Thursday, December 22, 2011

Why we celebrate Christmas

Jean-Louis is atheist. I'm agnostic. However he was raised Catholic and I was raised Buddhist. I love Christmas. Him? Not so much but we're celebrating it anyway.

Christmas to me is like another holiday to celebrate with family and friends, much like Thanksgiving. The feasting is one of my favorite parts. Big surprise :) I mean we could cook turkey and feast almost any time of the year but knowing that this is part of tradition and that almost everyone else is doing it at the same time makes me feel like I'm included and part of something greater. I have a lot of fun decorating for Christmas and having the house look nice makes the holidays feel more festive. We also go shopping and give out gifts because it's also part of tradition and pretty much everyone participates. Even if you don't give out anything, you will likely receive something and feel bad for not giving back.

I had fond memories of Christmas growing up. My parents always decorated the house and we had gifts under the Christmas tree. Back in the 1980s, my family was very Buddhist but they were also learning how to be Canadian. We didn't have turkey and any of the traditional feast until I was around 13 or 14 since my parents didn't know how to cook or eat that stuff. When I was old enough, I took over cooking the turkey and food for the family.

Of course Christmas is celebrated 10x more now that we have a child. Before Tristan arrived, we had just a few decorations up and when we lived in Paris, we didn't have a thing. I have to confess I was pretty sad around Christmas time :( Somehow Jean-Louis is a Grinch. He sort of hates Christmas. I guess because he sees it too much like a religious celebration. He also thinks the whole Santa thing is ridiculous. He doesn't get why all these stories have to be made up for Christmas. When I asked him why, he actually doesn't remember much. I told him that it had to do with his past. Something must have happened to have made him a Grinch. He thinks it's possible that maybe he was super pissed when he found out that Santa was not real. He knows that his parents still talks about Santa today. Oh boy! Imagine that.

We had our first Christmas tree last year when Tristan was two. We filled the tree with gifts, mostly for him and we did the traditional meal. Now that I'm a part time stay-at-home mom, I also do the Christmas baking. This is somewhat still new to me. It's just my second year doing it but it is so much fun! We do Christmas activities like the Christmas train and we visit gingerbread displays. When it snows, we build a snowman, play in the snow, and go tobogganing. I am now living my Christmas through Tristan's eye and I love it :) I'm excited and happy just to see his excitement! Jean-Louis agrees with me there. He will do anything for Tristan so he has no problem celebrating Christmas :)

When I think of Christmas, I don't think of Jesus. I think of Christmas tree and decorations, Christmas music, turkey feast, presents, giving to family and friends, charity, shopping, extra time off to relax from work, spending time with family and loved ones, chocolates, eggnog lattes, warm cozy sweaters, colors, and snow. It's a time to celebrate with everyone and wish everyone a season's greeting and merry Christmas! I can never be a Grinch. Christmas is too fun and I love it! :)

For your amusement, you can read what other atheists, agnostics and non-believers say about celebrating Christmas too. That was what prompted me to write this post.


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