Skipping the holidays.

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Holidays have become much more of a chore with my family. Thanksgiving to Xmas is just a bunch of arguing and stress. This year I have eschewed all the traditional celebration and so far it has been stress free.

Thanksgiving we skipped the traditional at home celebration and instead cooked a few dishes for a potluck. No stress.

Xmas - skipping the family visit (always drama) and just jetting off to the Caribbean. No stress.

Don't get me wrong I love my family but I am definitely taking the easy road and just not dealing with any of that non-sense. Yes all the nieces and nephews are getting gifts via Amazon, as for me I will give the family a call from my hotel on the beach.

Holidays have become so stressful lately they just aren't even worth it.
To each his own.
 
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My problem I have with "holidays" is all they have become is a retail moneymaker. "You're a bad person if you don't come into our store and spend all your money!". Christmas (hence the name "Christ" mas) is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and not about stuffing some corporation's wallet with your money.
That's what Christmas means to YOU. I'm an atheist and we love Christmas in my house because it's about a fictitious fat man in a red suit, a pretty tree with lights that the dog and cat love, a reindeer with a light-bulb nose, and an opportunity for family time. That said, it is not all about aimless consumerism for us either. We do buy gifts but typically they are things that are "needed" and we do not spend all that much.
 
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I would totally be lost if we skipped holidays. I take holidays very seriously. I couldn’t imagine not having Christmas. It’s about family and Christ but I greatly enjoy the gifts too. I find it weird most adults don’t buy each other gifts. I certainly would. It’s not just a kids thing. My parents still buy each other gifts and put them under the tree. Maybe I’m misunderstanding your post or just don’t feel the same but I certainly could not skip any major holiday but to be fair holidays usually aren’t stressful for me plus who is going to complain about being off from work and getting paid and getting free stuff lol. If anything holidays generally take my mind off everything else. Now if only they would give us Columbus Day and MLK day off and Halloween and the day after Easter I’d be a very happy person. But they don’t ask my opinion of what days we should have off lol.

I don’t mind the holidays. I never get the little things I ask for at Christmas so I give those types a gift card
 
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The question of why we give each other gifts at Christmas is an important one since I believe it elucidates the core of why Christmas is important, to begin with. Shortly after Jesus Christ was born in that humble cave in Bethlehem, a group of extraordinary men came to visit Him.

Mary and Joseph must have been astonished at their arrival, as these men were considered to be very wise. They were dressed in a fashion befitting their station in life since kings and other rulers sought their advice on the most important matters.


And yet, here they are standing in this humble dwelling, looking for a king who they knew was to be born having seen His star in the east. These wise men did not come empty-handed, mind you. They understood the customary tribute paid to all kings must be paid even to newborn kings.

And so, they came with gifts in tow for this infant king. Matthew 2:11 tells us they knelt down before this baby and worshiped Him. Then they presented Him with their gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh. Now, I am not saying that this is the core reason for gift giving on Christmas.

I am certain there are a host of other, more cultural influences that inform our gift-giving. Yet, the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the guiding reason for the entire holiday, including our gift-giving.

Our motivation for giving gifts should be to do so in honor of the birth of our Savior, who gave us the most precious gift of all — salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). One of the problems with Christmas today is that it has strayed from the sense of the sacred and for most has become a secular holiday, filled with all the stress and materialism one would expect when the Lord is removed from the center.
 
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That's what Christmas means to YOU. I'm an atheist and we love Christmas in my house because it's about a fictitious fat man in a red suit, a pretty tree with lights that the dog and cat love, a reindeer with a light-bulb nose, and an opportunity for family time. That said, it is not all about aimless consumerism for us either. We do buy gifts but typically they are things that are "needed" and we do not spend all that much.
I would never disparage anyone's beliefs, as I would never push mine on others, but the act of celebrating Christmas is a religious celebration. For non-Christians, there's the day of reasoning and national atheists day.

I was reading about Anton LeVey one time, and when he was on his deathbed, he was begging God for forgiveness.

I think no matter our beliefs or affiliations, that when our time comes, we all long to be reunited with our lost loved ones and to be in eternal peace.
 
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I would never disparage anyone's beliefs, as I would never push mine on others, but the act of celebrating Christmas is a religious celebration. For non-Christians, there's the day of reasoning and national atheists day.

I was reading about Anton LeVey one time, and when he was on his deathbed, he was begging God for forgiveness.

I think no matter our beliefs or affiliations, that when our time comes, we all long to be reunited with our lost loved ones and to be in eternal peace.
Yeah, 20 years of hearing there are no atheists in a fox hole (trust me there are) and while I love the idea of the after life and I really wish there was evidence for it, the desire for it to be true doesn't make it true. That's just how my brain works. Ok...no desire to argue my points - been doing it for +20 years and have yet to convert a single devout believer and I stopped trying along time ago although I have had quite a few people who were on the fence and afraid to come out with their disbelief do so after the discussion.

As far as Anton LeVey, I'm sure God was moved by his last minute epiphany in an attempt to "hedge his bets". Also, Satanism has NOTHING to do with atheism so it's a weird example. As an atheist, I feel the same way about Satanism as I do about all religions - simply put it's a cult like all religions and there is no verifiable or testable evidence for it.
 
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Holidays have become much more of a chore with my family. Thanksgiving to Xmas is just a bunch of arguing and stress. This year I have eschewed all the traditional celebration and so far it has been stress free.

Thanksgiving we skipped the traditional at home celebration and instead cooked a few dishes for a potluck. No stress.

Xmas - skipping the family visit (always drama) and just jetting off to the Caribbean. No stress.

Don't get me wrong I love my family but I am definitely taking the easy road and just not dealing with any of that non-sense. Yes all the nieces and nephews are getting gifts via Amazon, as for me I will give the family a call from my hotel on the beach.

Holidays have become so stressful lately they just aren't even worth it.
I generally feel the same although it's really a matter of distance and not having kids. My father always used to say that Christmas was for the kids. Buying gifts for siblings can get out of hand and in our late 20's we decided to not buy each other gifts which has worked fairly well over the decades although my sister has recently broken that rule. My wife and I generally do not buy each other gifts because we use that money on our parents and my niece/nephews. This year my mother didn't understand why we didn't spend four figures traveling to CT to visit with my sister for 3-days as she herself was making the 15 hr drive for a 2 week long stay. My sister thinks that just because we don't have kids we can "last minute" afford to make these types of travel arrangements and takes it personally when we never travel up there (I have other personal reasons why I avoid NJ/NY/CT area but that's only half the story). I don't blame her, she lives in a much different pond than I do, so our perspectives are different. My lifetime earnings will probably equate to 3 yrs of what her husband earned.
 
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Holidays are great times to break out the powered lawn equipment :) Note: we had a close neighbor that spend hours with his leaf blower every Christmas.
Gift Idea for your neighbor. Maybe a 2-Pack !

rake.jpg
 
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Our holidays are fun. We don't stress monetary stuff, and seems like no hot heads of bad subjects. Maybe we are blessed.

My wife goes a bit nuts but she is having fun, so all good.

I mean even into my 20's I never understood why people would say the Holidays are stressful or hard or tough.......I understand that now, so I would never belittle someone for taking a break or keeping it simple.
 
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Good excuse for a rare all family get-together. Scarce opportunities to reconnect and give the grandchildren a big hug. I look forward to them and regard myself as fortunate that it can still happen. Not often enough to my mind, but I appreciate others may feel differently.

And yes, I am familiar and regularly use Facetime and other video apps. but not at all the same.
 
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Yeah, 20 years of hearing there are no atheists in a fox hole (trust me there are)
There is no such thing as an "atheist". There is a dedicated area in the brain allocated for your believes. Scientists call it the "God spot". And it's not just in humans either. When you say you're an atheist you're just denying God, or the existence of a higher power and instead choose to believe in something else. Either way, you still believe in something, and that belief alone is linked to the supernatural because you still have hope and you still expect things to go right for you in life.

I love the idea of the after life and I really wish there was evidence for it
The promise of eternal life is alluded to plenty of times in the Bible, but nowhere is the afterlife specifically described. The Bible was written by humans, and interpretation of the word of God, or what some thought, at the time, that the word of God was. Nevertheless, it leaves plenty of room for interpretation. My interpretation of it is that both heaven and hell are here on Earth. It is our choice to be kind to each other and make the best we can of this life because we get only one chance to do it. Believing in God doesn't mean you have to believe in the word of men.

Now, in the 21st century, we talk about the possibility of aliens, other civilizations, all the while explaining our own existence through evolution, acting like know-it-alls. The arrogance of the human species truly boggles the mind. We know very little about the universe, our planet, and ourselves. And yet, with so little information, we tend to act like we know it all. The fact is that we're nothing more than biomechanical machines with a biochemical computer for a brain. The "soul" is that magic link between mind and body, and the two can never be separated. Whoever built this place and us, made sure that we had everything we needed. We never invented anything, we just slowly discovered it. Even fuel and lubrication was provided for us, we just had to figure it out. So, that "God spot" in the brain, that was built-in as well. I doubt that we'll ever get past pragmatic observation, some of us, and some of us will naively believe in the Pearly Gates with an angel holding a harp waiting there for each and every one of us.

I think that being in the center feels good. So don't overthink it, just enjoy the Holidays for what they are without engaging in the commercial aspect of it. It's a good time to spend some time together with your loved ones. And don't worry, humanity's going in a circle. We're just smarter monkeys deluding ourselves that we're geniuses, convincing ourselves that we have it all figured out, and that it's just a matter of time before we get "there".

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
 
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Yeah, 20 years of hearing there are no atheists in a fox hole (trust me there are) and while I love the idea of the after life and I really wish there was evidence for it, the desire for it to be true doesn't make it true. That's just how my brain works. Ok...no desire to argue my points - been doing it for +20 years and have yet to convert a single devout believer and I stopped trying along time ago although I have had quite a few people who were on the fence and afraid to come out with their disbelief do so after the discussion.

As far as Anton LeVey, I'm sure God was moved by his last minute epiphany in an attempt to "hedge his bets". Also, Satanism has NOTHING to do with atheism so it's a weird example. As an atheist, I feel the same way about Satanism as I do about all religions - simply put it's a cult like all religions and there is no verifiable or testable evidence for it.
I rather believe and find out I was right then not believe and find out I was wrong.
 
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I rather believe and find out I was right then not believe and find out I was wrong.
There's God sitting there on Judgement day - Let's see Trav only believed in me because he didn't want to be wrong. I'm sure God will be thrilled with that!

What can I say - I stand behind my convictions even when my eternal soul is on the line. I often think of the question James Lipton asked in his interviews about what would you say to God at the pearly gates?

"I am as you made me and you provided insufficient evidence of your existence and so I was wrong for the right reasons." I'm reasonably confident that will be more satisfying to Him than some lukewarm believer (not talking about you - I have no idea what you think) who really didn't believe but went through the motions out of fear of being wrong and not because of a true conviction or even worse someone who only believed because that's what their parents told them to believe. What happens to all the people in the world who never meet a Christian or worse - they'd be killed for being a Christian?
 

Astro14

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Holidays have become much more of a chore with my family. Thanksgiving to Xmas is just a bunch of arguing and stress. This year I have eschewed all the traditional celebration and so far it has been stress free.

Thanksgiving we skipped the traditional at home celebration and instead cooked a few dishes for a potluck. No stress.

Xmas - skipping the family visit (always drama) and just jetting off to the Caribbean. No stress.

Don't get me wrong I love my family but I am definitely taking the easy road and just not dealing with any of that non-sense. Yes all the nieces and nephews are getting gifts via Amazon, as for me I will give the family a call from my hotel on the beach.

Holidays have become so stressful lately they just aren't even worth it.
Have you considered celebrating “Festivus” - which begins with “The airing of grievances”?

Sounds like your holidays already incorporate a bit of that…
 
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Reminds me of the concept called Pascal's Wager.
That is precisely Pascal's wager - essentially boils down to even if you really believe God does not exist you have more to lose if you're wrong so just pretend God exists. I use the word "pretend" very deliberately here because for those of us who really see no evidence for God, there is no putting the toothpaste back in the tube. You can say you believe and you can go through the motions of belief but then again if there is God it knows you don't really believe.

There is one of many downsides of believing in a celestial thought police who knows your every thought - your sincerity or lack there of counts.
 
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Holidays are great times to break out the powered lawn equipment :) Note: we had a close neighbor that spend hours with his leaf blower every Christmas.

Leaf blower is much better than a snow blower and 3 feet of snow.
 
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