Religion and SpiritualitySkepticism

I love Christmas, but…

I’m an atheist who loves Christmas.  I love the season, the decorations, the food, the family, the presents, and even the story (in a weird, sentimental way).  However, there is one thing that drives me nuts about it and it is this: at Christmas time blind faith seems to be encouraged even more than usual, and especially in children.  Christmas specials, like the Miracle on 34th street, discourage skepticism and critical thinking.  And I’ve always been a bit uncomfortable with the concept of encouraging children to believe in a man who flies around in a reindeer powered sleigh, dropping off presents at the homes of everyone who celebrates Christmas.  That being said, I’m not in favor we go around disillusioning children.  I’m not even criticizing parents who do tell their children there is a Santa.  However, I think that a child’s questioning of Santa should be encouraged, rather than discouraged.  

Oh, and this brings me to a question for you all.  Personally, when I figured out that Santa didn’t exist, I started questioning many of my other beliefs.  Did anyone else have a similar experience?

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jackiestone

jackiestone

5 Comments

  1. December 23, 2008 at 1:39 am —

    Not really, I didn’t question my beliefs after I found out about Santa. ^_^
    You know, children movies and stuffs always seemed to have stressed belief anyways, whether it is Christmas or not. Anyways, I still remember the Polar Express “I believe” part, which is the only part that I didn’t like. Seriously, what is the point of going blind faith if there is direct evidence of Santa? Just a movie, though. ^_^

  2. zntneo
    December 23, 2008 at 7:34 am —

    yes I started questioning other such beliefs that had to do with some variety of real magic

  3. kayla_unkempt
    December 23, 2008 at 2:41 pm —

    Actually, today I woke up and stumbled clumsily into my living room where my younger siblings were watching the MIracle on 34th Street. I’d never seen it before so I sat down to join them. Unfortunately it was already towards the end at the part where they’re in the court room. When the little girl gave the judge the xmas card, I thought it was the cutest thing in the world. And when I saw the dollar inside the card, I was like OMG SO CUTE shes trying to bribe him with a dollar. Then I saw that she had circled “in god we trust” and then the judge ruled that santa was real. I held back tears and proceeded to eat breakfast.

    To asnwer your question… yes, I started to question other things when I learned Santa wasn’t real. And i kinda felt stupid for letting my parents LIE to me. Cuz that’s what it is…LIE-ING. But I got over it when they let me eat Santa’s cookies.

  4. Joy Wang
    December 23, 2008 at 4:59 pm —

    This post just reminded me about this, which our social studies teacher showed us yesterday:
    http://www.newseum.org/yesvirginia/

    Re: your question, I was 3-4 ish when I figured out that Santa wasn’t real, but since I was raised in a pretty secular household, I figured that the religious stuff was a lot of glorified Santa Claus, or something like that.

  5. December 26, 2008 at 1:30 pm —

    I had the opposite reaction. I was born again on Christmas Eve the same year I stopped believing in Santa. I was 9. I actually didn’t realize this and make the connection until I was in my 40s, although I did stop believing in God in my late 20s. I guess I’m just gullible. Or was until I was almost 30.

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