"Keep Christ in Christmas!" is the familiar refrain of Christians who fear the secularization of the holy day celebrating the birth of Jesus, their savior.
But in America, non-Christians often celebrate Christmas.
According to a recent poll by the Christian group LifeWay Research, "A majority of agnostics or those claiming no preference (89 percent), individuals claiming other religions (62 percent), and even atheists (55 percent) celebrate Christmas along with 97 percent of Christians."
Do you need to be Christian to celebrate Christmas? What is Christmas all about?
Christianity is the largest religion of the world and Christmas is the most widely celebrated religious festival around the globe. Even if one is a non-Christian, at many places of the world it is all around you and you end up celebrating at least non-religious portions of it.
Yes, Christmas is magic for children, and New Year's Eve is a kind of Saturnalia for adults. It's all good. But, my Christmas wish always is that the love, goodwill, generosity, joy and peace that we speak of during this season will be a reality through the entire year, that we will carry the Christmas spirit with us every day of the year.
Posted by Valerie Elverton Dixon, on December 23, 2010 12:10 PM
My gift this year is remembering the cold, dreary November night and the voice of a little boy, my son, who reminded me that the birth of this child Jesus was supposed to be the light that people internalized in order to change the world.
Posted by Susan K. Smith, on December 23, 2010 9:45 AM
Here in the United States, Christmas is a National Holiday celebrated by the people, by the Executive Branch, and the courts for two centuries. Christmas must be defended because liberal legal groups have threatened and filed lawsuits against towns and cities for continuing traditions.
Posted by Jordan Sekulow, on December 22, 2010 3:53 PM
New research suggests that the end of the so-called "Christmas wars"--battles over how exclusively Christian public greetings or holiday displays should be--may come from a surprising place: Aunt Susan.
Posted by Robert P. Jones, on December 21, 2010 3:43 PM
Christmas is not for Christians, it is for the Lord Christ, and Jesus is merry. He loves all people, so if you are not a Christian: "Welcome to the party." God is not insecure, so even Richard Dawkins is welcome to celebrate the feast if he can loosen up enough to forget himself.
Posted by John Mark Reynolds, on December 21, 2010 2:51 PM
I love the lights, the glitter, the sparkle, and the celebration- I share in sending cards to non-Jewish friends and I enjoyg the odd Christmas drink or mince pie. But I am clear it is not my festival- and nor should it be.
Posted by Julia Neuberger, on December 21, 2010 9:31 AM
The Deep Green Gospel (the ecological "Good News" of the Bible) is the same as the first principle of ecology: Everything that eats is also eaten. This is why Jesus is born in a manger (which, lest we forget, is a feed trough for animals). It is the reason why all of his best teachings are couched in ecological terms, using the language of animals, seeds and flowers, and the reason why, at the very end of his life he insists that he is food.
Posted by Clark Strand, on December 21, 2010 6:32 AM
Instead of focusing on the Christian holy day, people today used the season to emphasize such non-Christian values as, say, consumerism, materialism, excess, overindulgence, fighting for the last "must have" toy on the shelf, and tacky displays of plastic yard ornaments.
Posted by Max Carter, on December 21, 2010 6:01 AM
Here's a radical idea. Let's move the Christian celebration of the birth of the savior, Christ our Lord, to late January, and let the marketers have the shopping part of Christmas in December. Let's realize there is no "war on Christmas." The war is over and the consumers won.
Posted by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, on December 20, 2010 2:41 PM
It's no more "normal" for non-Christians to celebrate Christmas than it is for non-Muslims to observe Ramadan or non-Hindus to keep Diwali. Devout or otherwise, I think all non-Christians should take advantage of this annual opportunity to heighten our visibility by opting out of the Christians' birthday celebration more openly.