Gransnet forums


Religious Christmas cards

(59 Posts)
DeeWhyO Sat 12-Dec-15 12:35:31

Just wondered what Gransnetters think - yesterday I was doing my volunteering in the Christmas charity card shop. A lady came in and asked if we had cards with robins on, as she wanted to send Christmas cards that were non religious because she didn't want to offend anyone. I was quite shocked to think a religious card would cause offence. Am I alone in being surprised by this?

Anniebach Sat 12-Dec-15 12:44:10

Sadly no, your not alone in being surprised Dee, but I think I am more baffled that surprised , a religious celebration but a religious card offends

Luckygirl Sat 12-Dec-15 12:45:45

Some people look on it as a midwinter celebration, which is fine; but I cannot imagine being offended by a religious Christmas card.

Anniebach Sat 12-Dec-15 12:51:56

Yes I agree some look on it as a midwinter festival but they still choose to call it Christmas when it isn't for them

Anya Sat 12-Dec-15 12:53:08

Depends how 'religious' you think something is. As an aethiest i quite happily lead hymn practices, taught carols, produced nativity plays and thoroughly enjoyed it.

To me it's a cultural experience. On Sunday I'm going up to our Town Square for the 'Lights' carol sing song and I'm a guide at our local church.

I'm happy with people having a religion so long as it doesn't impinge on me, and will happily hang up all Christmas cards as someone has remembered me at this time of the year, gone to the bother of choosing a card, signing it and getting it to me.

Having said that I'm very fond of robins and buy mealy worms especially for my robin tchgrin

annodomini Sat 12-Dec-15 12:53:59

I have seen Humanist cards wishing 'Season's Greetings' or words to that effect. I'm a Humanist but I don't object to sending or receiving cards saying 'Merry Christmas'. It's just a name, after all. Once it would have been Saturnalia and before that there would have been various pagan celebrations. I go with the traditions.

Tegan Sat 12-Dec-15 12:55:10

Well, I was chatting to a lady who runs a furniture shop who told me that she had to be careful about dressing the furniture with cushions with birds on because some people really freak out at the sight of birds[even on cushions etc]. So, y'have't'b a bit careful when it comes to robins etc #thepossibilitiesareendless sad

Anniebach Sat 12-Dec-15 13:10:36

Without prejudice and without a need to disagree ,

How is it possible to sing praise and joy of something one thinks is untrue?

How can ' The everlasting light, The hopes and fears of all the years are met in you tonight ' o come to us , abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel ' be uttered

I choose not to sing the national anthem , not because I don't want the queen saved , it has nothing to do with the country or it's people

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 12-Dec-15 13:13:31

It's something that happens. At Christmas we all perhaps want to believe. Just a little.

Accept the joy it brings without questioning. (Give your brain a rest)

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 12-Dec-15 13:14:03

I like Christmas cards with robins.

Anniebach Sat 12-Dec-15 13:20:34

I like questioning Jingle, it's how one learns

Luckygirl Sat 12-Dec-15 13:34:57

As I have said before there are universal truths in the Christmas story and I am happy to teach and sing carols. I am happy to sing opera for the same reasons - beautiful music and universal truths about human nature - but I do not believe in the story as fact.

The focus of Christmas for me is family - and thinking about the need to care about each other.

My favourite carol is Angels from the Realms of Glory: I do not believe in angels (neither do many Christians) but the words make me stop and think - and sometimes shed a tear...

"And man at war with man hears not the love song that they bring;
oh hush your noise ye men of strife and hear the angels sing."

I think many people take home messages from carols that do not require a literal belief either in god or Christ. I think you should be pleased about that Annie smile

Anya Sat 12-Dec-15 14:07:51

I like this new, softer Anniebach tchsmile and I'll try to answer your question.

I join in because firstly I love to sing and I know the words from teaching these over the years.

Secondly there's something about joining in with these wonderful (usually) old song (I mean, who doesn't love 'Rock of Ages' or 'Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam' or 'Silent Night') and singing with other people all delightfully out of tune. It's uplifting....though don't ask me to what I'm uplifted tchhmm

Also it's about bringing light and fun into 'the break mid winter', seeing the faces of children, getting together with family and friends and yes, love (sorry if that's a bit ...)

And remembering those who aren't with us this year tchsad

The same reason perhaps that non believers visit churches and cathedrals ... a sort of wonder and awe.

Does that make sense?

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 12-Dec-15 14:13:48

Yes, that line is very potent luckygirl. Especially these days.

My favourite is Hark the Herald Angels sing.

"Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in his wings.
Mild He lays His glory by, born that man no more shall die.
Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth."

Juliette Sat 12-Dec-15 14:25:25

The robin sang to Jesus as he was dying on the cross. He was a brown bird his breast became red, stained by the Lord's blood.

This little chap ate all the pies.

Teetime Sat 12-Dec-15 14:30:50

Well call me stupid (and you proably have on numerous occasions) but I was taught form a very early age that the forthcoming event on 25th December was Christ-Mass - the Birth of Jesus Christ - how can a card which portrays this event be offensive? I'm sorry that in some years we don't get any religious themed cards - so far all bloody robins and Dickensian scenes.

Anniebach Sat 12-Dec-15 14:31:06

Thank you for replying, yes I think I understand , now don't shoot the messenger ok? Possibly you have given up on Christ but he has not given up on you, he still reaches you smile

What matters is people feel joy , friendship, comfort, I get the same late Christmas Eve after Mass, one leaves the church, lights,people , and in the silence I feel warm from toes up , there is something in the air - no not the Welsh rain, but such a feeling of safety and peace I suppose , shouldn't say magical but it is x

Anniebach Sat 12-Dec-15 14:35:00

Ooooh, I believe in Angels, both heavenly angels and earth angels

thatbags Sat 12-Dec-15 15:01:50

When I visit churches and cathedrals my awe is at humankind's wonderful achievements, inspired by their faith no doubt, but thoroughly human smile

Christianity teaches that Christmas is a Christian festival. Obviously. Before Christianity existed there was a midwinter festival with the same feasting and jollity and so on. Christianity appropriated that as it did the ancient spring festival. I accept this as history and feel no grouse with people who want to celebrate these things as Christians. Go ahead, but don't tell non-christians that it's only a Christian festival. It isn't.

My mum sends me a religious card because she is religious. I send her a non-religious one because I'm not. No problem for either of us. Offence? How silly.

Nelliemoser Sat 12-Dec-15 15:45:09

Well it's not difficult to get good seasonal cards Oxfam does both Christian story ones and ones that are just goodwill greetings.

It sounds to me as if the woman coming in has some odd ideas about why things might be offensive.
Well I try to avoid overtlly religious ones anyway, but I would try not to send say a Jewish or Muslim person a Christian based card, just "seasons greetings. I am not worrying about them being offended just trying to include them in good wishes.

My son once found two Hindus and a Muslim enthusiastically putting up the Christmas decorations in their office.

Bellanonna Sat 12-Dec-15 16:43:23

I love the Nativity cards as they are usually reproductions of well known paintings. I send those to people who I know would be happy to receive them, and robin type cards to everyone else including friends of other faiths, as I don't think Nativity scenes would be appropriate there. However to be offended by those cards seems a rather strong reaction.

Anya Sat 12-Dec-15 16:54:51

Not going to shoot anybody Annie - it's the season of good will, good food, good wine and goodness knows what else.

I never believed in Father Christmas as a child but I still accepted the gifts he alledegly brought [tchhmn]

Anniebach Sat 12-Dec-15 17:06:17

Doesn't bother me what's on a card, it's the sender that is important to me, well not quite true,because of my snow phobia a card with snow finds it way into the desk drawer

Anniebach Sat 12-Dec-15 17:25:56

Didn't believe in Father Christmas ? shock, I did , so much so when I was seven I was very stroppy because my father kept going into the attic in the evenings and wouldn't allow me to go up with him, we were very close, met him on the pit head after shifts , tagged along to the library and watched him play cricket, to the allotments, went everywhere - except the miners club! so not being allowed in the attic was a shock, one evening I saw him taking red painted wood up there, Christmas morning there was the most beautiful dolls house in the whole world , I recognised the red wooden roof , guessed my father had made it and thought Father Christmas had been in our attic making it with my father blush

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 12-Dec-15 17:56:14

That is so sweet anniebach! tchsmile