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The_Inquisitor's avatar

What makes Christmas feel like Christmas for you- if you celebrate it?

Asked by The_Inquisitor (3163points) November 28th, 2010

I don’t really celebrate Christmas… BUT strangely I love when Christmas rolls by! The streets are full of beautiful white flakes (in my city, anyways) and the feeling of joy, warmth and happiness fills me! Also I love watching those kiddie Santa shows! And those Seasonal movies!

Although my family does not really celebrate Christmas, we do put up a Christmas tree (some years), and we even get each other gifts (some years)—just doing what lots of other people are doing and having fun trying it! (I’m Canadian, but we are originally from China, and we’re not exactly Christian or anything…sorry if this sounds weird.. >_<).

So what do you do to make Christmas feel like Christmas—if you celebrate it? What are your traditions for Christmas? Is there something you do every year for Christmas that you must do every year? What’s your favorite part of Christmas?

Just trying to learn more about Christmas—sorry for excluding other Holiday Celebrations.

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34 Answers

heresjohnny's avatar

For me personally, I have to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” every year around christmas time. It’s just one of those things that signifies christmas for me.

mrlaconic's avatar

My dad and I always make cookies since I have been a little kid and we watch Scrooge with Albert Finney which is my absolute favorite version of Christmas Carol.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

@mrlaconic, I love Christmas Carol! I love all sorts of versions though. <3

kenmc's avatar

I like 2 things about Christmas, in this order: 1) Christmas lights. 2) Egg Nog.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

@kenmc, I loooooove egg nog! ;p

Nullo's avatar

The tree and decorations are what set the tone for me. The rest of the stuff, even the music, is available throughout the year.

YARNLADY's avatar

The advertising, the lights on houses and the colder weather.

Harold's avatar

Getting together with family. Going to be a hard one this year- first one without my mother, who died four weeks ago. We will no doubt do a lot of reminiscing.

Here, the heat, and the cicadas buzzing in the trees.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

@Harold, my condolences..

Harold's avatar

@curiouscat – thank you very much.

AdamF's avatar

Many aspects of Christmas are not Christian. So not a worry not being one. Neither am I, and I love Christmas.

For me it’s a clear night on Christmas eve…the starshine on fresh snow. The warm glow of a fireplace. The smell of cooking ginger bread and plum pudding. The blinking of Christmas lights. Choral music.

Most importantly, being with people you love, and the joy on kids faces.

Scooby's avatar

Well, I get two weeks off work, the time spent catching up with family & friends…. I don’t celebrate the religious part of Christmas as much as some of my relatives & friends might but just more or less go with the flow, there‘s always invites to parties & lunches over the festive season to keep me busy…We raise a glass to good health & eat heartily until we all collapse in front of the TV on the 25th of December usually with a good drink in hand waiting for the queens speech, then we set about putting the world to rights before heading off to friends houses to see out the evening…..I’m over at my sisters this year so will be taking my cats with me, should be fun as she has two dogs & a cat of her own… :-/

downtide's avatar

The main things for our family are the exchange of gifts and the big traditional Christmas dinner. (Most people in the UK choose turkey but we’re having duck).
Only three days off work this year :(

harple's avatar

I must admit to year-on-year watching the Queen’s speech – ideally timed at 3pm for just after we’ve just eaten our big traditional Christmas dinner…. Only this year I’m having Christmas in America, so it will be 9am!! (Have set a reminder in my phone’s calendar!)

perspicacious's avatar

Religious observances and the emphasis on the joy brought by the birth of Christ. This IS Christmas. This is what makes 12–25 Christmas.

Cruiser's avatar

Setting up the tree and decorations, plus my Christmas eve party where I get to cook a traditional Christmas dinner for my Jewish relatives. Of course making Swedish Potato sausage and copious amounts of glug!

john65pennington's avatar

I can tell you what Christmas is NOT to me. it’s not Black Friday and it’s not CYBER MONDAY. just more gimmicks to get your money and farther forget what the real meaning of Christmas is all about. although i am not sure if Jesus was born on Dec. 25sth, it really makes no difference to my wife and i. we celebrate each day as the day of his birth.

People have lost touch with reality and the true meaning of Christmas.

Will the madness ever end ??

AmWiser's avatar

I don’t celebrate Christmas either but I do participate for my family. What makes Christmas feel like Christmas for me is the snow and the lights… breathtaking.
@Harold So sorry about your Mother. I know how it was that 1st Christmas without my Pops and subsequent celebrations.

Mat74UK's avatar

When all my shopping is finished, the decorations and tree are up and we’re watching a film whilst wrapping gifts and peeling sprouts!

marinelife's avatar

Singing Christmas carols, watching the lights twinkle on the trees, seeing friends and family.

Summum's avatar

We get together as a family and go sing songs to a few rest homes in our area. We take time to go to those who want company and sit with them and visit. They often are so lonely and enjoy some company every year. We also pick a family usually a mother trying to raise some children and provide her Christmas for them. I missed doing this last year because my wife was so sick. But the year before that we got the key to a ladies house and we took in a Christmas tree, a Television, decorations and gifts for the the kids. When we left there we didn’t leave any evidence it was us. Our clergy helped get access to the house and made sure was was occupied while we put her house together. IT was really the best Christmas I have ever experienced.

wenwen's avatar

Here’s the funny thing, I’m a complete Atheist, but Christmas day is still special.
I’m not celebrating any part of Christianity, for me it’s about seeing my family, giving presents , relishing the cold weather, eating, drinking and being merry( the old cliche!)
Call it hypocritical if you like, as it is, but the build up to christmas ( seeing the festive lights etc) is just lovely, and I will always celebrate it ! I think i may adjust from saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to something like ’ season’s Greetings’ or ‘Happy Holidays’ instead :)

belakyre's avatar

Being together with the people I love. Seeing smiles on people’s faces. People singing carols. The holidays also provide a nice big chunk of time to reflect on the year (though I will be studying frantically this year for the iGCSEs).

If I had to pick, it’d be the first two reasons I put. Those two are what, in my opinion, really makes Christmas feel like it’s Christmas.

ShanEnri's avatar

I have always celebrated Christmas! Unfortunately it’s a very stressful time for us. What makes me feel more festive though is seeing peoples outside lights when driving around at night. And going to the mall and seeing all the little ones waiting to sit on Santa’s lap. The weather here is pretty mild for this time of year, so cold days are a bonus! If it actually snowed here on Christmas then I would probably die from Christmas cheer over load!

Trillian's avatar

Cookies and carolng. I love to bake and once a year I really have at it. Then I take them around to neighbors on holiday trays and into work. I also start singing carols and christmas songs whenever I happen to think of one. I get the strangest looks from people, but sometimes a person will join me in a song.

wundayatta's avatar

Messiah sing. I get to play “The trumpet shall sound,” and no matter how well or badly I do, I get a good round of applause. They are just grateful to have a trumpet around. Also there are neighborhood carol sings which are nice.

JustJessica's avatar

The smell of cinnamon and cloves. That’s what my Great Grandmother house always smelled like during the holiday season. So now I get a little sauce pan and put ground cloves, cinnamon and some water and put it on the stove on low. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Harold's avatar

@AmWiser – thank you for your thoughts

Christian95's avatar

Snow,loneliness and fantastic movies

The_Inquisitor's avatar

@AdamF, oh, nicely said!

@wenwen, that’s how I am like too! But I’m not Atheist. I also try to say “Happy Holidays” more than “Merry Christmas” now too. =P

Thanks all for contributing/sharing! Hope you have a fantastic Holiday!

mattbrowne's avatar

The smiles and laughter of children.

Nullo's avatar

@AdamF The core of Christmas is Christian; the rest of the various traditions have either clung to it or else sprung up around it. (Yes, I know about syncretism.) It is my contention that the much-loathed commercialization of Christmas actually stems from people trying to ignore the core and focus on the surrounding trappings.

AdamF's avatar

@Nullo The core of the Christmas you refer to, in terms of the tradition for Christians to celebrate the meaning of Christ’s birth on this day, is of course Christian. Absolutely. I agree.

But regardless, for myself, and for many others, who see the religious story of Christ as another (but obviously dominant and influential) ancient myth, and concurrently have our personal (grandparents perhaps) and cultural history embaked in the Christian and pagan traditions of northern Europe (you said it….syncretism), the wonder of this time of year and the festivities associated with it, has a beautiful happy core that is Christian by accepted namesake only.

This “core” has a beautiful and valued meaning in its own right, and it has next to nothing intrinsically to do with either the story of Jesus or commercialization. The core I am referring to is love of family, love of nature’s wonders like the beauty of snow and the magic of this cold dark season, the gift of giving, love of great food, great smells, and coming in from the cold to be warmed by a fire. Frankly, it’s an excuse to celebrate a large part of what is meaningful about being alive.

So to be honest, I can completely appreciate how some Christians view such a Christmas without Christ as ‘missing the(ir) real meaning of Christmas’.

It is. And unapologetically so.

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