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Christmas - Dhamma Wheel

Christmas

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Mama
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Christmas

Postby Mama » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:04 pm

Most of my famiy follow Christian traditions and as I am new to Buddhism I am not sure how to handle these celebrations such as Easter and Christmas. Do I not give gifts at Christmas or share the Christmas dinner? What do other buddhists living in Christian culture do please?

Thank you.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Christmas

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:12 pm


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tiltbillings
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Re: Christmas

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:25 pm

A thread on Christmas giving:

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=6042&start=0

Notice the Christmas Buddha-bush, with all the bhikkhus including Ajahn Chah, several msgs down.

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Mama
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Re: Christmas

Postby Mama » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:30 pm

Thanks for the link.
When I was a kid part of the magic of Christmas was thinking that Father Christmas would bring me a present - but if I tell my young children that, it would be lying...

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tiltbillings
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Re: Christmas

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:32 pm


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David N. Snyder
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Re: Christmas

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:33 pm

Here is one possible variation: http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... amitta_Day

But that is just a suggestion, nothing at all wrong with celebrating Christmas in the regular way without any mention of the arahant Sanghamitta.

There was a Simpsons episode once where Lisa became a Buddhist and announced to her family that she would not be celebrating Christmas with the family, exchanging presents, etc., since she is Buddhist now. Guest star Richard Gere explained to her that there is no need for any aversion to current customs and practices and that Buddhists can celebrate any holiday they want.
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David2
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Re: Christmas

Postby David2 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:09 pm

There is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating christmas, giving gifts etc...
But there is also nothing wrong with not celebrating christmas, not giving gifts...

... as long as your family understands and accepts it.

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Jason
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Re: Christmas

Postby Jason » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:21 pm

"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" ().

(Buddhist-related blog)
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Jason
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Re: Christmas

Postby Jason » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:23 pm

"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" ().

(Buddhist-related blog)
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Ben
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Re: Christmas

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:48 pm

My ten year old son worked out that Santa Claus was fictitious at an alarmingly early age. It never ruined the fun for him. In fact, it became more fun because he knew something that his much older brother was oblivious to. Not only that, he threatened his class teacher he would tell all the kids in his class that Santa Claus wasn't real. We also found out that he would sidle up to the school chaplain and say...So, Mr Xxxxxx, how is your invisible friend today?

As for Christmas, keep in mind...
It was originally a pre-Christian festival, the gift giving a relatively modern innovation from around the 17th to 18th Century from Britain. Santa Claus in its modern incarnation was thanks to Coca Cola. In this country, Christmas is very much a secular celebration of family.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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plwk
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Re: Christmas

Postby plwk » Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:43 am

Where I live, Christmas Day is a national public holiday and it's a family custom to do dinner with the family, who are Christians.

Since I became a Buddhist, Christmas has been nothing more than another public holiday on the national calendar and despite how it's been turned into another day of crass commercialism, to me, it's another day for practising of generosity and loving kindness. There was one year where I banded a group of friends to visit an orphanage & a retirement home for the aged with gifts from our budgets to spread goodwill and cheer to these people.

It's as simple as that...Christmas is just another day for Dhamma in action...

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Kim OHara
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Re: Christmas

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:33 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: Christmas

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:59 am


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Kim OHara
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Re: Christmas

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:49 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: Christmas

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:24 am


ajay
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Re: Christmas

Postby ajay » Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:50 pm

Hello mama,i am ajay from srilanka.i am new to the fodrum.as buddhists we have learnt to respect all the religions.after all jesus also taught a path to liberation though a little short of a final liberation.if you tell your children there is no santaclause you will be breaking theie hearts.best to keep it a little longer untill the y are mature enough to understand why you say so.
Giving gifts etc does not clash with buddhist valuess and indeed its a good thing.
Regards

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BubbaBuddhist
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Re: Christmas

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:46 pm

Amused by those who think Santa Claus isn't real...

M$
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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JeffR
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Re: Christmas

Postby JeffR » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:00 am

I find the Yule season to be a great time to practice Dana.

As for Santa Claus, he's very much alive. Santa Claus is the personification of selfless giving; giving with NO expectation of compensation of any kind, including a "thank-you" or other acknowledgment. As long as there is such giving, Santa Claus exists. It's been wonderful giving Dana to my children in this way. As they got older I explained there is no old man in a red suit living at the north pole, as well as the evolution of other Christmas traditions, explaining who/what Santa Claus is gave them a good understanding of other personifications too (such as "God", etc.) and why they exist.

:buddha2:


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