What is Christmas?

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What is Christmas?

Postby MrG » Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:11 am

Here's a debate... :lol:

Christmas is meant to be the anniversary of the birth of Christ. However for non-Christian/non-believers, what does it mean?

As a non-believer I stopped acknowledging Christmas and Easter years ago, and for me it's just another day, so why do so many people go mad for it? It just seems to me to be an excuse for shops to have a sale. Apart from the religious beliefs which although I do not follow, I whole-heartedly respect, I cannot see any reason for it, or am I missing something?
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Postby hunter1801 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:51 pm

Because it's fun and it brings family's together? I can't imagine how boring it would be for Christmas to be just like any other day.
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Postby MrG » Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:47 pm

hunter1801 wrote:Because it's fun and it brings family's together? I can't imagine how boring it would be for Christmas to be just like any other day.


So, you don't know either :) But you have proven my point. Aside from the religious aspect, why should one day be different to any other?

It's a bit like Mother's Day and Father's Day; why should we only show respect for our mother and father just one day a year and not the other 364! It makes no sense at all, it's commercial nonsense.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Sat Dec 25, 2010 4:01 pm

The day set aside to celebrate Christmas is like those special days for July 4th, Veteran's Day or Thanksgiving.. plus others. While Christmas Day is deeply rooted in Christianity, it is celebrated by many other faiths. It is most probably a true historic account of a person who did bring together many classes of people, in unison against those who would enslave or defame the masses.
True, present life is all too commercialized toward merchant profit from sales items related to these "special" days. But the practice does give satisfaction of 'giving unto others' and also in receipt of gifts.. however large or small. Children are the ones to most benefit from such special days.
Some people may be overly indulgent with their faith, others decline practice of it. And still others deem their "faith" (or Deity) as the only belief, any other being blasphemy.
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Postby fussnfeathers » Sat Dec 25, 2010 4:44 pm

I'm going to move this over to the 100 year war, just in case. 8)

Pre-Christian background
Dies Natalis Solis Invicti
Main article: Sol Invictus
Dies Natalis Solis Invicti means "the birthday of the unconquered sun".

Modern scholars have argued that the festival was placed on the date of the solstice because this was on this day that the Sun reversed its southward retreat and proved itself to be "unconquered".[citation needed] Some early Christian writers connected the rebirth of the sun to the birth of Jesus.[8]"O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born...Christ should be born", Cyprian wrote.[8] John Chrysostom also commented on the connection: "They call it the 'Birthday of the Unconquered'. Who indeed is so unconquered as Our Lord . . .?"[8]

Although Dies Natalis Solis Invicti has been the subject of a great deal of scholarly speculation,.[citation needed] the only ancient source for it is a single mention in the Chronography of 354, and modern Sol scholar Steven Hijmans argues that there is no evidence that the celebration precedes that of Christmas:[22] "[W]hile the winter solstice on or around the 25th of December was well established in the Roman imperial calendar, there is no evidence that a religious celebration of Sol on that day antedated the celebration of Christmas, and none that indicates that Aurelian had a hand in its institution."[22]

Winter festivals
Main article: List of winter festivals
A winter festival was the most popular festival of the year in many cultures. Reasons included the fact that less agricultural work needs to be done during the winter, as well as an expectation of better weather as spring approached.[69] Modern Christmas customs include: gift-giving and merrymaking from Roman Saturnalia; greenery, lights, and charity from the Roman New Year; and Yule logs and various foods from Germanic feasts.[70] Pagan Scandinavia celebrated a winter festival called Yule, held in the late December to early January period.[citation needed] As Northern Europe was the last part to Christianize, its pagan traditions had a major influence on Christmas.[citation needed] Scandinavians still call Christmas Jul. In English, the word Yule is synonymous with Christmas,[71] a usage first recorded in 900.

Throughout the holiday's history, Christmas has been the subject of both controversy and criticism from a wide variety of different sources. The first documented Christmas controversy was Christian-led, and began during the English Interregnum, when England was ruled by a Puritan Parliament.[107] Puritans (including those who fled to America) sought to remove the remaining pagan elements of Christmas. During this period, the English Parliament banned the celebration of Christmas entirely, considering it "a popish festival with no biblical justification", and a time of wasteful and immoral behavior.[108]

In other words, Christmas is originally a pagan celebration, and in fact, the puritans who founded the first US colonies sought to change Christmas to remove those remaining traces. At any rate, Christmas is simply a winter holiday, celebrated by many cultures, Christianity just hijacked it (since the best we can figure is Christ was born on January 6th, give or take. Dec 25th is the Winter Solstice, and the Summer Solstice has been used to celebrate John the Baptist
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Postby Karlsweldt » Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:57 pm

Christ was born on January 6th, give or take. Dec 25th is the Winter Solstice..

That may spark some contention, but may otherwise be true. It depends on how many "leap year days" were added to the calendar over the centuries. We do not have a "leap year day" every four years. The first "leap year day" was added back in 46 BC, but found to be in error. Reference:
And while the Equinox and Solstice event days are nearly identical from century to century, the Earth has tilted a bit on its axis causing the sun to have a different latitude over the course of time in relation to those events. The Earth's rotation has slowed somewhat since "the beginning", and thus we have to correct the calendar to stay apace with time.

There is much debate about a "cosmic event" on the actual birth day of Jesus. Some scholars deem it was a planetary conjunction, others deem it was the visit of a comet or meteor. Still not a universal agreement.

The birth of Jesus was to a Jewish family, and was highly honored by the Jewish sect. But other sects of religion took up the practice, with similar celebrations.
While the Bible is regarded as a mainly religious belief, it is in truth a chronicle of events that have stood the test of time.

While some people do celebrate Christmas with a fervor, others do not. But most people do receive some satisfaction with family gatherings or 'special' gifts. Believers and Non-Believers
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Re: What is Christmas?

Postby c327 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:42 am

MrG wrote:Here's a debate... :lol:

Christmas is meant to be the anniversary of the birth of Christ. However for non-Christian/non-believers, what does it mean?

As a non-believer I stopped acknowledging Christmas and Easter years ago, and for me it's just another day, so why do so many people go mad for it? It just seems to me to be an excuse for shops to have a sale. Apart from the religious beliefs which although I do not follow, I whole-heartedly respect, I cannot see any reason for it, or am I missing something?


Well to comment on the first part of this it's obvious that it means nothing to you.

People going mad over it, I don't know about that part. To me it means being happy about the birth of Christ and celebrating it with a lot of other folks that feel the same way which includes family, friends and total strangers.

When it comes to business and people profiting from anything including holidays pretty much anything goes with them that will produce a buck and it has nothing to do with the religious part of it.

Yeah, I think your missing something.........
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Postby Hardware Junkie » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:48 am

Christmas is the time of year when children pretend to be good for a week or two in hopes that you don't remember what little sh*ts they were during the rest of the year so they can get more presents
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Re: What is Christmas?

Postby bdub » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:02 am

MrG wrote:As a non-believer I stopped acknowledging Christmas and Easter years ago,


I'm with you, but i am happy to be given the day off from my job, and to make a small exchange with the closest peoples to me.

unfortunately, the "norm" is to make it a crazy, consumption oriented, outdo your neighbor type of holiday. not something i want to be a part of.
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Re: What is Christmas?

Postby fussnfeathers » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:34 pm

bdub wrote:
MrG wrote:As a non-believer I stopped acknowledging Christmas and Easter years ago,


I'm with you, but i am happy to be given the day off from my job, and to make a small exchange with the closest peoples to me.

unfortunately, the "norm" is to make it a crazy, consumption oriented, outdo your neighbor type of holiday. not something i want to be a part of.


And I'm with you. We only exchange one small gift, maybe (I got a carbon fiber cane with hot rod flames on it this year), we don't go all out crazy, mobbing the stores, camping out for the best prices, running up expensive credit card bills, all that crap. It's family day, and a day for us Christians to celebrate. I see no point in the hype, especially for non-believers who otherwise crack the whip on Christianity. No offense to you, bdub, just a general statement.
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