Is it wrong for non-religious people to celebrate Christmas? | The Tylt
Is it wrong for non-religious people to celebrate Christmas?
Devout Christians say that between commercialism and materialism, it's already a struggle to keep the holiday sacred. They resent non-observers jumping on the Christmas bandwagon, and feel that the secularization of the holiday has deprived it of all meaning. Some even argue it's offensive cultural appropriation.
Other religious leaders say the way that other people choose to celebrate the holiday shouldn't be Christians' focus. Pastor Erin Wathen urges observing Christians to let go of defensiveness around Christmas and cultivate a spirit of generosity:
“Happy Holidays” is a simple means of acknowledging that some of our neighbors–even some of our friends and relatives–are also in the midst of living their faith. And let’s face it: the “this is mine” attitude surrounding December 25 feels less like Christmas cheer, and more like Black Friday hoarding. Just sayin…
Religious people feel disrespected when non-observers celebrate Christmas.
Others point out Christmas has evolved over the centuries. In fact, the early Christian church appropriated numerous pagan rituals, even moving the observation of the birth of Christ closer to the winter solstice to co-opt the pagan holiday. Decorating pine trees, hanging evergreens and holly indoors, the Yule log, mistletoe, the giving of gifts—it's all pagan. The early American Puritans actually banned the celebration of Christmas. The Puritans didn't like that Christmas had a pagan association, and it was not a holiday designated in the Bible. The long view of history shows many people have had many different attitudes about the right way to celebrate the birth of Christ.