HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Religion & Spirituality » Religion (Group) » Christmas Isn't Only For ...

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 06:32 PM

 

Christmas Isn't Only For Christians: Secular Celebrators Enjoy Mental Health Benefits Of Community

Dec 21, 2014 09:00 AM
By Anthony Rivas

Shortly after Thanksgiving, I was walking through my Queens, N.Y. neighborhood when a truck stacked with Christmas trees drove by. Within seconds, the sweet smell of pine filled my nose, bringing with it a confirmation that Christmas had arrived, along with all the madness that is the holiday season.

Christmas is my favorite time of year. For as long as I can remember, itís been filled with good memories. My family is small ó I have two sisters, my dad, two aunts, and my mom and her husband ó but not entirely close, since weíre all busy living our own separate lives. Christmas is one of the rare times that we can come together to show each other love, revel in each otherís life stories, and show that no matter what we go through, weíll be there for each other at the end of the year (with food and gifts, too).

Hereís the thing, though: I attended a Pentecostal Christian church from about 6 to 10 years old, and then began practicing reform Judaism, even having a bar mitzvah at 13. Iím mixed race; my fatherís from San Salvador, El Salvador, and my mom is from Liverpool, England, so this afforded me with a unique upbringing in which I was able to explore religions ó I ultimately decided I didnít like practicing either. But the traditions that came with these religions stuck. Christmas, especially, stuck like the sap from a Christmas tree.

1. The Health Benefits Of A Secular Christmas

Iíve found myself wondering over the past five or six years whether I have a right to celebrate Christmas. I havenít attended church or synagogue (not that jews really celebrate Christmas) since I was 14, I donít believe in Jesus Christ being our Lord and savior, and I donít even know if I believe in God.

http://www.medicaldaily.com/christmas-isnt-only-christians-secular-celebrators-also-enjoy-mental-health-benefits-315094

9 replies, 695 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Christmas Isn't Only For Christians: Secular Celebrators Enjoy Mental Health Benefits Of Community (Original post)
rug Dec 2014 OP
DesertFlower Dec 2014 #1
rug Dec 2014 #4
DesertFlower Dec 2014 #6
rug Dec 2014 #7
DesertFlower Dec 2014 #8
Fumesucker Dec 2014 #2
cbayer Dec 2014 #3
Fumesucker Dec 2014 #5
cbayer Dec 2014 #9

Response to rug (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 06:48 PM

1. i'm from queens too. moved to phoenix 25 years ago.

hubby and i stopped celebrating xmas then. we only did it in NY because of family. i liked it when i was young but as i got older i found it annoying -- crowded stores, traffic jams, etc.

my husband passed 2-1/2 years ago and since then my friend howie and his family have adopted me. he takes care of things around the house for me. he's a non-practicing jew and his wife is christian.

i spend holidays with them -- not because there holidays, but because i enjoy being with them.

that being said i was raised catholic and am now an atheist.

i think everyone has a right to celebrate what they want to.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DesertFlower (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 09:08 PM

4. Let's see, in order, I lived in Sunnyside, Astoria, Flushing, Briarwood, and Jamaica.

 

It's good to be with friends on holidays.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 22, 2014, 01:11 AM

6. i was born in ridgewood, queens. lived in east new york brooklyn

(the nice part) when i was married to my first husband. got divorced -- then back to ridgewood to be near family -- then to forest hills when i married my 2nd husband. forest hills was my favorite place in NY.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to DesertFlower (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 22, 2014, 01:28 AM

7. Forest Hills Gardens.

 

My wife is from a small town in Indiana and I brought her to Queens to show her around.

She was physically uncomfortable with all the congestion on Queens Boulevard. So, a right on Continental Avenue, a left on Slocum and she said, "What is this place? I can hear birds."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 22, 2014, 04:52 AM

8. OMG. forest hills gardens. remember

they even had their own street lights. cost a fortune to live there. can only imagine how much it is now. we left in '89.

we lived in an apartment building with 105 apartments -- 7 floors. lived on the 6th floor right on 62 rd and yellowstone blvd. it was nice because the street in back of us had 2 family homes and there was a school and park across the street so we didn't feel so "closed in".

loved to shop on austin st. i've never been back but my granddaughter has and she said some of the stores are still there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 06:59 PM

2. The season really bites if you have major conflict in your family or don't have family

I'm watching one of my neighbors deal with it, she desperately wants to see her grandkids but she and her daughter are estranged (largely because her son in law is a huge prick). Christmas is going to be hard on her this year, I hear about it every time I talk to her.

Christmas is by no means a time of universal good cheer.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fumesucker (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 07:26 PM

3. That is very, very true.

I've known many people for whom this is the worst time of the year because of ongoing family conflicts.

We just had a major suicide attempt in our community. The underlying issue is apparently conflicts with family and the holidays just turns up the heat on that stuff.

There is a notable increase in depression and depressive symptoms around the holidays. Some of this is seasonal, but not all of it.

For others, it is a time of great joy and love, and I think that just makes it worse for those that don't have it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cbayer (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 10:03 PM

5. It's a cliche that misery loves company

Many cliches are cliches precisely because they are so often true.

Last night I was banned from a forum devoted to one of my personal interests because I in a spirit of generosity tried to offer a gift that would be quite useful and valuable to some of the other members (a gift I picked up on a group here on DU in fact), no explanation, no nothing.

The amusing thing is the forum I was banned from goes to irritating lengths to get visitors to sign up (they put cookies on your computer and if you don't delete them you can only read a few posts until the software blocks you from reading more and tells you that if you sign up you can read all you want), they also talk quite a bit about how friendly they are.

It ticked me off for a while but I finally decided that it was their loss far more than my own. I should have seen that one coming, anyone who feels the need to talk about how friendly and welcoming they are probably isn't quite as friendly as they think, that seems to be true for organizations as well as individuals.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fumesucker (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 22, 2014, 10:52 AM

9. Sorry that you were banned.

I think that can be painful even if it looks like it's really about them and not you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread