grinches!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2012
    Posts
    4,219

    Default Just say No!

    The whole thing is hive-mind senseless peer pressure, brought to you by Madison Avenue. The idea that you have to create some kind of memories of a "perfect" childhood, or the "magic of Christmas" and all the other BS is a pure product of the ad industry. Domestic wonks like Martha Stewart just upped the ante and the guilt on those susceptible to Supermom Syndrome.

    Did you know that in most parts of early America, they never celebrated it at all? Christmas as we know it today only got here with German immigrants in the mid-nineteenth century, and was rudimentary at best. Like, you gave kids an orange!

    Even if one is a Christian believer, the historic man Jesus Christ was not born at this time of year, so the pundits who rave about "putting Christ back in Christmas" display their own ignorance. In fact it's an excellent example of a pagan holiday (Yule) that was co-opted by the invading Romans in the interest of subjugating the conquered.

    My family would all opt-out if we could. As it is, we do the minimum we can get away with--inexpensive gifts, one apiece, for the two nephews and that's pretty much it. I take no part in the shopping stampede, the stress, the guilt, and the overeating.


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
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    5,204

    Default

    My hubby and I don’t! We do not buy gifts, or do anything “Christmas-y”.

    We are both agnostic, and definitely not Christians. I find that the holiday has been ruined by consumerism.

    I would celebrate if I had children (but I do not by choice). My family is spread out, and we get together as schedules allow, but due to work etc, Christmas is not the easiest time to do so.

    I had a nice Christmas yesterday! Got to sleep in a little, enjoyed a nice breakfast at home, then hubby and I took the dog to the beach and did some tide pooling. From there went to the barn, and did some chores. Then back home and had a good dinner and a nice bottle of wine (all cooked by me I might add!).

    No stress, no pressure, no money blown on gifts.



    As for the gifts thing – I started this “I do not do gifts for Christmas, PLEASE PLEASE do not buy me anything!” about 12 years ago. The first few years there were a few people who would still get me gifts, for those people, I still picked up a token gift, or just felt embarrassed at not having one to give, and again reminded them, PLEASE save your $$! I do not need any gifts!

    Now, 12 years deep, only my boss gets me a present (which I do not mind, I earned it!) and I do not buy gifts for ANY ONE.


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    Domestic wonks like Martha Stewart just upped the ante and the guilt on those susceptible to Supermom Syndrome.
    Not to mention the early days of Ebay when it was suddenly possible to complete everyone's collections and retrieve childhood fantasies of toys never received.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    Like, you gave kids an orange!.
    My grandfather only got an orange. In fact, I remember in the bottom of my stocking there was always an orange and a walnut. Family tradition. How the heck did it get so out of control?!?


    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    Even if one is a Christian believer, the historic man Jesus Christ was not born at this time of year, so the pundits who rave about "putting Christ back in Christmas" display their own ignorance.
    That's right! Put Christ back in your Christmas if you must, but leave my Yule and Solstice alone. My ancestors, (and yours too by the way) were celebrating it that way long before the Roman Catholic Church tried to take it over and messed it right the heck up.

    The American holiday season is such a conglomeration of festivals we each may choose our own route to get through them. I really feel that parents do their children a disservice by programming this expectation of magic and wonder. It can be meaningful in a much more moderate way.

    I can remember 40 Christmases. This was the 40th. For the first time, I could not find even a momentary spark of the magic and wonder of the first two or three. Last year I did it ALL in a last ditch effort to retrieve it. I baked the cookies (for everyone from extended family to the office janitor.) I sent the cards. I made the wreaths. I took photos. I made gifts from the heart. I had people over. One night for the neighbors. One night for the family. Next year I am not even going to look.

    It's actually very liberating !


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2009
    Location
    Virginia
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    621

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    My celebration is kind of hybrid. On solstice I circle with my coven, barn party with a "dirty santa" gift exchange and potluck usually on the saturday before Christmas and Christmas eve is spent with family at mother's house. There's usually a crowd - 25 to 30 - with my brothers and sisters, their SO's and adult children and the grands and greats. Again, potluck. It's the company that counts, and no one is pressured to give gifts, although we usually exchange books, or art or crafts we've made. I like a quiet Christmas day, so I usually stay home and enjoy the company of my cats and horse, leaving only to have dinner with my daughter or one of my brothers.


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2000
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    California
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    Default

    We used to get an orange in our stockings, too! I don't like oranges so it never really made me happy. I always thought it was because my grandparents were from Florida and had orange trees in the back yard!!

    Mr. PoPo and I do not celebrate. Years of working in retail made me hate Xmas. We gave up on presents years ago and everyone in my family was on board with that. We are seeing some friends tonight who tend to give us something so I'll go buy a couple book that I think they might like, but that's IT!!!

    I hate the commercialism of it. Jesus is not the reason for the season - Black Friday and consumerism and lining up for holiday sales seem to be the reason for the season.
    My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


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  11. #11
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    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pocket Pony View Post
    I always thought it was because my grandparents were from Florida and had orange trees in the back yard!!
    LOL! In a Swedish farm family in Western NY it means you are wealthy enough to afford an imported exotic delicacy!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    862

    Default

    Me. I have nothing against Christmas per se, but for some reason, every year, I get very very depressed. I literally don't want to get out of bed. I have family and a husband but I still feel this way. No explanation for it except I do have depression/anxiety all year round and I think the added pressure of Christmas pushes me over the edge. :-( So I dread Christmastime every year.
    I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo


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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    ...if people insist on giving me stuff I thank them very insincerely and then usually chuck the junk straight in the trash.
    I'm not Christian and I don't celebrate Christmas, but I think this kind of attitude is this very mean and quite sad.

    People wish me "Merry Christmas" and some give me gifts. They are being kind and thoughtful. Not only am I not offended, as you seem to be, but I wouldn't dream of doing anything but thanking them sincerely.
    Quote Originally Posted by Linny View Post
    Those martingales were so taut, you could play Ode to Joy on them with a comb


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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2005
    Location
    Spring, TX
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    489

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    We are not religious, but do celebrate Christmas in the commercial sense. We have 5 children and a large extended family we like to exchange gifts with. This year was the first year we didn't buy presents for our kids though. We didn't even put up a tree or decorate. It was AMAZING and completely stress free. We just moved into a very large home 2 weeks ago with an inground pool, so we considered that everyone's gift!!!


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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2007
    Location
    Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by SillyHorse View Post
    I'm not Christian and I don't celebrate Christmas, but I think this kind of attitude is this very mean and quite sad.

    People wish me "Merry Christmas" and some give me gifts. They are being kind and thoughtful. Not only am I not offended, as you seem to be, but I wouldn't dream of doing anything but thanking them sincerely.
    Me too. I hope the OP was being sarcastic. People rant about "consumerism" and then they throw perfectly good items in the trash. And it's one thing to not be Christian or not celebrate Christmas and another thing to be rude to someone who was just trying to be friendly. Christmas makes me depressed as hell, but I still say "Merry Christmas" and respond to people who tell me that.
    I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo


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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2011
    Posts
    885

    Default

    This was the first year I was able to fully escape Christmas altogether, and it was so lovely and peaceful. I used to love it -- the baking, the buying the perfect gift, the decorating -- but the family is pretty well split apart at this point and we don't get along very well. Far easier to hole up for the day with a lovely beef stew and fresh-baked bread and brownies, and watch the Doctor Who marathon on BBCA with the cats. I don't do gifts, either. I tell everyone that I am getting out of debt and can't afford it (which is at least in part true).


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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2012
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    4,219

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    Quote Originally Posted by cu.at.x View Post
    Me. I have nothing against Christmas per se, but for some reason, every year, I get very very depressed. I literally don't want to get out of bed. I have family and a husband but I still feel this way. No explanation for it except I do have depression/anxiety all year round and I think the added pressure of Christmas pushes me over the edge. :-( So I dread Christmastime every year.

    At least half the world feels the same way. Hereabouts we chalk it up to Seasonal Affective disorder, otherwise known as the urge to hibernate like a bear, with moods like one too. I don't consider this the least bit "unhealthy."
    The best way to get through the Darkest Days is to spend as much time as practical asleep!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2008
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    Central Oklahoma
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    3,101

    Default

    We do, but that is because I have nieces and nephews and they want Christmas (figure) but I myself really dislike Christmas. If given a chance, I would rather not have it at all. First it annoys the heck out of me having stuff I don't like and don't use at the house, because then I will have to figure out where to put them - clutter, - and clean them - more work on me, - or designate them to trash bin - feeling guilty, - or re-gift - again more work for me, not to mention more guilt.

    The whole idea of exchanging gifts is one of the lousiest ideas under the sun in my book: I give you this you don't like and you give me that that I hate, and we both end up with stuff we would rather not. Why don't we just give each other money so we can each go to get something we like, but then why go through all the trouble of exchanging it at all? I give you fifty bucks of Target gift card, and you give me fifty bucks of Best Buy? Why not just keep money in our own pockets so we don't have to remember to dig out that gift card buried in a dusty grave yard seven months from now.

    Really in these days if I have something I like, I would have bought them already; and if I have not bought them, it is because it is too expensive, and I would not expect anybody to spend that kind of money for a friends or family members.
    Last edited by Gloria; Dec. 26, 2012 at 03:54 PM.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2012
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    Washington State
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    Christ has never been a part of our christmas, we celebrate the Holidays. It's time off from work and school, it's dark and cold and we are more inclined to stay indoors and be together. I decorate with simple things, we get a tree, we make cookies that we share with our neighbors. We drive around and look at people's lights. We don't put presents under the tree or hang stockings, instead we go on shopping sprees with the money our families send us and buy the little things we couldn't quite afford during the year. It really is one of my favorite times of year.



  20. #20
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    Jun. 7, 2002
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    I hate the consumerism side of it, the frenzy of buying stuff, the perceived obligation. If I didn't have kids, I would gladly do away with that part. But watching small (and bigger) kids open their presents is fun! We never went overboard with presents tho, and now that they are older my kids are appalled at what some of their friends families spend during the holidays.

    I too remember the orange as only gift! My grandfather used to tell me such stories of his youth, when he was so happy to get a fresh, sweet orange for Christmas. He'd show me how to light the tissue paper that wrapped the orange, so that it would rise up in the air. I have fond memories of Christmas as a kid. Being with the family, eating home-made cookies, setting up the tree, playing outside in the snow...
    I still love to get a live fragrant tree and wreaths in December, but as an adult I've always been somewhat depressed around Christmas. So usually we get together with friends on Christmas eve for good company and great food.

    My younger daughter (she's 16) thinks we should only celebrate the solstice, not the birth of Jesus. I think I might listen to her...
    I never did Christmas cards - where I come from we only do Happy New Year cards.
    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!



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