You can’t celebrate Christmas, you’re Buddhist

Someone asked me why I celebrate Christmas recently. I’m Buddhist and in our house we don’t hide that fact. We have Buddhas, Bodhisattvas around our house, it’s just who we are.

But as an American and being raised in a Christian faith I saw people of other faiths shunned because of their faiths. My best memory is of a kid in fourth grade that was a Jehovah’s Witness. He could not come to our Christmas party because of his beliefs and some of the kids made fun of him. I knew this was wrong. I always think of that kid.

When my wife and I decided to start having kids one of our first discussions was faith. I had always been into Eastern and New Age philosophies when we were dating. My wife came from a Christian background. Everything I was talking about was very new to her and she had questions, still does.

We didn’t want our kids to be the black sheep of the school yard. We decided that no matter what our beliefs our kids would celebrate Christmas. Not the holiday so much as what came with it, presents, Santa Claus, stockings, Rudolph.

I’ve always believed Christmas is not so much about the religious aspects anymore as being giving, spending time with family and loving each part of the human race. Most of these things come naturally in Buddhism anyway.

When my son sees a picture of Christ, he asks who he is, I tell him. I don’t fill him with a bunch of stuff to make him hate any religion, because that would go against my beliefs.

My son has asked me why people celebrate Christmas. I told him, “A very wise man a long time ago was born on that day. Millions of people around the world celebrate his birth as Christmas. They are called Christians.” He hasn’t asked why we celebrate Christmas. I will give him the same response I’ve given in this post.

“We decided before you and your sister were born that we wouldn’t force religion on you. We would let you decide. By doing that, we decided to celebrate Christmas, because we felt it was the best thing to do.”

I’m not sure what his response will be. We let our kids be who they want to be. If they decide to walk a different spiritual path I have no reservations and will not push them one way or the other. But I will suggest they let their kids be who they want and not restrict them based on their beliefs.

I hope everyone has Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever you may celebrate this time of year. May you enjoy your family and be able to create the memories and traditions that will carry you throughout your life.


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12 Responses to You can’t celebrate Christmas, you’re Buddhist

  1. susielindau says:

    I think celebrating Christmas has become a tradition as well as a spiritual holiday. I have Jewish friends that celebrate it. I think when its your family you get to make your own rules!
    I love your last line-
    “I hope everyone has Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever you may celebrate this time of year. May you enjoy your family and be able to create the memories and traditions that will carry you throughout your life.”
    Great post!

  2. Well said Brian!! Religion & Beliefs are a personal thing with most people. I love that you are giving the kids a well rounded education. Knowing that the kids may choose other beliefs is definately part of being a parent.

    • BB_Baker says:

      Thank you for your comments. Unfortunately a lot of parents push their beliefs on their kids without allowing them to find themselves. Thank you for letting me find myself!

  3. The important thing is in that last sentence. You sound like you have a lot of common sense. Merry merry and jingle on

    • BB_Baker says:

      Thanks philosopher. Our family is what we have and without it and the memories we create with them we are not the same, and neither are they. Thanks again!

  4. The lotus rises above the soil, because it naturally has. There is no restraint, no force, no anger, no rage, no discontent, no stillness, no motion, no state, no fear, no lust, no emotion.

    It is perfectly fine for anyone to celebrate Christmas if you are thinking about it in the superficial sense. There IS God who creates not universes, but entire dimensionalities through mere thought.

    However, Buddhism teaches you that as long as you reside in that realm, you are in a form of suffering – cast in a repetitive cycle of rebirth and death, your Mind thrown into an ocean of other minds, strung up astral realms through the Wheel of Rebirth.

    The concept of whether you can celebrate christmas, the labels of being a christian or a buddhist, the concept of having a day, the concept of having a concept is in itself an attachment to a certain form – and that hinders the path of enlightenment.

    Here’s an insight: Think about all living beings on earth, even minerals on the earth as “pieces” of a Universal Cloth. Humans are filters, animals are filters, vegetables are filters, minerals are filters… we are “filters” to express that Universal Cloth.

    Have a gracious experience. 🙂

    • BB_Baker says:

      Thank you for your comments! I don’t believe in a God only that we attain a higher understanding once we reach enlightenment. It is that enlightenment, knowing what an enlightened being knows that allows us to truly begin our journey of ending suffering. Rebirth is a journey into finding ourselves and discovering who we are and who we are supposed to be. “The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.” – Buddha

      We celebrate Christmas, not for the superficial or material reasons, though my son seems to think otherwise. But for the coming together of our family and celebrating humanity and the spirit of humanity that lives inside each of us if we choose to find it.

      As I began my spiritual journey I learned about many spiritual beliefs. Buddhism is the only one that fit with who I’ve always been. I’ve never been a bad person. But I am human and am subject to human faults as we all are.

      I hope you have a joyous Holiday Season spent with family friends and enjoy the memories that you make together. It is those memories, the joyous ones that get us through the difficult times of being human.

  5. jamnjazzz says:

    The roots of christmas go far beyond the christian holiday. It’s no accident that christmas is placed on the solstice (at least it was on the solstice back in the early 4th century AD). Over the years the solstice has been correctly moved on the calenders but the holiday has remained on the 25th. christmas was intentionally placed on the solstice, because the solstice was a festival time already. The early christians decided to have an event to celebrate at the same time as pagan celebrations, and after christianity became the state religion, it was good politics for Rome to do so.

    I celebrate the time of year, because it is fun to do so. It generally is a time for joy and goodwill and many, many people do try to be generous and cheerful at this time. I like to practice the Christmas Spirit that Charles Dickens wrote about in A Christmas Carol and remember that Ebeneezer Scrooge was really a hero and not a villain in that story. I get together with family and friends, wish others ‘Merry Christmas’ because that is what they are celebrating, and do so with all the passion I have, because I am truly wishing and hoping that they are happy and well. Giving to others and sharing my own joy of life is the real holiday that I celebrate and try to practice all year round. I hope that in itself is a very Buddhist thing to do.

    • BB_Baker says:

      Thanks for your comments. I love Dickens and the story. I don’t like the way Scrooge is portrayed in a lot of movies as a villain when he learns to become the hero. You truly celebrate what I believe Christmas is about and not the business it has become. Wishing friends and family a ‘Merry Christmas’ and acknowledging that we are all part of one big family, regardless of faith is, is something that some of my friends don’t understand. Which is why I chose to do this post. Wonderful comments and a bit of a history lesson, some parts I didn’t know.

  6. Pingback: Non-Traditional Christmas Stories - Political Wrinkles

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