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Atheists, how much money will you be spending on Christmas this year?

Discussion in 'Consumer Affairs' started by Reverend Rick, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Too much. Couple of thousand I guess.
    I'm Australian, so the health care system is different, but I have private health care, for what it's worth.

    Since l've answered your questions, maybe you can answer one?

    What does spending money have to do with believing in the virgin birth?
     
  2. Erebus

    Erebus Well-Known Member

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    Not an atheist, but I usually spend a couple of hundred pounds over Christmas and new year. Don't give a hoot about Jesus or the nativity, but I've always enjoyed Christmas. For me it's a time to meet family and friends and celebrate with good food and plenty of alcohol.
     
  3. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    I've spent about $100 so far for subscriptions to educational magazines for my friends' kids. I'll probably spend a few hundred more by the time I'm done.

    ... and I see no problem whatsoever in calling my entirely irreligious celebration "Christmas". I figure that if the Christians can co-opt Yule from the Pagans, I can co-opt Christmas from the Christians.

    I'm not an American, but I do pay a health care premium that's tied to my income. Yes, I'm able to pay it.
     
  4. Penumbra

    Penumbra Veteran Member
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    Christians put their holidays on top of existing holidays. Christmas (which doesn't actually correspond to any documented birth of Jesus) falls nearly on the Winter Solstice, and Easter nearly falls on the Spring Equinox. The name Easter also derives from the Germanic goddess Eostre/Eastre, the goddess of spring fertility, but those celebrations were replaced by Christian celebrations during the spread of Christianity.

    There's even a verse of Jeremiah 10 (classic OT trashing of surrounding beliefs and cultures, claiming their god is the only real one, tribalism, etc) that criticizes pagans for their decorated trees:

    This is what the LORD says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. 4 They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. 5 Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good." 6 No one is like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. 7 Who should not revere you, O King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you. 8 They are all senseless and foolish; they are taught by worthless wooden idols. 9 Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz. What the craftsman and goldsmith have made is then dressed in blue and purple-- all made by skilled workers. 10 But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath.

    But now we call those worthless things "Christmas Trees". :D

    I'm not really a festive person but I think these decorated pagan trees millions of us put up each year are beautiful. I haven't done it in many years but I visit relatives and love their tree, very beautiful. The idea that many Christians view Christmas as entirely their own holiday amuses me a bit.

    To the extent that I celebrate "Christmas", a holiday of a religion that is foreign to me, I just think of it as roughly celebrating the Winter Solstice, the December holiday that existed prior to Christianity, and the holiday that is now more of a cultural thing than any religious thing. I don't celebrate Jesus; I celebrate renewal, family, and a time to make beautiful things for the sake of making beautiful things. I would celebrate it on the 21st rather than the 25th if not for the fact that 99% of the people I know use the 25th as the date, so I just roll with this cultural holiday as it is.

    I don't like giving or receiving presents because most of it is superficial or consumerist. This year, I'll be buying gifts for four people:

    -For my nephew and niece, and I always spend a lot of time picking out the right ones that end up being among their favorite gifts that they use for a long time. Usually it's art stuff or building toys- things that are open-ended and work the brain.

    -For my mother, I'll be buying her a specific piece of jewelry that I know she has wanted. It's not very expensive, but it's pretty, and it'll show her that I'm paying attention to what she likes.

    -For my bf, I generally try to think of something creative to get him, or I get something that shows him I really understand his interests, or clothes that I'm basically 100% sure he'll like and actually wear. For people like him or my mother, it's an exercise in showing people that I know them, that I want them to be happy and am getting them a small token that shows my affection. I have family members that in the past have routinely demonstrated that they don't know me, because they get me clothes that are not my style at all (sometimes with the intention of pushing me to that style, like I dressed not very girly in high school so they'd buy me girly stuff that I didn't wear), or get me unhealthy food stuff when they should know I'm a picky health nut. Gifts like that are just gifts for the sake of giving gifts, for a sense of obligation, for consumerism. Back when they made those cinnamon tic tac mints, my mother once bought me a ton of cinnamon tic tacs because she knew I loved them. She has basically no money and it was a cheap gift that basically just said, "I see you, I know you". That kind of gift blows the others away, imo.

    -I'll send a few cards to other people, that's it. So it'll come out to a couple hundred bucks, total.

    Most people's health insurance wasn't affected. Mine is the same as before.
     
  5. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    What difference does it make if I believe in myths about virgin birth or not? I believe in giving gifts to my loved ones. In case you've been asleep the last 50 years or so, that's pretty much what Christmas is about.

    We're better able to afford it, as my wife's individual insurance plan (being a business owner) will drop substantially, while providing better benefits.
     
  6. NobodyYouKnow

    NobodyYouKnow Misanthropist

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    Same here!

    This time of year, creditors don't give jack squat about you having to buy gifts for your loved ones. It's also the time of year when prices are hiked for the basic necessities of life.

    I don't believe in Santa Claus either. lol
     
  7. Mr Spinkles

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    I will be spending substantial sums on Christmas. This is in spite of the fact that I don't believe in the Virgin Birth. But on further reflection, I realize this is thoughtless on my part, since the 1st century Christians invented seasonal hyper-consumerism as a tribute to the Holy Virgin, and they have called "dibs" on this tradition, and obviously visiting family and giving gifts to loved ones can have no other purpose than to glorify the Virgin.

    Yes, I am able to pay for my health insurance since, like ~80% of Americans with health insurance, I have group-based coverage whose premium is not significantly affected by the Affordable Care Act (even though our benefits increased).

    But surely, there must be SOME atheist here who will admit that he is not only stealing Christmas, but also using Obamacare to subsidize their irresponsible Christmas spending. The OP demands that such an example be found!
     
  8. Reverend Rick

    Reverend Rick Frubal Whore
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    Perhaps I have been sleeping in heavenly peace. I think Christ is the reason for the season although it was a Pagan holiday before that.
     
  9. Gjallarhorn

    Gjallarhorn N'yog-Sothep

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    A comforting thought but perhaps not indicative of all Christmas celebration, hmmm?
     
  10. illykitty

    illykitty RF's pet cat

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    Not Atheist nor Christian but I'll be spending a grand total of... £20! Custom made gift for my husband. I had a job for a while so it's possible to do so. I got him something useful and I know he likes it.

    Now him and his family spend so much. Not just on gifts but also food and the like. I find it ridiculous, personally. Would rather just exchange a little something or nothing at all. It's meaningless. My m-i-l gets me so much stuff and yet I don't get the feeling that she likes me. So much for the supposed "love". Love isn't for sale.

    And personally, for me, the holiday has never been about Christianity but rather being with family, eat good warm food (homemade and not tons) and perhaps a little connection to nature and the passing of time/seasons. To me it's more like Yule than else. I was tempted on making a log this year actually.
     
  11. freethinker44

    freethinker44 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    #31 freethinker44, Dec 7, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2013
  12. ScottySatan

    ScottySatan Well-Known Member

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    My grandfather used to call up my family and say "I want cash for christmas, and cash is what I was planning on giving you. So tell me how much cash you want to give me for christmas and I'll just deduct that from my gift to you. We'll save stamps"

    He was a sailor and had excellent complete healthcare coverage for life for free from the government.
     
  13. Rick O'Shez

    Rick O'Shez Irishman bouncing off walls

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    Hardly anything but that's because I hate spending money, not because I'm an atheist. :p

    But Christmas is a pagan festival anyway. We had a poll here and most people don't think Christmas is anything to do with Christ, so there!
     
  14. Frank Bunneh

    Frank Bunneh Member

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    I bought for the grandkids ~100 and gave their parents (my son and his wife) $1,200 cash and told them to do something nice for their family so about $1300 and that was just for them. I don't care about the religious aspect but it seems a decent enough of a reason to spread cash around to those one cares about that are seemingly deserving of it.
     
    #34 Frank Bunneh, Dec 31, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  15. Rick O'Shez

    Rick O'Shez Irishman bouncing off walls

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    I spent hardly anything but that's because I'm a skinflint, not because I'm an atheist. :p
     
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  16. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    I got a scrap piece of wood from a tenant's shop, & made a present for Mrs Revolt. Success with no money spent.
     
  17. Rick O'Shez

    Rick O'Shez Irishman bouncing off walls

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    Well done! I have been known to "recycle" Christmas presents, which is quite handy. ;)
     
  18. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    I am also a "re-gifter".
    Mint chocolate cookies.....no way in Hell would I ever suffer such masticatory malefaction! So off they went to a worker.
     
  19. Frank Bunneh

    Frank Bunneh Member

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    There was a challenge to not have sex in another thread and then this... I saw the challenge to not have sex as a cry for others to justify the OP's unintended celibacy than any intentional act of something.
     
  20. Rick O'Shez

    Rick O'Shez Irishman bouncing off walls

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