Skipping the holidays.

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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.

My wife and I are Jewish, but realize the irrelevance it means religiously and we typically exchange a small gift in the great tradition of giving; like clothes.
It seems however many empty nester men become old and grumpy and no longer wish to exchange a gift with their wife and use the excuse "we already have everything we need".

I hope I never become old and grumpy.
 
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My wife and I are Jewish, but realize the irrelevance it means religiously and we typically exchange a small gift in the great tradition of giving; like clothes.
It seems however many empty nester men become old and grumpy and no longer wish to exchange a gift with their wife and use the excuse "we already have everything we need".

I hope I never become old and grumpy.
My gf and I do the exact same thing. We always exchange a small gift, go to midnight mass, and then take a few days off from work, and take a short trip someplace.

Growing up, we had a lot of Jewish friends and they would always come have Christmas dinner with us. My childhood friend Ron who was Jewish, would always sneak a tiny piece of ham to put on his plate, and would say, "Don't worry it's ok if I have a small piece":) Those were some good times!
 
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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.


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!
Oy vey,

1. Being an atheist simply means I see insufficient evidence for God. Note this is very different from claiming I KNOW there is no God. Atheism is not some other "belief system" or "religion".

2. First, the bible/Quran claims to be the word of God. It either is or it isn't and if it is not then it can NOT be the basis for ANY supernatural claims. If it can't be the basis for supernatural claims (virgin births, resurrections, etc) then what is it? Your guess is as good as mine! We are told Jesus is the son of God based on these supernatural claims. Look, there is a "truth" that exists about God - a set of circumstances that either exist or do not exist - what gives YOU the authority to decide what is or isn't the word of God? What gives YOU the authority to decide what the bible does or doesn't mean? I'm not picking on you but based on your logic you're trying to square one truth with billions of different interpretations of THE SAME BOOKS. That is anarchy and under those circumstances, there is absolutely no way to know what is or isn't true. That doesn't stop people from walking around claiming THEY know "the truth."

3. So now we have the bible/Quran/whatever book and religions can essentially be whatever any believer wants it to be and that to me is no evidence at all that what is stated in the bible is true. Then I look around at the universe around me and not only does it not require an omnipotent and omniscient supreme being but nothing that we can observe or test even remotely squares with the idea of God.

This leaves me with what's more probable? - A religion that is open to the interpretation of billions of followers that squares in no way with anything I can see going on around me in the universe or it's simply not true? I've been having this debate for +20 years. I've read the bible cover-to-cover and the Quaran cover-to-cover. I read hundreds of books from Christian apologetics books to books on Islam and Judaism to the big players in atheism. There are no arguments I haven't heard +100x and those usually show nothing other than the person making them simply doesn't understand science. Again, not trying to convince anyone but I will make the point that I have most likely spent significantly more time than 99% of believers who show up to Sunday Mass or Temple or Mosque and daydream for 45 mins or never critically think about what is being read/said - literally years and thousands if not tens of thousands of hours of my life because IT IS ONE THE GREATEST questions all time. After all of this effort, my conclusion simply is there is no verifiable or falsifiable evidence for God.

BTW...the moment I'm presented with variable/falsifiable evidence for God I will humbly admit that I was wrong but until then....
 
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This topic is heading off course towards one's faith and far from the OP's decision to lessen his stress by not having a family gathering..
 
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I think was the "final straw" per se what made me feel Christmas has turned into a corporate retail holiday, are these commercials I keep hearing on the radio to the tune of, "Come refinance your home, take out a loan, take out a reverse mortgage, etc, so you can have money for Christmas presents", and if you don't go into complete destitution to make their corporations filthy rich, then you're just a bad person. I'm like, seriously???? I just find those tactics and ads to be utterly repulsive.
 
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I think was the "final straw" per se what made me feel Christmas has turned into a corporate retail holiday, are these commercials I keep hearing on the radio to the tune of, "Come refinance your home, take out a loan, take out a reverse mortgage, etc, so you can have money for Christmas presents", I'm like, seriously???? I just find those tactics and ads to be utterly repulsive.
Post #1

BAM
 
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We all have our own beliefs, faiths, etc. What makes us good people isn't what we preach or practice, but what's in our hearts and how we treat each other. My best friend is agnostic. But he would give you the shirt off his back.

This thread has been a very fun read. It's always very fun and interesting to hear each other's points of view, and we all here have done it in a mature adult fashion. It's always very educational.

Lots of good people here on bitog! (y)
 
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I think was the "final straw" per se what made me feel Christmas has turned into a corporate retail holiday, are these commercials I keep hearing on the radio to the tune of, "Come refinance your home, take out a loan, take out a reverse mortgage, etc, so you can have money for Christmas presents", and if you don't go into complete destitution to make their corporations filthy rich, then you're just a bad person. I'm like, seriously???? I just find those tactics and ads to be utterly repulsive.
If my wife and spend $1000 total for all five of us with most of that "needed stuff" that would be a lot. Crazy to think people put themselves in debt for Christmas presents.
 
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My wife and I are Jewish, but realize the irrelevance it means religiously and we typically exchange a small gift in the great tradition of giving; like clothes.
It seems however many empty nester men become old and grumpy and no longer wish to exchange a gift with their wife and use the excuse "we already have everything we need".

I hope I never become old and grumpy.
It gets harder and harder. Especially when wife knows you've bought something because the charge pops up on her credit card APP.
 
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Maybe it was the environment I grew up in, many, many, many decades later, parents, aunts, uncles long gone.
I still love the holidays, love getting together with my grown kids, love spending any amount of money on my wife for gifts I know she would like but never want to spend the money on herself.

We still go to church for every Christmas without fail, including 2020 when many churches went virtual services. It's always a good reminder about who we are and the "why" A true "time out" and time for reflection of what is important in this world and to be grateful instead of complaining.

I dont get stressed, I dont take out loans on credit cards, I enjoy giving and acknowledging everything my wife contributes to my life and that of our kids. I love seeing her happy.
We still exchange gifts with our kids on a more lighter scale, thoughtful stuff. I can see this holiday spirit has also become part of our children's lives and I couldn't be more proud of all of them in every aspect of their lives.

As far as the BS regarding commercialism, well, I consider that a cop-out if you give into that mentality. IF you give into corporations interfering in your lives and families, well then that was your choice or possibly just excuse to do nothing. Im not saying you have to believe in the Christmas season but dont make an excuse and blame it on the corporations if you chose not to participate. That is lame.
 
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Maybe it was the environment I grew up in, many, many, many decades later, parents, aunts, uncles long gone.
I still love the holidays, love getting together with my grown kids, love spending any amount of money on my wife for gifts I know she would like but never want to spend the money on herself.

We still go to church for every Christmas without fail, including 2020 when many churches went virtual services. It's always a good reminder about who we are and the "why" A true "time out" and time for reflection of what is important in this world and to be grateful instead of complaining.

I dont get stressed, I dont take out loans on credit cards, I enjoy giving and acknowledging everything my wife contributes to my life and that of our kids. I love seeing her happy.
We still exchange gifts with our kids on a more lighter scale, thoughtful stuff.

As far as the BS regarding commercialism, well, I consider that a cop-out if you give into that mentality. IF you give into corporations interfering in your lives and families, well then that was your choice or possibly jsut excuse to do nothing. Im not saying you have to believe in the Christmas season but dont make an excuse and blame it on the corporations if you chose not to participate. That is lame.
I have a good friend who has the most turbulent, loud, and chaotic house. The kids are constantly screaming at each other, at her, and there's always drama and hitting and crying. If it's not the kids it's her 50 year old sister causing the drama or her ex-husband. When she comes over she always asks if the kids are even home because it's always so quiet. My kids are just quiet and good kids who rarely yell at each other and we all get along.

I LOVE the holidays in my house but I'd HATE them in hers!
 
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My Thanksgiving:

- drove about an hour to the nearest Golden Corral. Waited an hour for them to open. Loaded up on plates of what I would eat to avoid the stampede.. ate what I could, about 25 minutes I was done and back on my way home.

- French Toast for lunch

- Fettuccine Alfredo for dinner.

I dislike turkey.

Had a pretty good day, thankfully Golden Corral was open.

Christmas? Will look for movies.. Die Hard 1 and 2 are the only ones that really qualify. I like 1 and 3.. 2 for some reason seems the lesser of the 3. The newer Die Hards don’t count and yes I saw the 2007 one - 12 years after With A Vengeance.

So that’s kind of sort of “skipping the holidays”…

We sure don’t have a Kevin McAllister Home Alone kind of Christmas, that is for sure. And it has been pointed out that Mr. McAllister must have been pretty very rich to live in a house like that.. even in Michigan.
 
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Years of working retail were what ruined it for me. You see the corporate and commercial greed firsthand. People who never worked retail will never understand, and the fake plastic façade people put on.
 
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We keep it fairly simple at our household on Christmas eve. We have the kids come over and this year I am smoking 2 pork butts on my Yoder smoker and having cole slaw and some sides with the sliders. We buy lots of gift cards and play bingo and let the winners pick out which prizes they like. My wife and I buy little things all year for the bingo and others bring prizes too. Everyone comes over at 11:30 and they leave around 3:00 and they all live within 15 miles away. Then on Christmas day we get together at my mom's community room where she lives and we have about 30 people coming. My mom makes a turkey and everyone brings something to eat and you never know what there will be for sides but it's always good. We try to keep it simple. My mom is 93 years old and in fairly good health yet. We all have to be very thankful for having good health and that's what it's all about. At our home we cook something different every year. Last year was hot ham and cheese sandwiches and the year before I bought 2 briskets and cooked them on the smoker. Other years we cooked turkey and one year we were really slack and just bought deep fried chicken and sides. I like watching the grandkids more than anything. One year we skipped Christmas at my mom's due to Covid and that was not fun at all. Thank God that's all in the past.
 
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Christmas is not about you/me. I don’t like a few of the members of my large family but I Love them all. We always have a large breakfast/brunch buffet mid morning at my house on Christmas Day then open gifts after. Everyone has a wonderful time and we have the pictures/videos to prove it. Personally, I can tolerate most anybody for a few hours one day a year. 🙏
 
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