Christmas is commonly perceived as a purely faith-based celebration, which can’t be enjoyed in a secular manner. Just like you don’t have to be a Muslim to celebrate Ramadan, you don’t have to be a Christian to have fun in this popular holiday season. After all, many aspects of Christmas have already been borrowed from other religions, which intrinsically makes it more inclusive.
Throughout the year, various special days and occasions pass through. They bring priceless waves of joy to different groups of people, depending on their own beliefs and culture. Christmas, likewise, is also a similar celebration which is a winter-time delight for Christians all over the world. While people of other religions may not share the beliefs of Christians, they can certainly share the joyous moments when people are brought together. No matter what faith people may identify themselves with, there’s always an undeniable relation of humanity among all. Based on this positive thought, this article will shine light on how non-religious people can also embrace the spirit of this celebration.
Christmas is Not Just for the Believers
Christmas is claimed to be a strictly religious holiday, which belongs exclusively to people that have faith in Christianity. This is true, as the people who don’t share these beliefs do not have much to do with what Christmas stands for, and what it means. However, no one can deny that this celebration brings people together in a positive light, to enjoy a lasting and satisfying holiday. With this thought, even non-religious people can enjoy the positive vibes along with their Christian friends, just for the sake of humanity.
There may be numerous ways to celebrate it in a strictly Christian way, but not all elements of Christmas have much to do with religion and faith. When it comes to these secular or non-religious aspects of typical celebrations, these can be enjoyed by any and all – regardless of their beliefs. Having a good time in the snow with friends and family, with a few delightfully decorated trees in the background – who says non-Christians can’t have that? You won’t be disrespecting any Christian by decorating a tree in your own way, neither is that against any law. So why not take part in this activity when the rest of your city is already at it? To find more ways to do so, we’ve gathered more ideas in the following section.
How to Embrace the Christmas Spirit in Your Own Way
As you may have felt, you don’t embrace the Christmas spirit, it embraces you. There’s no way to escape it in a western country, with shops blaring out themed music, and baubles hanging by their windows. Hardly any public radio or television has a theme that’s not Christmassy. Every street features people dressed as Santa Claus, shaking buckets as you pass by them. Even public transport remains closed for about 40 hours. The signs of this festive season will be visible to you for at least two months each year, no matter where you look. So, if you’re not a Christian, what can you make of this? Is it necessary to have faith in the background of Christmas to enjoy it at all? Well, we’ve gathered some ways to embrace this time of the year well, even if you’re not a Christian. So, keep reading!
Engage in the Warm and Bright Decorations
A lot of money goes into the home decorations for the Christmas season. While many of the decoration ornaments are religious-themed, you can easily find a ton of secular items. Lights, reindeers, mistletoe, and evergreens are all non-religious options if you like to decorate your home for the sake of a different vibe. These secular decoration options also prove the fact that there are plenty of non-religious, strictly cultural components to the celebrations of Christmas.
Have Fun in Christmas Activities and Parties
Halloween and Christmas season bring more parties with them then any other time of the entire year. These gatherings and activities aren’t necessarily religious, but actually, promote diversity due to being held in places like schools and offices. This humanitarian need for acceptance secularizes these parties for people who attend. As a non-Christian, this may be your best excuse to have a great weekend party.
Show the Spirit of Sharing and Caring
As we all know, exchanging gifts is one of the most popular Christmas activities. Having a secular Christmas celebration doesn’t require ruling gifts out. Exchanging beautifully wrapped presents isn’t just limited to religion or Christianity. Unless the gifted item is religious in its nature, there’s nothing ‘Christian’ about buying and wrapping gifts.
The same goes for the activity of making charitable donations to those less fortunate. While more of these may be made at Christmas, you don’t have to be Christian to make these donations. The only thing that could make a donation a ‘religious activity’ is if the recipient is a religious charity. There are secular charities out there, or even charities for the religion you personally believe in – feel free to donate to those.
Without adding any religious ornaments into a Christmas tree, planting these is an entirely secular activity. This tree is a popular symbol of Christmas celebrations, just like Santa Claus, but it’s got little to nothing to do with the religious beliefs of Christianity. The popularity of these trees originated from the European pagan celebrations and later got popularly adopted by Christianity. Getting one for your home could be a great idea to celebrate the Christmas spirit in a secular way. Just use ornaments that are simple, colorful, and pleasing to your eyes!
Wrapping and Giving Presents
If people do anything during the Christmas holidays, they probably end up wrapping and giving gifts. Some may give religious gifts and/or use religious wrapping paper, but there is no need to do so. Most people give secular gifts and use non-religious wrapping. There's nothing especially Christian or religious about exchanging gifts on Christmas. If you want to exchange gifts with others on Christmas, you can do so without any references to religion or Christianity.
New Year's Celebrations
Christmas celebrations go hand in hand with those of the New Year. The holiday isn’t entirely for the Christmas season, but also to allow people to truly enjoy the happiness of entering a brand-new year. Numerous parties are held around the 31st of December, and needless to say, these are all purely non-religious in nature. Without any references to Christian beliefs and activities, non-Christians and atheists can fully take part in these festivities.
Candy Canes and Christmas Food
Special foods pop up around this season, and they don’t have anything to do with religion – just culture. Christmas foods, like candy canes and other iconic refreshments were made with bright colors and flashy designs to represent the positive vibes of this season. They’re totally secular, and there’s nothing in it that relates to the traditions or theology of Christianity.
Family Gatherings at Christmas
Many people conduct family gatherings and get togethers around this time of the Christmas holidays. This is mainly because relatives and friends are stripped off of the excuse of being busy at work since everybody will have to time off during holidays. Spending time with family just makes sense in this season. Although Christian families go to church together, the gatherings themselves aren’t meant to be ‘religious’ in any way. Exchanging gifts, enjoying meals, watching holiday shows, ice skating, building a snowman are all examples of secular activities that could be enjoyed even in atheist family gatherings in the holiday season. Even if you’re not religious, the holiday season could be a great opportunity for strengthening family bonds with a reunion.
Last but not least, here’s the most secular aspect of the Christmas spirit. It requires the most effort, time and money; yep, it’s shopping! Not even a tiny bit of Christmas shopping has anything to do with Christianity. Any sane person would be able to appreciate the amazing decorations, sights, and sounds of Christmas time at shopping malls. The huge number of people that turn up just lighten up the atmosphere of wherever you choose to shop. People are generally in a much better and positive mood, and the vibe is just naturally uplifting. If you choose to spend money on goods and services around the Christmas season, there’s nothing Christian about it.
Christmas is actually a cultural holiday, more so than it’s religious. In no way does this mean that this celebration is free of religious elements of Christianity. It actually has many Christian components. However, that’s also to be expected from a cultural holiday, because religion is an undeniably important aspect of culture itself. Culture has a wider scope than religion in many ways, which means there are tons of non-religious aspects to Christmas too. If you’re someone who has always wanted to join in the delightful vibe of this colorful season, feel free to refer to this guide to do so in a secular way. All the best!