Celebrating a Secular Christmas

Christmas GiftsChristmas is one of those holidays that just seems to be filled with cheer and wonder. Whether you are celebrating a secular or religious Christmas, your day is sure to be filled with happiness, especially with a little help from us. Read some steps on how to celebrate a secular, religious, kid-friendly, or consumer-free Christmas after the jump. Happy Holidays!

  1. Spread cheer. When you hear Christmas songs, instead of being grumpy smile and whistle along. Being cheerful during the Christmas season really will help in spreading Christmas spirit to those around you, plus it helps you enjoy it more too.
    • Wish others a Merry Christmas if you know they celebrate Christmas. If you’re not sure, just say Happy Holidays! Either way, you are spreading the holiday cheer.

  2. Enjoy your country’s Christmas traditions. Let yourself be a kid again and enjoy the holiday spirit. Whether it’s leaving cookies out for Santa Claus, watching for Baba Noel out the window, or leaving your clogs by the fire for Santa, indulge in a little holiday tradition and give into the magic. Also you can make a gingerbread house with your friends and family you can do a competition get someone to become a judge then you and a friend can make and decorate a gingerbread house together.
    • Do some research about Christmas customs around the world. There are some great books that describe these traditions and give additional recipes and craft projects. The web is also a great resource for seeking out new and exciting traditions and new recipes.
    • Go to a local cultural center to learn about different Christmas customs. Many museums and libraries hold special holiday events and exhibits for the family to attend. Some Christmas tree festivals feature the usual tree decked out in ethnic ornaments and decor.
    • Do a little holiday time travel! You can also research holiday customs of American past. Christmas customs of years gone by are pretty much different than those of today. Popcorn and/or cranberry garland threading is a custom that is old as Victorian times. Before the glass balls in American holiday displays, came the ornaments made of paper and corn husks. Many moms fashioned granny dolls or yarn dolls for their daughters. Pick up any of these customs to put a twist on your modern celebrations.
    • Some customs however are not really practical or safe. Don’t put candles on trees! You can use safer electric candles instead. Using real fruit or other edible items can be expensive and viewed by others as a waste of food. Select artificial or inedible ones instead.

  3. Decorate your house for Christmas. The possibilities for decorating are nearly endless. Put Christmas lights on your house. Hang mistletoe in the doorways (particularly if you know that special someone is coming over,) hang a homemade wreath on your door, or put Christmas figurines like Santa or Rudolph out on your counters.
  4. Buy and decorate a Christmas tree. Go with your family to your local Christmas tree farm to cut your own or head to a lot selling pre-cut Christmas trees. Pick out a Christmas tree that fits your house. After you’ve gotten your tree situated, wrap it in lights and begin hanging the ornaments. Don’t forget to water it occasionally and safeguard it from pets!
    • You can decorate your tree with family heirloom ornaments or try something new by decorating a tree with Star Trek or superhero themed ornaments, or with little trains, or with Disney characters for example. It’s really up to you–be as creative or traditional as you like.
  5. Join up with friends and family. For many people, Christmas is about gathering with friends and family to enjoy each others company and celebrate the holiday. The day is a national holiday and most folks get a day off work. Take advantage of this time to reconnect with friends and family. Create your own traditions or celebrate with the traditions that have been passed down in your family.
  6. Invite your friends or family over for Christmas dinner. Make it a potluck if you want to keep expenses (and the workload) manageable. The important thing is just to get together with people you love and make the winter a little warmer by sharing the warmth of caring with them. Consider making a traditional Christmas dinner complete with roast turkey, or create your own traditions by branching out and making whatever you want!
  7. Christmas PaintingGo Christmas caroling. Either have it at your home, go door to door, or go to an old folks’ home and do it. Learn some Christmas or seasonal songs, and sing! It’s fun, and even if your voice isn’t great, hopefully, you won’t be singing alone––you’ll get some cover from your more talented friends! If you can’t go caroling for some reason, blast Christmas music throughout your house, while you’re wrapping presents, or during your Christmas party.
    • For song ideas, try songs like “Frosty the Snowman,” “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Silver Bells,” “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” “Jingle Bells,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” “Let it Snow,” or “It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas.”
  8. Watch Christmas movies. Have a movie night during which you invite friends or family over and serve hot apple cider and popcorn or cocoa and cookies. Play Christmas movies like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “A Christmas Story”, “Santa’s Apprentice” or any number of other seasonal movies.
  9. Do a generous act. This is in the spirit of spreading joy, kindness, beauty and love during the Christmas season. Maybe you can volunteer at a homeless shelter, buy some vintage decorations at or donate some of your unwanted decorations to a thrift shop, drop spare change into the local charity drive bucket, help out someone with decorating like doing the tree for them and putting up outdoor lights, or maybe you could help with a local toy drive or food drive for those who have less than you do.
  10. Consider giving gifts wrapped in lovely wrapping paper. You don’t have to spend big bucks on gifts––small tokens are fine. Some families enjoy giving gifts to one another to show their appreciation for one another. You can buy gifts or make them yourself. Learn how to become an expert gift wrapper here.
    • Gather around the Christmas tree with your family on Christmas morning and exchange gifts. Or, sit by the fire with your loved one and enjoy Christmas together.
  11. Do something fun with your family outdoors. There’s nothing as fun to do on a Christmas night than to walk or drive around town and neighborhood looking at local decorations. Head down to the beach or the local park. In areas where it snows, go sledding or build a snowman! If there’s no snow, bundle up and go on a long walk or hike with your loved ones. It’s always great to get out of the house and breath in the fresh air.
    • If you live in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or other countries in the Southern Hemisphere, your Christmas is likely to be a warm one. This gives you the opportunity to get outdoors and appreciate the beauty of nature and enjoy some of your Christmas Day swimming, walking, resting on the grass or playing a game outside together. Be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat!
  12. Deal with “Scrooges” gracefully. If someone says “Let’s cancel Christmas celebrations” or something else negative, simply say something disarming, like, “Sorry you don’t enjoy this holiday. You’re still welcome to come and join us for the day if you haven’t got anyplace else to go.” No matter how they react, just blow them off as kindly as possible and continue your celebration, showing compassion to the poor Scrooge. Also, try and see things from their point of view. Ask them if they’re going through a tough time or whether they have a specific problem. Don’t be quick to judge.
    • Any one can get the holiday blues and become a Scrooge. Remember unfortunate things don’t take a holiday even during the holiday season. Anyone can still experience problems with relationships at home or work/school. Teens and kids too be very emotional time bombs. Sometimes it’s a death in the family or to a loved one. Hefty bills can cause many people on holidays to feel anxious. Any person can have a burnout or mental meltdown from having to do all the extra chores, shopping and decorating without help. If a certain element of Christmas sets off angry, sad, or emotional reaction try to eliminate that factor from the Scrooge’s life if possible. Put yourself in the Scrooge’s shoes how would you feel in his/her situation.
    • If a tradition starts upsetting you or anyone in your life feel free to adjust them or to omit them. Compromise, discuss and negotiate. Entire families or individuals within may grow out or be bored of family traditions, decor and customs.
    •  Try or suggest some of other ways to celebrate Christmas in this article for a Scrooge.

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Posted in Holidays.

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