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22.12.12

Christmas and Religion

I've said before that I am open minded about religion.
My nan and aunty are Jehovahs Witnesses, I was Christened when I was a baby as were my boys.
I can comfortably visit church without feeling I don't belong, although not believing may make me hypocritical. The thing is I am interested in the bible, be the stories within it: real or not, I also agree with a lot of (but not all) Christian morals.
I will teach my sons stories from the bible, in fact some we will learn together, as I think whether or not the stories are true, they are simply lovely stories. I think they help common-sense and everyday knowledge and at times am pretty ashamed that I don't know that much about the bible.

Most importantly, and a fact I think the majority of non-believers don't consider, is the fact that without religion we wouldn't have Christmas. (or Easter)
I remember when we were having Charles Christened. It was planned for the beginning of December so Advent was incorporated into the service. We had 2 meetings previous to the Christening, one with the Reverend and one with her husband. During a conversation with her husband he told us of a time when they were walking through a village around Easter time and a Christian book shop had a banner outside promoting Easter celebrations. He told us of a couple who walked past him and his Reverend wife, the man said to his partner "Bloody Christians. They have to make everything about God don't they?!"
Does this not show just how stupid and ignorant we are when it comes to religion.
Easter is a religious celebration.
Christmas is a religious celebration.
Without religion, we would not have these celebrations.

Christmas is NOT about Father Christmas.
Easter is NOT about chocolate and bunnies.

I'm not saying we all need to toast to Baby Jesus, attend Midnight Mass or Christingle and pray before we eat our feast.
But consideration of the true meaning, and no tutting at religious carols our children have learnt at school and no huffing when Songs of Praise comes on with a swift clutch of the remote and a change to the Coronation Street Special whilst mumbling "I'm not watching that rubbish" should be expected and followed through by us all.

In my opinion, you don't have to worship or believe to celebrate Christmas, to sing the lovely carols about Baby Jesus, but you do have to consider the roots of the celebrations. The fact that there are people who are celebrating it for what it really is.
If it wasn't for Christianity we wouldn't have Christmas. That's a fact.