Though I'm Christian I will say this in atheists' defense: it's the same reason vegetarians eat replications of meat. Everyone else does it and it influences them to join in (without going against their own customs).
Because if you have kids it's to let them experience Santa. If not, it's a good time to be with family. Plus, many people (like me) enjoy getting presents, giving them, and finally just because it's a tradition. Sorry, I am a non-believer.
Christmas is barely even about Jesus. Most people spend their Christmases opening presents and eating food with their families. You don't have to believe in god or even be a Christian to like presents, food, and family.
A more interesting question is why do CHRISTIANS celebrate it ? The Christian church stole the winter solstice holiday in the fourth century to get converts, then grafted their beliefs onto it. "Jesus", if he existed, would not have been born in the winter, and pretty much every tradition you associate with it from presents to feasting to decorating is pagan.
It's extraordinary how many of these answers think Christmas is all about gifts. Sure, they're great when you're a kid, but adults tend to grow out of them.
Christmas is a time for celebration. It has no more significance for me than New Year or a birthday, and not nearly as much as an anniversary. There are few enough occasions for people to get together and celebrate and Christmas is one of them.
It's a time of nostalgia, a time to renew old friendships, a time to enjoy family, and a time when you can put reality on the back-burner for a day and thoroughly indulge yourself. It's good food and fine wine, or a beer or two, or a party or two.
Once upon a time it was a religious festival but, for most people in Oz, that no longer applies. Your religious index in the US is much higher than ours so it may still be a religious festival there.
Jesus' birthday? Sure. But equally it's Santa Clause's birthday and, of the two, he's a much jollier companion.
Mithraic pagans (which predates Christianity) might ask why Christians celebrate their holiday. Here's a quote from http://rcg.org/books/ttooc.html which corroborates the general consensus of religious scholars: "The Roman festival of Saturnalia, Dec. 17-24, moved citizens to decorate their homes with greens and lights and give gifts to children and the poor. The Dec. 25 festival of natalis solis invicti, the birth of the unconquered sun, was decreed by the emperor Aurelian in A.D. 274 as a Winter Solstice celebration, and sometime (later)...was Christianized as a date to celebrate the birth of the Son of Light."
The Winter Solstice has always been a time of celebration throughout many different cultures because it is the beginning of longer days, warmth, and a new growing season.
9 months ago
Last edited at 7:06PM on 3/9/2013
Christmas is not a Christian religious festival rather a Pagan holiday stolen by early Christian impostors to encourage conversion. Neither 25th December is the birthday of Jesus. Christmas was celebrated as the festival for victory of the sun over the forces of darkness thousands of years before Jesus was even conceived by the Holy Ghost.
And, if you are still wondering, Atheists do not celebrate Christmas as a Christian festival rather they celebrate it as a social event.
That time of year, the winter solstice when days stop getting shorter and start getting longer, has been a time of celebration in many religions for a long, long time. It started with prehistoric people, or early IN historic times, people realized this meant that winter wasn't the end of the world, that winter was going to be over.
Here's a better question: Why do christians celebrate Saturnalia? It's a pagan holiday. Your statue-boy with the 6-pack abs has exactly NOTHINGto do with that holiday. 1. The tree - pagan tradition. 2. Mistletoe - pagan tradition. 3. The feast - pagan tradition. 4. The date - first day of solar ascension after the winer solstice. 5. The presents - who doesn't like presents? 6. 3 Wise Men = the stars in Orions belt, which happens to be in the constellation of Virgo (the Virgin) on Dec 25th. And they happen to point directly at the spot on the horizon where the sun rises on that date. 7. The Virgin Birth - see #6. The sun (the son) begins its re-ascension (is reborn) in Virgo (the virgin) and is attended by 3 wise men (Orion's Belt). 8. Stockings? Seriously? Jesus wore sandals. Who wears socks with sandals? Nobody! Honestly. Christmas is about the LEAST-christian holiday ever. There is exactly NOTHING about Christmas that has anything to do with christianity. Oh. and P.S: your boy was born in the summer! Read Luke chapter 2 for once in your life!
It's all commercialism. Purchasing material items (Shopper's Euphoria), using vacation days at work and traveling. Truth is when I moved from a big city to the suburbs, I realized that the last thing most people do is spend time with their families on these holidays.
9 months ago
Last edited at 5:23PM on 3/12/2013
In the nonbeliever's defense (even though I am a christian myself), Christmas is more of a tradition to them, and a great time of year to spend with their friends and families. They enjoy the warm feeling they get when they give a present to someone, and they enjoy the excitement of opening one themselves. (don't we all?) Another question you can ask is: why do non-believers still recite the Pledge of Allegiance, or why do they still swear the President into office with Bibles, or why is Britain's national anthem still God Save the Queen? Tradition is the answer to all these questions.
Well, I still celebrate Christmas because my family is Christian(and, well, they don't know I'm atheist) and for the values it represents. Besides, like many have said, Jesus was born in the summer, and the celebration is a Pagan holiday.
9 months ago
Last edited at 7:59PM on 3/15/2013
Why do "Christians" celebrate it? It was taken from pagan religion. The Bible doesn't refer to the date of Jesus' birth. It says that the day of one's death is more important than one's birth. Ec 7:1.
In accord with this, the date of Jesus' death was made known and the memorial of it is coming up on March 26th. The Bible says that it should be observed yearly. Jehovah's Witnesses will be glad to welcome you to their Kingdom Hall to observe it with them.
Well, i can't speak for everyone who doesn't believe in it, but i celebrate christmas because its a holiday where all things are put aside and there are no feuds other than who gets the last piece of cake <3 . Does it honestly HAVE to man something? I don't see all the "true christians" saying no to the gifts they receive or telling children there is no saint Nicholas or santa. the holiday is there for the spirit, not for the meaning where i come from. If you don't see it the way we do, who cares? it's not as if we are offending god by throwing a celebration on that day. if he really did have a problem with it, then he might as well just throw something at a wall and get over it along with his followers. and yes, i refered to him for the sakes of those who do believe in him,even though i don't.