Brooke Burke & David Charvet: Our Blended Traditions

12/25/2010 at 05:00 PM ET

While Brooke Burke remembers celebrating a “mishmash” of holidays as a child, her fiancé of four years, actor David Charvet, was raised in a Jewish household in Lyon, France, before moving to the U.S.

Coral von Zumwalt

But there was one concession: “When I was little, my mother and I would do a tree together,” he says. “My mother explained to my stepfather that it wasn’t about beliefs. It was about how Christmas is a great holiday for kids.”

Coral von Zumwalt


Now Burke, 39, and Charvet, 38, are instilling the same philosophy in their own blended brood — daughter Rain, 3½, son Shaya, 2½, and Burke’s daughters Sierra, 8½, and Neriah, 10½, from a previous marriage.

Coral von Zumwalt


Though the kids are being raised primarily Jewish (Burke embraced the religion when her first child, Neriah, was born in 2000), the whole clan delights in trimming the tree for Christmas as well as lighting the menorah for the Jewish holiday.

Coral von Zumwalt


“Hannukah’s more intimate,” says the Dancing With the Stars host. “We light the candles, say the prayers.”

Coral von Zumwalt


Christmas includes the extended family — Burke’s and Charvet’s parents and close friends. “We try to fit everybody in,” says Charvet, who adds that it doesn’t matter if the celebration is big or small. “Both holidays,” he says, “are about being able to spend time together.”

Coral von Zumwalt


— Blaine Zuckerman

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , Kids , News , Parenting

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Ruthie on

I’m Jewish and I love how they blend the two traditions. Both Hanukkah and Christmas are about family and friends.

Crystal S. on

They’re such a beautiful family. Happy holidays to them and to all!!

Nella on

Lovely pictures! I love how happy eveyone seems to be. All of the children are gorgeous. It’s nice to see them incorporate both traditions because ultimately it’s all about spending time with your family. Happy Holidays!

court on

Rain looks like a little doll in the first picture!

Anonymous on

“My mother explained to my stepfather that it wasn’t about beliefs. It was about how Christmas is a great holiday for kids.”

christmas is a holiday for kids? not about beliefs? i’m SICK of people taking the reason of christmas away from it. christmas is the celebration of jesus’ birth. it makes me so sad that people try to take the christ out of christmas. if you don’t believe it, then don’t assign a completely incorrect meaning to it.

response to anonymous on

Anonymous – and I’m sick of Christians thinking Christmas is *their holiday. When it was a pagan tradition of saturnalia. The yule long, tree, etc are all pagan in origin. Jesus was born in April and the reason its celebrated in December was in order to convert the pagans they co-opted the holiday, took on the pagan traditions and made it christian.

erilynne on

I agree with you anonymous. I don’t like when people take the Christ out of Christmas too or explain that it is a holiday for gifts and kids. It is about the birth of Jesus.

I like that they blend both holidays but if that is what they are teaching what Christmas is to the kids then they have it wrong…

Shawna on

Fiance of 4 years? P!ss or get off the pot!

And yes, their b@st@rdiz@tion of Christmas is disgusting.

Brooke on

Erilynne – if you are talking about what might have been the birth of Jesus, then we ALL have it wrong celebrating it today. And I am an atheist, and I still celebrate it with my family. We don’t talk about religion the entire day. thank (for lack of a better word) God….

SAR on

I don’t like David. All he cares about is his precious son. I never see David holding Rain, just Shaya…and he talked about how he wants HIS SON to have everything, as if Rain didn’t exist.

Brooke has talked about how glad she was to have a son, but she still loves all her kids like crazy. She’s photographed with all her children, and talks about all of them.

anonymous #1 on

i’m talking about when you strip all the commercialized aspects of Christmas and all the folklore around it, it’s the celebration of christ’s birth. i know he was not born december 25, but the point is that december 25 is the celebration of christ’s birth. there’s NO other reason but his birth to celebrate! if you take god/christ/religion out of the equation, there is NO reason for everyone to take a few days off work, enjoy the family, give/receive presents, etc. that’s what bothers me.

it’s christ’s birthday celebration. have you heard the little saying “jesus is the reason for the season”? yeah, he’s the ONLY reason. idc about all the trees, santa, decorations, etc. all i care about is that i’m celebrating that christ was born (who cares when!?!) and that he’s still here, forgiving my sins and having mercy on me…just like he has mercy on all of those who are lost 🙂

Mina on

St. Nick had nothing to do with Jesus. So anyone who celebrates gift giving and seeing santa can be any religion and has every right to do so.

Tee on

What a beautiful family picture! I can’t believe how grown up Rain looks all of a sudden.

I am also bothered by the way so many people take Christ out of the Christmas holiday but I certainly don’t have any right to tell people how they should celebrate. I think it sounds like David and Brooke are doing a wonderful job of teaching the children their belief system.

JM on

yeah as others have pointed out, i am sick of christians not acknowledging that they really just high-jacked a pagan holiday. not to mention there are records of other tribes having similar celebrations in winter time, to celebrate the end of a good harvest, to feast in the cold winter months and to celebrate a sense of community – long before the christians realised it was a nice idea and claimed (because there is no more accurate word for it) that jesus was born in december so that they could have the same holiday.

i’m an atheist too and i celebrate at christmas time too because i celebrate having had a nice year and being with my loved-ones, just as the winter celebration was originally intended.

Mery on

who cares how they celebrate it and for what reason, each to their own. christmas is a man made holiday anyway, many christians don’t even celebrate it, regardless of the reasoning behind it, it is pagan by nature, nothing about it is about religion, saying it is, doesn’t make it so. even the many versions of the bible and torah as corrupted as they are do not even condone or request these celebrates take place. even the day ppl celebrate the so called birth of jesus is not even accurate, many ppl are going to be in such a shock with the second coming. why anyone would think that jesus was tortured and killed on the ‘cross’ is beyond me, god would never do that, jesus was raised up to him. christians and jews have it so wrong and the proof is everywhere. wake up. easter is the same all man made holidays with pagan roots. everyday should be about children and family and all those good things, so ya.

B.R on

Hello Everyone read the “response to anonymous” comment she/he has clearly studied religion as I have and has the only correct answer to the truth of the Christmas traditions. At the end of it all, everyone that complains about people/media taking Christ out of Christmas, well he shouldn’t have been there to begin with. Wish people would get it right and celebrate Jesus’ birth in April when he was actually born. If you are going to base your belief system on a person shouldn’t you have enough respect for that person and get the facts about his life correctly? Just a thought but in my mind truth should not be ignored for the sake tradition. But that just one opinion among many.

Back to the point, sorry for disturbing the thread, this is about a beautiful family that has found a great way to teach their children about God and religion. All of the children are so beautiful and they truly do look happy. Wishing them all the best. It was a great story to read and amazing pictures to see.

Kristine on

From reading all the comments……religion is still a topic of argument. My mother taught me to never discussnreligion or politics for yu are bound to start a fight. Keep it to yourself or within your family.

American Christian on

Socializing religion now, in “blending traditions?” Christmas is a “holiday” or holyday and has nothing really to do with spending time with family, but reflecting on the birth of the one who fulfilled Mosaic law in order for all humanity to be redeemed before God. And whether Christians “co-opted” those pagan beliefs in order to convert the pagans also who worshipped nature and the provisions of God rather than God himself has nothing to do with the symbolism. After all, the Easter bunny and Easter eggs have to do with “new life,” and were not co-opted either, but are symbols.

Nancy on

I thought Jesus was born in Sep. or Oct. Anyway, I am a Christian and I celebrate the birth of Jesus. However, in our society, Christmas is about materialism anyway. It has become a way to make money and not about faith for most. Celebrate it how you feel and dont worry about how others do it.

tink1217 on

response to anonymous….well said and so very true!

Emily on

Well,I don’t think they will get married. Brooke’s ex will only pay child support and won’t have to pay her spousal support if she gets married again. Apparently, neither she nor David are willing to give up that money.

Sophie on

The first thing I thought when I saw those pictures was: “what an adorable family!” And they seem to be really happy together and enjoying the holiday season together. Then I read all the other comments and I honestly don’t understand all the fuss. Brooke and David are entitled to feel whatever they want with regard to Christmas. If they choose not to be hyper-religious about it, then let them. They seem like a very warm and fun-loving family who are enjoying the holidays together and are thankful for what they have. I really don’t see what could possibly be wrong with that. To each their own I would say… Happy holidays to all of you! Sophie

Gianna on

OMG SAR you took the words out of my mouth. David’s a chauvinist pig who looks like he cares only for his precious son. Do we live in he 20s nowadays? Girls and boys are equally as good. By spoiling his son this way, Shaya will probably grow up to be like Charlie Sheen or some other messed up man. Haha!!Hopefully then David will realize the folly of his ways!

Janna on

Emily, seriously… what kind of information could you possibly have to substantiate those pretty ugly things you said about these two not getting married because they don’t want to give up her ex’s spousal support? How could you possibly KNOW that?

eva on

Hanukkah ended on Dec. 9th,so it seems a bit strange to see the tree and the Christmas crafts mixing with the hanukkiyah.Not freaking out or trying to lecture people about mixed holidays (there is enough of that already).Its just the first thing that came to mind when I saw the photos “weird,why is the hanukkiyah out and about when the festival was over weeks ago?”. I wonder if they celebrated it on the actual date or just mix and match with the tree and the Christmas crafts.

Erin on

Amazing how much free time those who want the Christ back in Christmas have to argue with people they probably don’t agree with. It’s none of your beeswax how, why or if others celebrate the day. Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin have sites where vitriolic whining is better appreciated. Happy holidays!

JM on

my goodness “my imaginary friend is more real than your imaginary friend”. are these really adults talking?

look, what do people care if others have a celebration at christmas time and ignore the christianity. as i said above, all the christians did was high-jack this holiday anyway. i say let everyone choose when and what they want to celebrate, but christians you certainly can’t claim having a celebration at this time of year as your idea. go back and study your history and you might learn something.

Keis on

Good tidings, all! It is wonderful we can get together and discuss and make judgements about other people’s personal decisions. Bless you.

Jill on

What a beautiful family! Christmas is not only about jesus, but tell yourselves that if it makes you happy and warm inside. Why you would chose to bring it up on a posting like this is beyond me….

Emily, did you have coffee with Brooke and David last week and did she tell you this while discussing their finances? *eye rolls*

I have been with my boyfriend for over 7 years….and we are not married. Should we piss or get off the pot? Where is the rule book that says how long one should date before married? Or be engaged before married? People and their rules blow my mind. As we just celebrated Christmas, it amazes me after everything I have that I am grateful for that people find so much to b***h about in this post. So very sad!

KylieMarie on

SAR, I guess you don’t see a lot of pictures of this family. I’ve seen way more pictures of David holding Rain than Shaya, for sure.

Anon on

25th December is not Christ birthday, the Romans said it was, as with all pagan festivals they added a ‘christian’ idea to them so ppl still celebrated but for Christian reasons.

Toya L. on

Well said Anonymous, I totally agree.

Tee on

Mery, if you’re so desperate for people to be educated, you might want to start with yourself. Go read your Bible… God didn’t torture and kill Jesus. Man did.

Shannon on

First of all the children are adorable. They couls all be models. Second of all why did there two bother getting engaged? Just accept being a “babymama” and “babydaddy” and call it a day.

Toya L. on

Rolling my eyes and yawning…. They do have a beautiful family.

Sky on

I think it’s unfair to say that David favors Shaya. They are the only boys vs. 4 girls… they’re going to have a special connection anyways! It’s not like he loves his daughter any less, it’s just “guy stuff” with the boys!

JMO on

Christmas is what you make it. It’s a commercialized secular holiday.

My family is not religious and we celebrate just being together and having a good time. I wouldn’t change this holiday for anything no matter how it was derived.

anonymous #1 on

I pray for the people who don’t know what they’re talking about. They know not what they do or say. Forgive them! In your name, amen.

Mina on

I think its good that the kids are educated in different religions. Maybe they wont be so closed minded to other people. America is FULL of different religions. Just being kind and moral is how EVERYONE should be. Religion is the reason for hate and wars for petes sake. Maybe if everyone was atheist, they would be much nicer!

I was born and raised Catholic and when I was old enough to do research and choose my own religion, I went atheist. My mother is still Catholic and she has a big problem with me going atheist. Funny thing is, I dont have a problem with her. So who is the nicer one now? I find that religious people are the rude ones toward non-religious people. I can give a turd less what religion someone is as long as they are good people!

Nancy on

Janna, I just think it is difficult for some of us to understand why people who are engaged, dont get married within a couple of years. Why get engaged then? Sometimes I hear people say that they want to be engaged because they want to live together, have a child together or save money for the wedding. When I think of Brooke and also Alessandra Ambrosio, I just wonder what their reason is. None of those things apply to them. Why be engaged forever??

Taylor on

Anonymous #1, please take your prayers somewhere else other than a comment section of a website. Just because others don’t believe in what you believe does not make them worse off or you better because of it. Grow up. If you’re so concerned with spreading the message of your Lord, focus your attention on the real world and not the internet.

Jennifer on

No Taylor I’m sorry but you must not understand what this country was founded upon, Christianity and Religious freedom. A prayer on this blog is appropriate and when your number is up, you’ll wish a prayer was being said for you. Everyone on this site, including my own self, will be judged by God someday. I promise you, you won’t bd able to escape it. Death is inevitable and so is Judgement. You were created for a purpose and you better find out what it is and leave praying people alone.

Lola on

eva: umm…what?

I have to say, all this silly banter about Christmas being celebrated for the wrong reasons is just ridiculous. I’m sure everyone on here who celebrates it for Jesus, is out and about with the crazy hoards of people shopping for gifts and..soon after..returning said gifts. I don’t celebrate the holiday, but isn’t it the season to be giving and kind to people? ‘Tis the season to be jolly? Or…maybe it’s just the season to criticize your fellow Christians? I think everyone should just celebrate how they wish while also wishing others well – regardless of beliefs.

nosoupforyou on

If they are both Jewish, whats with their celebrating CHRISTmas?

Chanukah ended 12/8. You are not using a Jewish calendar if you think it ended 12/9.

No one “hijacked Christmas.” No matter what time of year it is held and no matter that a tree is decorated, it is the Christian celebration of the birth of their savior.

We don’t need to state the obvious, in a free nation everyone can celebrate as they wish. However, I wonder why we don’t do that with other holidays? Why don’t non Muslims celebrate Ramadan? Is it only the “fun” holidays that non believers celebrate?

JM on

nosoupforyou i didn’t say christians hijacked christmas, they just looked at a celebration a different group of people had and decided to hold their celebration at the same time of year and with a very similar style because, yeah, it’s fun, and popular. so really the christians themselves did exactly what you are accusing “non-believers” of doing.

now, i don’t have a problem with it. celebrate your love for pink elephants in december for all i care, just don’t claim it was your idea to hold a celebration at that time of year.

Georgia on

I think generally in the UK at least, a lot more people celebrate Christmas because its everywhere. I mean everyone gets the day off, every shop has its decorations up, etc, etc. So everyone just gets involved, like at work you have a little secret santa, or xmas lunch or xmas party. Where everyone is involved/invited regardless of their religion because 1)yes it fun! And 2) because the UK is a christian country so the christian holidays are woven into or working practices.

A lot less of us over here are as religious as you guys though, yet we call it the Christmas Holidays, wish people Merry Xmas, yet you guys say happy holidays, or winter holidays, that I find odd!!

And thank god someone else is aware of the pagans! I love the pagans! Lol

LisaS on

So much judgment for how a family (and every other stranger) chooses to celebrate a holiday. Just one look at this board and I’m reminded of why I stopped going to church in the first place. Even my sister and her husband who’s a pastor wouldn’t do half of what I’ve seen on here, and on a celeb baby site, no less.

But getting back on topic, what gorgeous photos! I love the tree and the color theme they picked. And such a stunning-looking family! Rain looks like Brooke while Shaya looks like David but with his mom’s dimples. And the older two girls are absolutely gorgeous as well but I’m not really sure which parent they take after since I’ve never seen Garth.

response to anonymous on

I should also add, the only reason Santa is red is becaue of the Coca-Cola company. He used to be white.

Thank you to the other people on here who see reason and logic.

Jurnee on

I TOTALLY agree with “response to Anonymous”. Let’s get real about the origins of Christmas, the tree, Santa, etc. It’s okay if you want to celebrate in the traditional religious Christian/Catholic way, but it’s also okay to practice one’s your spirituality in a way that is unique and personally meaningful. Sanctimonious people who believe THEIR way is the only way (this includes religious zealots among others), are what has led to much bloodshed, violence and unrest in the world. Live and let live! This family is practicing love, peace, togetherness and joy. THAT is supposed to be the true meaning of religion and the holiday season.

B.J. on

Their kids are so dang cute!

As for the discussion above, it always amuses me how few Christians realize the origins of their most important holiday! The winter season has been celebrated for so long, the “holiday” was not a unique Christian idea. This year, my family celebrated Solstice instead of Christmas — as my parents are newly atheist. We were all raised Christian but this year, we honored the root of the traditions, not “Christ.”

Festivus for the rest of us!

cheryl on

@Mina, St. Nicholas had a whole lot to do with Jesus. He was the Bishop of the Christian church in Myra, Turkey, in the 4th Century. Further, he was present at the Ecumenical Council in Nicea, where the Nicene Creed was written. Many Christians all over the world still honor the memory of St. Nicholas on his feast day on December 6th (December 19th on the old calendar)

B.R. on

I was born and raised in Bosnia. For those of you who don’t remember history in 1992 formal Yugoslavia had a civil war. And why do you ask? RELIGION. Christian’s vs. Catholics vs. Islam. We kill half of our population and for what….what has changed….nothing other then we are a poor country now we all still hate each other, and there is a lot less of us. ALL THIS OVER A BOOK. A BOOK. It’s all religion comes down to in the end.

My problem with Christmas is simply miss information by the Bible. Jesus was born in April so why celebrate his birth before he was even born? Isn’t that disrespectful and rude? So the very religion that preaches respect, acceptance is disrespecting their saviour. FUNNY. How do they not see that is what is beyond me. But I guess that is just one of many flaws with religion and believing in a Book.

Anonymous#1 we know what we are talking about it is you that is confused and need to check your facts. So no thank you there is no need for you to be praying for us. So please keep your prayers to yourself and spend them on someone that cares.

Everyone should have a right to celebrate as they wish when they wish, I just wish people would start respecting each other, and religious people would stop making everything about them and making false claims over a holiday that was never theirs to begin with. Also that all religious people out there would educate themselves on the truths about their religion, where/how it started, and the true origins of their traditions and celebrations. You can never truly respect someone unless you educate yourself about them and know the truth about yourself.

To the family above, you have beautiful children and I am glad that you have found a way to celebrate and teach your children about both religions. wishing you all the best.

alice jane on

They are a beautiful family. Rain always looks so much older than 3 to me; they’re all beautiful kids though!

And I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas or just happy holidays, whether you celebrated religiously or just as a family holiday. 🙂

Cat on

I also thought initially that Shaya takes after David, not Brooke, BUT after seeing the photo below of a 3 yr old Neriah with Brooke and Garth, I couldn’t believe how Shaya resembles the toddler Neriah!!! So they actually resemble Brooke a lot…—arrivals/p/15896/1/?f=Dr.+Garth+Fisher

Olive on

I’m not sure which of the older girls is which, but in that first photo, her daughter in the blue dress looks just like Astor from Dexter. I know its completely off-topic, but I just had to say something…Happy Holidays everyone!!!

elle on

Why wait around for the 25th to “be with family and celebrate”? That should be done as often as possible! Life is too short, people! Silliness.

sky on

Cat, I see it a little bit but I think it’s more her haircut than actual facial features.

Hea on

Anonymous – You should educate yourself about the holiday to you called “christmas”. From a world perspective and not just from your own narrow little world. We up here in the Scandinavian North have celebrated this time of the year for much longer than your Jesus has been known to the world. Christmas, or rather Jul here, in my part of the world, is quite secular today.

Electra on

I also hate when people take Jesus out of Christmas. Blending traditions such as these is just foolish. Jewish people do not believe Jesus was the messiah. If the kids are being raised primarily Jewish then how can any logical person have their kids celebrating both? Its simply offensive to people who do believe in celebrating Jesus’s birth. It doesn’t conincide with traditonal jewish teaching!

Secondly, I hate this pagan b.s. yes it’s true nobody knows when his exact birthday and yes the date coincides with the pagan festival. What is your point? It’s just a strawman argument that isn’t saying anything @ all. Jesus was a real person and whether you’re a believer or not a billion people around choose to celebrate that. I hate these standards for Christianity that other religions don’t have. I don’t hear anyone going “why do jews celebrate passover when historically those who built the pyramids weren’t slaves and they weren’t Jewish”!!

B.J. on

Electra – Please prove that Jesus existed. Also, please prove that he was the son of God. Thank you.

Hea on

Electra – Who are you to call pagan rituals bs? I doubt your Jesus would have done that?

The date itself does not coincide much. It’s more the time of the year that coincides. People all over the world celebrate “christmas” at different dates. Swedes do on the 24th, Brits do on the 25th, some Russians on the 7th of January…

Celebrating a secular or mixed holiday should not be considered offensive since everyone has the right to their own beliefs and their own way of celebrating life and love, joy and so on so forth. I take offense in you trying to tell me that I am a fool for celebrating at a time like this simply because I don’t believe in your God. I celebrate life, I celebrate family and friends, I celebrate joy and peace. I wish for the sun back and for a new year filled with life in the nature that surrounds me. I celebrate values and tradition and I try to keep christmas in my heart every day of the year.

If you believe a child was born in a stable somewhere in this world 2010+ years ago… that’s fine by me. It probably did happen to a lot of babies back then. In my opinion the birth of Jesus and the following events that have taken place in God’s name ever since didn’t do us much good…

JM on

took the words right out of my mouth BJ.

in addition, you want to talk about strawmen Electra? well no one had even mentioned passover. you can’t pass off an argument just by calling it “pagan bs” 😀 you do realise that just because you don’t like an argument that doesn’t make it an invalid one. heck even my seven year old understands you have to do better than that in an argument.

back to my original point. it is clear, as previous comments have illustrated, that many cultures and people choose and chose to celebrate at this time of year with their families long before the christians felt they had a monopoly on a winter celebration and stamped their own brand on it. so get off your high horse and realise that it does not all begin and end with you. (or jesus for that matter).

Elby on

If only Christians can have Christmas then we’ll have to give Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to the Vikings not to mention August and July to the Ancient Romans. Oh, and Easter to the pagans who celebrated Spring by praising Esther after whom it is named. And while we’re at this cull of the English language why not give the Normans all their words back such as beef, blonde and fiance. And if we’re going to do it properly then we can’t use Old English either because that comes from a mixture of the Angles, Jutes and Saxons who came from Germany/Denmark and even Latin isn’t ours.

Toya L. on

I agree with you Electra. Yawn, show me the “wind” or the “air” not the affects of, but actual wind and air itself. I’ll wait, you don’t have to see certain things to prove/believe they exist.

To be honest, there is absolutely NOBODY on this board that was ACTUALLY THERE to prove how any of these holidays came to be; therefore nobody’s opinion/belief is FACTUAL nor more important than anyone else’s.

B.J. on

Hea, well said! And JM, as always, I agree with you 100%.

Christians need to face the facts: Jesus was not *originally* the reason for the season. If you choose to believe it is so, then go for it. But don’t get bent out of shape when others point out that Jesus hasn’t always been the reason to celebrate in the winter! We were partying long before 😉

Ashley on

Im all about blended family traditions as I myself Christmukkah BUT to say Christmas is a kid’s holiday is upsetting and offensive to be quite honest. Christmas is a religious holiday celebrating Jesus’ birthday. Its just as special and religious as Hanukkah.

Electra on

Who said he was my jesus? I can defend a faith even when its not a religion of my own. I wasn’t referring to paganism as b.s– considering it’s a generic term for any polytheistic religion– I was referencing the argument that Christmas is a pagan holiday. Which it isn’t. The holiday has elements taken from roman paganism, that doesn’t make it a pagan holiday. One could remove all those elements and change the date to july 15th and Christmas would still be a day meant to commemorate the birth of jesus christ. In fact there are plenty of Christians who don’t decorate trees or give gifts because of the pagan ties. T

Anyway, all this isn’t relevant. The Charvet’s aren’t whooping it up at Saturnalia.They’re calling it Christmas. It’s a religious holiday no matter what personal meaning it holds for you and no matter what day it’s on. If the 3rd/4th week in December is your favorite time to buy gifts and decorate trees but you don’t believe, great. Just refrain from calling it Christmas as that’s a religious holiday!

I don’t see how it wouldn’t be offensive(or disrespectful) to people who consider themselves Christians. I wouldn’t participate in Easter if I were an atheist.No matter how cute those pagan bunnies are. I wouldn’t fast at Ramadaan if I were jewish. No matter how much I loved a late Breakfast. People who aren’t Hindu don’t partake in Makar Sankranti. I consider all the above to be disrespectful.Personally, I wouldn’t be participating in something that I don’t believe; it takes away from the sanctity of it all.

To JM- You’re always harping on about christianity and your atheism. It seems a bit silly to me for someone to dwell on a man they believe to be fictitious and a religion they don’t care for.

Alice on

Eva, it’s not uncommon to put up the Christmas tree pretty early on, so that you have time to enjoy it, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it had already been up during Hannukkah.

And for you Christians, they are Jewish!! That’s why they don’t really celebrate Christmas, but David’s mom used some of the Christmas traditions because yes it’s also nice for kids, it’s fun and pretty, and there’s the Santa story and everything. All this isn’t necessarily linked to religion anymore, decorating a tree has nothing to do with Jesus for example, if you *only* want to celebrate his birth, you could just go to midnight mass.
I don’t see how any of it is disrespectful… I love ramadan because then there are lots of oriental pastries everywhere in shops and *shock* I buy some and eat them because they’re delicious.

I see where you’re coming from if the mother meant is was nothing but a holiday for kids that would be offensive, but it’s quite obvious she only meant you don’t have to be a Christian to decorate a tree and it’s a nice time to celebrate whether you believe or not.

JM on

but electra you’re missing the point (again). you don’t want to participate in specific festivals that have come to be branded by a particular religion, then don’t. but others realise that the the christians decided to take over a winter celebration to put there own spin on it. that’s ok, i don’t have a problem with them believing whatever they want. they can say that the flying spaghetti monster was born in december for all i care.
but you can’t claim that christians celebrating in christmas have any more right than anyone else, because it wasn’t their’s to begin with.

BJ, very well said, i agree, why is it so difficult to accept that people can celebrate at the same time of year for different reasons? when my family get together at christmas time. we don’t celebrate the birth of jesus, we celebrate being together, eating good food and enjoying each other’s company. why that time of year? well, that’s not much of a puzzle, because we happen to live in a christian country and that is the time of year that people get time off work.

electra, i have not even mentioned the word atheism, but it’s interesting that with me it’s “harping on about” something, but when you do it you’re merely talking about something. by the same token i could say, why do you care if people DON’T agree with the importance of jesus?

Hea on

Electra – But you’re obviously not atheist so you can hardly dictate what we can and cannot do since you won’t allow us to do the same to you. I sometimes participate in religious traditions because it’s interesting and quite fun. Not because I believe in it. I don’t have to believe in it to participate. I’m allergic to people trying to forbid others to be a part of something just because they’re not perfect in the eye of the holier than thou beholders. That surely goes against everything that is christianity? “You’re not good enough to be with us”.

“I was referencing the argument that Christmas is a pagan holiday. Which it isn’t.”

Christmas is different things around the world. Please try and understand that? It is very secular here in Sweden. Some people attend church but most don’t. Some people read the bible but most don’t. Most people celebrate.

I place the things I have on my dinner feast table there because of old traditions. I give presents to the ones I love, I give extra to charity, I have a tree that I cut from my own woods, I try to light up the intense darkness that falls over my part of the world with fire and electric lights. I drink mulled wine (glögg) in front of the fire and I relax.

I gather with friends and family because we get off work and have a chance to be together. I celebrate Lucia on the 13th of december, not so much because of the ancient saint but because of the ancient ritual and tradition of celebrating the light this way. We’ve done this for hundreds of years. Maybe thousands?

JM on

well said Hea, your christmas sounds very similar to mine and with a similar sentiment behind it.

Lauren on

“electra, i have not even mentioned the word atheism, but it’s interesting that with me it’s “harping on about” something, but when you do it you’re merely talking about something”-JM

“i’m an atheist too and i celebrate at christmas time too because i celebrate having had a nice year and being with my loved-ones, just as the winter celebration was originally intended.”-JM

Wow. Pretty pathetic when one can’t even be bothered to look up what they wrote in the past as part of an argument. The constant “you christian” references might have given it away too. “Not much of a puzzle,” in your words.

I can’t speak for whether electra has an issue with atheists celebrating Christmas as a secular holiday. I know that I personally don’t-people are free to celebrate Christmas and what the winter season means to them however they want. What I do have a problem with is your nonstop, blatant rudeness towards Christians as an entire social group, purposefully demeaning what the faith stands for and comparing belief in Christ to belief in elephants and “the flying spaghetti monster.”

And much as you droan on about how you could care less what Christians believe, it’s blatantly obvious to the rest of us that you do. Just as you whine that Christians want everything their way, you clearly want everything your way-a mini Richard Dawkins, if you will. Your beliefs are just as rigidly fundamentalist as that of any evangelical, and the worst part is that you’re either too stubborn or too daft to realize it.

It’s more than clear from your posts that you have an enormous chip on your shoulders coming from a place of anger towards anyone traditional or religious. Not my job to figure out why that is, but as long as you insist on being blatantly rude, I will insist on calling you out. Period.

Toya L. on

Now that I think about it, maybe it’s not such a bad thing that people celebrate the day that is leagally & religiouslly “for most” set aside to give thanks for the birth of Jesus. They can give different reasons of why or call it a different name all they want in MY eyes it’s well….. I’ll leave that in my thoughts. Tis the season to be jolly, peace and blessings to all.

B.J. on

Electra, I asked a question. You said:
“Jesus was a real person and whether you’re a believer or not a billion people around choose to celebrate that.”

Please, please, somebody, anybody prove to me that he existed! I would sincerely love to see evidence. I know Mohammed existed — There is historical evidence. But aside from the Bible (penned by men, translated over centuries by men, therefore: the word of man), what proof is there that Jesus actually walked the earth?

That’s the only really relevant question here. If he’s the reason for the season, then why?

Why get so worked up about taking the Christ from Christmas when you can’t even prove the guy really lived?

B.J. on

For the record: I’m agnostic, I don’t claim to know if there’s a god or gods, I think it’s silly to assume anyone has all the answers, we’re just people. I’m not being patronizing, I am genuinely curious to see the proof Electra has that Jesus was a real person who we should all honor.

I was raised Christian, I even went to Christian school and studied the Bible front to back, but with age and a lot of thought, I came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t have faith in something that made no sense to me. I know God can’t be seen or proven, but what about Jesus’ existence on earth?

elle on

B.J., Faith is just that, a belief that is NOT based on proof.

Hea on

Elle – You’re right about that and that makes calling it a truth so wrong. A theory, a hypothesis, a belief is not the truth. A truth demands proof.

B.J. on

Electra made a claim, I was trying to see if anyone could back it up. But anyway, I have my answer.

In the end, no human being has all the answers, and you shouldn’t trust anyone who says they do. I believe we’re just not meant to understand it all. That’s what makes life interesting 🙂 And that’s why I left the church. It’s impossible to know what’s really out there.

All I know is what’s here now and what has been, and as far as my research shows, Jesus maybe never existed. Again… I would love to see tangible, non-Biblical proof otherwise.

Hea on

BJ – Me too. I think a man, probably named Jesus, existed. I think it’s reasonable to believe that true. I don’t, however, think he was the Messiah and I don’t think he had any magical powers other than the power of speech and, at the time, uneducated followers who wanted to believe and lacked critical thinking. Illitteracy has consequences, especially when it comes to spreading the word from mouth to mouth.

JM on

Hea and BJ, absolutely spot on. truth cannot be subjective, it is something that has to be proven. thus blind faith is not and cannot be truth.

K on

I have joint custody of my older two children and we had them Thanksgiving this year so we also celebrated Christmas over the same weekend, is that offensive to anyone? We had their gifts and told the younger kids that Santa came early. We read both the secular and religious Christmas stories and then did it all over again with the younger kids on Christmas day. Offended yet? I mean according to some of you I ruined the holiday by having my own traditions that may not coincide with everyone else’s.

It is ridiculous to see posts criticizing the way this couple chooses to celebrate the holiday. It is their family and their children and they can celebrate in a way that embraces their religions, cultures, and attitudes about life. Why do you care? Does it affect you?

jasmine on

cute family 🙂 haven’t heard of them before. I know this sounds so mean but if I hadn’t read this I would have thought that that little boy was a girl! he’s so pretty !

Indira on

Actually truth is relative.