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An atheist’s Christmas tree.

From: Australia South Australia Adelaide @melcyan Time : 2016-12-26 09:38:07

Resting on my bed, through two open doors, I can see my Christmas tree. It is important to me. Exactly why, I am not sure. It is eight feet high covered in tinsel, led lights and a variety of decorations of varying ages.

 

One decoration is probably as old as me. It belonged to my late mother. I suppose the tree is part ritual, part history and part emotion. Decorated trees and December festivity predate Christianity but the ancient history of Christmas trees does not concern me. My Christmas tree is a part of who I am and it starts many interesting conversations with family and friends.

 

Yesterday was Christmas day. It was a great time with extended family (even though it was over 40 degrees celsius or 104 fahrenheit in Adelaide, South Australia  – HO t, HO t, HO t!). I was exhausted from a frantic week of cleaning and preparation. Today the temperature has dropped considerably and it is raining. I was tempted to put some music on but changed my mind. The pitter-patter of the rain is gently soothing.

 

I have just finished a meditation, lying down on my bed. It was about intention. My intention for today is to take it easy and be extra gentle towards myself all day. No hurry or stress.

 

Christmas is one of the most important times of the year for me. It is a time of thanks, peace and reflection at a personal level. It is also a time of huge celebration with extended family and friends. Atheists just like Christians are not all the same. However, I suspect that there are many atheists like me, who have a special non-religious connection with their Christmas tree.

 

I wish everyone peace and good will.

.

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meg
From: China 广东(guang dong) 惠州(hui zhou ) @meg Time : 2016-12-26 19:38:16 #1

@melcyan

I am an atheist, I do like Christmas, especially this Christmas. I began to decorate my Christmas tree about two weeks before Christmas, I should begin on December1st, my friends told me. Next year, I will.

Yes, December is a busy time for me and for my family, too. Exactly I am busy in 2016, too busy to write anything, but happy. I will have one month holiday in January, 2017, it's great.

Enjoy your holidays with your family and Have a great new year Melcyan.

From: Australia South Australia Adelaide @melcyan Time : 2016-12-27 23:59:58 #2

@meg

Hi Meg, it is always great to read your words. 

 

There are no hard and fast rules about the time the Christmas tree goes up and comes down. My mother always put the tree up 12 days before Christmas and took it down 12 days after. When my children were small I followed a similar pattern. Now, the tree goes up when  I have time.

 

For the last 6 years, it has been decorated by someone other than me. I like that but that also means that the decorations are often not going on the tree until Christmas Eve. The tree comes down when I have time but never before January 2nd and never later than the end of January. You are completely free to make your own rules regarding these times. 

 

Thank you for your kind wishes. May you and your family also enjoy your holidays and have a great new year!

 

 

Anonymous25544
@Anonymous25544 Time : 2016-12-28 06:30:20 #3

The Christmas tree has pagan origins and they believed spirits inhabited the trees. The early church communicated the stories of the Bible via pageants and to portray the historical event of Adam and Eve they used an evergreen with apples on it to reperesent the  Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That's why they first decorated it with apples. Reformer Martin Luther was the first person to put candles on the tree. Nowadays people have no idea of the origins of various Christmas traditions.

From: Australia South Australia Adelaide @melcyan Time : 2016-12-28 13:45:53 #4

I wrote this piece in a state of peace.

 

It took me about an hour to write. Normally I am not that quick. A state of peace can be contagious – producing contagious connection.

 

The opposite, a state of judgement is also contagious – producing contagious fracture.

 

Meditation can move us from a state of judgement to a state of peace.

 

When you are in a state of peace, your perception of others and the world around you changes for the better. Words dissolve and fragments of reality crystallise together.

 

Meditation leads us towards truth/reality far more effectively than mere words. ( Yes, I do appreciate the irony of using words in my attempt to convey this.)

Anonymous25547
@Anonymous25547 Time : 2016-12-29 00:19:17 #5

anon25544,  I agree with the initial use of tree was by the Pagans and adopted by the church. YOu are correct with Martin Luther as well. You read your history I see. (y)

From: China 江苏(jiang su) 南京(nan jing ) @paulfox1 Time : 2016-12-29 15:09:41 #6


@Anonymous25544

Yes, the Christmas tree has Pagan origins, but that's as far as it goes. The stories/myths/legends are many, and no-one really knows WHY we use Christmas trees.

That said, how important is it that we really KNOW? Everyone knows that Jesus wasn't born on Christmas Day, but so what? Let's just enjoy, eh?

From: Australia South Australia Adelaide @melcyan Time : 2017-01-02 09:01:20 #7

When my four children were young I used to give them at least seven Christmas gifts each. That together with gifts to every person who gave my children a gift meant that it took me two to three hours on Christmas Eve to finish wrapping gifts. When the children were all adults the gift giving stopped. I gave them money instead. They were happy.

 

This meant the Christmas tree looked a little bare when it was not surrounded by a sea of wrapped gifts. My solution was to buy many gift boxes that looked like wrapped presents and could stack one inside the other for easy storage from year to year. I have used this approach for the last six years. It looks great but it did end up causing my youngest son considerable embarrassment.

 

Two years ago he was at a friends place and the presents under his friend's parents' Christmas tree were very large in number. He asked his friend if the presents were real. Of course, they are real was the shocked reply. At least my son now has an amusing tale to entertain others with every Christmas.

 

From: Australia South Australia Adelaide @melcyan Time : 2017-01-11 07:19:27 #8

@meg 

I took my Christmas tree down yesterday. The day before I had friends around for Christmas Cheer and New Year drinks. We joked a lot about it. I said that I could not take my tree down until they had visited me. They gave the tree approving looks, oohs and ahhs! We shared our unique Christmas tree histories and laughed a lot. Make your Christmas tree history unique too. You don't have to follow anyone else's timeline about putting it up or taking it down. Have a great year. I am looking forward to reading your next blog.     

Cheers

melcyan

meg
From: China 广东(guang dong) 惠州(hui zhou ) @meg Time : 2017-01-30 15:23:24 #9


@melcyan

It's nice to read your words.

I just said goodbye to my best friend and her son in Sydney airport yesterday. We had a great trip in China and in Australia during this month.

I will take my Christmas tree down today. I love it.

Happy Chinese New Year! :)

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