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What holiday do you celebrate? And how?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
We have such a wonderful diversity of members here! I'm curious about all the various winter traditions you'll be celebrating. For example, I have some friends who celebrate both Christmas and Hannukah, to honor both sides of their family. Some other friends of mine don't follow any religious observance, but always set aside a week during December to devote themselves to charitable work of various kinds.

What will you and your family celebrate this winter?
post #2 of 17
I celebrate Christmas with my family and Hannukah with Ian. I was brought up Roman Catholic and his family...well, they're New York Jews.

This year, we also both celebrated Eid (the Muslim feast at the end of Ramadan) with some of our close friends, which could become tradition.
post #3 of 17
I grew up with religious (Lutheran) Christmas, but as atheists, DH and I celebrate Christmas only in the original sense of the holiday, festival of light. I suppose I should then call it Yule (in my language even religious Christmas is referred as Joulu=Yule). Our Christmas/Yule is pretty much normal (vegan) Christmas without the religious side.
post #4 of 17
I, also, celebrate Christmas with my family and Hannukah with my husband's family (whose name is also Ian, and is also a NY Jew--scary!)

My husband's sister recently married a non-jew as well, so we call Hannukah Chrismakkuh, and celebrate it over Thanksgiving weekend since that's the only time we're all together. We fly to NY on Wednesday, actually.

We go to my parents house in FL for XMas.
post #5 of 17
I haven't observed Christmas for many years, though I did attend a youth group in the United Church while growing up. My birth certificate says Protestant, but that means nothing to me.

Having studied a number of religions throughout my 20's, I felt Judaism most reflected my beliefs and I considered conversion. I lit menorah candles for 3 years and said the brachas (prayers), but have since stopped. Would I do it again? Who knows.

I would say I'm not religious, but spiritual. I definitely believe in God, but don't believe Jesus Christ was anything more than a minor prophet, if that.

I don't buy into the whole "holiday season" business. I'd feel like a fraud, and I'm not a believer in Jesus Christ, so I don't celebrate. I'm not close to any family at all, so doing the "family thing" isn't an issue for me at all.

And for those of you who aren't aware, Chanukah is a very minor holiday in Judaism.
post #6 of 17
Here we celebrate Eid at the end of Ramadan, and New Year's Eve. Christmas pretty much doesn't exist and most people have never heard of Chanukah. There are 'New Year' lights in the streets and even trees. But I have international friends who do observe all the different holidays, plus Thanksgiving, so I get invited around! I probably won't decorate my house here this year, but save everything for next year when we will all be in France!
post #7 of 17
Originally Posted by OllyExtra05
(whose name is also Ian, and is also a NY Jew--scary!)
Ahhhhhhh, they're taking over Chicago!!!!!
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Fascinating -- I'd never even heard of Eid before. What's the story behind it? How is it celebrated?

And I know there are many variations even within Christian celebrations... I'd love to hear about your family's traditions.

For example, when my father was a boy in the 1920s, there was never any sign of Christmas at all, right up through the evening of the 24th. When the kids woke up on Christmas morning, they would find the living room magically transformed overnight -- a tree lit with REAL CANDLES on the branches (beautiful, I'm sure, but NOT a good idea!), and presents all around it. The presents were never wrapped -- just tagged with a name.

As for me, I'm not exactly a Christian... I follow the teachings of Christ because I think he was an extraordinarily good man and a great teacher, but I don't know whether he was divine, and I don't need him to be. So I celebrate Christmas as an annual reminder of what it means to do GOOD in the world, and to be kind, loving, forgiving... all the principles Christ taught.

For this reason, the most important gift for me at Christmas is a secret gift I give to strangers. I go out late at night on Christmas Eve and find a house in a bad part of town, a house that clearly belongs to people who need a bit of reassurance that life is good. I tiptoe up, leave a package on the front porch, and scurry away. That moment is the highlight of the whole year for me!

Do you have any special traditions to share?
post #9 of 17
My boyfriend and I aren't the least bit religious, but we observe Christmas as a secular holiday...a time to spend with our family, and remember how lucky we are to have them around.
This will be especially important to my BF this year, since he lost his mother in June.
We will be spending most of the holiday with his family. They live about 3 hours away and we don't get to see them much.
post #10 of 17
We celebrate Christmas.
post #11 of 17
We celebrate Yule (Winter Solstice) and Christmas as well.
post #12 of 17
We celebrate Christmas and St. Nicholas Day (Dec 6th). My husband and I belong to a Greek Catholic Church.
post #13 of 17
We only celebrate christmas and New years.
post #14 of 17
Me and my family celebrate Christmas. In fact, we just got done putting up the Christmas decorations all through out the house and outside. I was able to snatch a quick picture of Jinx resting, all this excitement got him worked up. Part of our downstairs tree is in the shot aswell, but my flash on my camera made it to wear the lights are not shining.

post #15 of 17
Eid-al-fitr means the Festival of Fasting and celebrates the end of the holy month of Ramadan in Islam, when people fast daily from dawn to dusk. Eid is a family celebration that starts at dusk on the last day of Ramadan and is marked by feasting and present giving. There is another Eid, later in the year, to mark the completion of the HAdj, the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, which every devout Muslim should do once in their life. Here both festivals are celebrated by eating lamb, and those who can afford it buy a whole sheep, have it killed and give presents of lamb meat to all their friends and neighbours.
post #16 of 17
I will say obeserve , I havent truely celbrated for 12 years...

I have xmas with Mom and I light a candle for Grandma ( who I used to celebrate both Chanukah(sp?) and Christmas she was Jewish)
post #17 of 17
me and my fiance celebrate christmas but not the religious side of mostly to us it is a time to be with family and friends but both side of our families are christian me adn my fiance are athiest
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