Why do you celebrate Christmas if you’re not religious? This is a question I’ve been getting asked since I started Vlogmas and Blogmas. To clarify, I am religious, just not in the ‘traditional’ way. I consider myself to be a Wiccan Buddhist, and I also incorporate a lot of Celtic spirituality and Taoism. People often ask whether or not I celebrate Christmas, because I don’t believe in the Christian God. And to be honest, I don’t celebrate Christmas. Not really.
To be honest, I think Christmas has become a huge Hallmark holiday. Lots and lots of people who don’t believe still celebrate it, because it’s kind of the done thing in society.
Personally I celebrate Yule and the Winter Solstice. ‘Christmas’ has no real meaning to me. However, it’s important to my family, and my boyfriend. So I have no problem having a big meal and seeing everyone and getting dressed up. But for me, it’s no different to any other family gathering. Yes, we do exchange gifts, but if you read my post on the origins of Christmas, you’ll know that isn’t a Christian tradition at all.
Also, myself and my family exchange gifts on Christmas Eve. This originated because we normally do volunteering on the 25th, but for me it can also be to distinguish the difference between Yule and Christmas.
Christmas is a holiday that has become associated with seeing family and spending time with them. Arguably in society, the religious element has almost completely disappeared. My father is the only devout Christian in our family, and he does go to mass on Christmas Eve. But myself and my mother (who would consider herself ‘spiritual’) normally stay at home and get things ready for the next day. I will have already celebrated Yule, so the holiday will be over for me. However I still do get a lot of anxiety around Christmas Day, something I will touch upon in a later Blogmas post.
Some people have said to me that I wouldn’t celebrate, for example, Hanukkah, if I didn’t believe in it. And you are completely right, I personally wouldn’t. But should a Christian living with a Jewish family be told she cannot celebrate with them because she personally doesn’t believe? Also as I’ve mentioned before, Christmas in the Western World has become incredibly commercialised. People of all faiths get Christmas holidays from work, and it is a recognised holiday no matter what your religion.
I don’t personally see a problem with celebrating Christmas if you don’t believe in the story or message behind it, but I would love to hear from someone who thinks that you shouldn’t celebrate if you don’t believe. I think it’s a really interesting point of discussion.