Tom Swider
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
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So this is a tough time of season ... gay, single, alone, atheist. Much prefer spending my time alone than travelling out of state to see family for a holiday that has no significance to me.

Then given the current mood of the country, it seems like treading on eggshells to dispute wishes of "Merry Christmas". I'll have to remind a coworker of mine that she forgot to wish me "Season's Greetings" in July (one of my pet peeves ... by "season's greetings, there's only one holiday that is being discussed ... nobody ever grants me seasons' greetings for the 4th of July). Similar to coming out, you just get sick and tired of having to explain yourself over and over and over again.

So for my December 25th holiday, I'll treat myself to making a Spanish omelet, taking a walk, working on a wargame design (a system of Operational games during the gunpowder era, focusing on making operational decisions rather than tactical decisions), taking the occasional glass of sherry, and looking at goals for the upcoming year (part of which includes getting the professional development units needed to renew my credential as a project management professional (PMP).

All that being said ... I would love it someday if there were a more meaningful holiday to celebrate during this time of year, one that celebrates reason and humanity. I'd propose celebrating the birthday of Andreas Vesalius, a man who was an educator, a rebel again religious authorities, and one who, along with his contemporaries, made it possible for our medical body of knowledge to prolong life significantly and based upon science.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreas_Vesalius

I also like the idea of sending his drawings as holiday cards (e.g. cross sections of dissected human organs)

Finally, I hope to get more local (Central PA) gamers into wargaming and will be hosting "virtual bootcamps" to teach some entry level wargames through Skype and an online tool called Vassal. If you've ever thought of giving a wargame a try, feel free to contact me for one of these sessions or one that would better fit your availability. See the details on my BGG Guild: Central PA Wargamers

Here's to putting some reason in the season!

All the best,
Tom
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Jessica Gustafsson
Sweden
Stenungsund
Västra Götaland
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I wish you all the best Tom!
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Russell McKinney
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Clermont
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I'm also an atheist, but I do celebrate Christmas, partly because I was raised celebrating it, and partly because (even though it is a Christian holiday), I don't associate it with religion. For me it is just a time for friends, family, food, fun, etc. It doesn't have to be any more than that for me.

As for the Merry Christmas thing, I honestly don't care what someone wishes me. The fact that they want to be friendly enough to wish me a happy or merry anything is all I need. Look for the reason behind the well-wishes, not the words they use. Too many people are hung up over the language of it, I think. People getting upset over "Happy Holidays", and in turn, people getting upset over "Merry Christmas" just adds more unneeded negativity and discourse in the world. That's just me though, but most all of the atheists I know agree.

Regardless though, season's greetings, and I hope you find something worth celebrating!
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No One
United States
Burien
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A jubilant Andreas Vesalius week to everyone!

(The holiday I'm invested in is New Year's eve and New Year's day. And, not in the way of booze and fireworks. For me these are the symbolic days of endings and beginnings; a time of reflection on the last year, and consideration for the new one. Electronics are turned off and books/games are set down while I spend as much time as I need in remembrance and reflection.)

~V
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Bill Cook
United States
Massachusetts
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tswider wrote:
I would love it someday if there were a more meaningful holiday to celebrate during this time of year


What's wrong with Festivus
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Nathan Clegg
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Escondido
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I consider xmas an absolutely secular holiday, but my partner and I celebrate Sir Isaac Newton Day for the scientist born Dec 25.
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Brad Miller
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Even atheists can appreciate the concept of giving, and what Jesus represents in terms of peace and love. Haven't been single and childless in 30+ years, so can't remember that.

But, Happy Holidays, even if that is just making a really good omelet.
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Helen Slater
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fullbloodlion wrote:
I'm also an atheist, but I do celebrate Christmas, partly because I was raised celebrating it, and partly because (even though it is a Christian holiday), I don't associate it with religion. For me it is just a time for friends, family, food, fun, etc. It doesn't have to be any more than that for me.

As for the Merry Christmas thing, I honestly don't care what someone wishes me. The fact that they want to be friendly enough to wish me a happy or merry anything is all I need. Look for the reason behind the well-wishes, not the words they use. Too many people are hung up over the language of it, I think. People getting upset over "Happy Holidays", and in turn, people getting upset over "Merry Christmas" just adds more unneeded negativity and discourse in the world. That's just me though, but most all of the atheists I know agree.

Regardless though, season's greetings, and I hope you find something worth celebrating!

Yep, all this for me too. N

Hope you have a lovely day Tom. A Spanish omelet, taking a walk and working on a wargame design sounds like a good day to me
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Tom Swider
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Thanks for the support. It's the sort of thing that has no great answer, just perspectives and having resilience.

I'll have to keep Newton's birthday in mind. So far other "mock" holiday has been Hoagiefest. http://www.phillyvoice.com/wawa-hoagiefest-summer-2017/.

For entertainment, I'll offer the Christmas special from "The League of Gentlemen" (sketch comedy, not comic series). Not for the kids.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrFAcIniHf4
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Désirée Greverud
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Stockholm
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the one really nice thing about having moved to Sweden from America is that the word for Christmas in Swedish is "Jul" (pronounced "yule" as in yule log and yuletid). Jul is the pre-Christian name of the winter solstice holiday here, so while Swedes did adopt many Christian practices, they never changed the name of the holiday and now it is almost entirely secular mixing of traditional "jultomten" (The Christmas Gnome aka Santa (as opposed to tomte - a regular gnome) and modern Santa Claus along with feasting, trees and celebrations of winter. "God Jul" (Good Yule aka Merry Christmas) is the traditional greeting which can be taken however you wish - religious or secular.

I'm pretty sure, once the current madness leaves America, the secularization of Christmas there will continue as it had been and the day will come when the vast majority of people recognize axial tilt as the "reason for the season"
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Alison Mandible
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DragonsDream wrote:
"God Jul" (Good Yule aka Merry Christmas) is the traditional greeting which can be taken however you wish - religious or secular.


For the past few years, I've taken great pleasure in wishing my friends god jul, but that's partially because it's less religious and partially because it sounds very much like the English encouragement "go you!"
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