An obsession for many of us in the US.
That was before we learned about the ‘war on Christmas’.
This year, it’s an obsession for a new generation of parents who are struggling to find a way to honour the holidays without being branded as a racist or an atheist.
In the US, it has been a cultural war, and for many, it is one they cannot win.
“I think the problem with Christmas is it is not a Christmas,” says Lisa Haggerty, a writer, journalist and activist from Chicago.
“It’s a holiday for people who do not believe in Santa Claus.
‘Christmas for people without faith’ The holidays are celebrated across the country, but not all Americans feel the same way. “
And for many Americans, it seems that this year is about celebrating all things Christian.”
‘Christmas for people without faith’ The holidays are celebrated across the country, but not all Americans feel the same way.
Haggerts parents in Chicago are taking the time to organise and host family and friends for the holidays, to try and break the stereotype of Christmas as a holiday that’s for Christians and the non-religious.
“If you are not a Christian, or you are an atheist, or if you do not feel religious, you are free to participate,” she says.
“There are so many things we celebrate here in Chicago.
They are my parents. “
For me, it started with my parents who would bring me to church, and then I would see them with the kids.
“Christmas is a time to be loved, and a time of celebration. “
If you do something differently, I think you are taking a risk.” “
Christmas is a time to be loved, and a time of celebration.
If you do something differently, I think you are taking a risk.”
In the meantime, Haggertys parents have organised Christmas parties in the home of a family friend, and invited their friends, neighbours and family to the home for a night out.
In November, they organised a birthday party at their daughter’s house.
The next day, they hosted a family gathering in the backyard.
And now the Haggerties are planning a Christmas dinner party for their own family in Chicago’s Chinatown.
“This year we are doing it at a local restaurant, a local coffee shop,” says Haggerttys mother, who did not want to give her last name.
“But the family will also be bringing their children, so I think it will be a lot of fun for them.”
Haggerteds family is one of the millions of people who celebrate Christmas each year.
But it is a holiday, for many in the United States, for some, and not for others.
“Many people have not learned to embrace the holiday,” Haggertzys mother says.
The holiday is not for everyone, and it is something that many of the American public do not recognise as Christmas, says Harguttys father, who has been practising his religious faith for decades.
“When I tell people that I am a Christian and I celebrate Christmas, they say, ‘That’s just a silly religion.
That’s just for people that believe in Jesus’.”‘
We celebrate the holiday but not necessarily celebrate Jesus’ “I just think it is just silly to be trying to make people feel guilty about it,” says Sarah Haggerton, a mother of three from the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois.
“We celebrate Christmas but not typically celebrate Jesus.”
Sarah and her family are the only ones in their family who have chosen to observe Christmas, Sarah says.
They celebrate it in different ways, with special gifts, and Sarah says she does not have a special Christmas wish for her children.
“All of our kids are happy that we are celebrating Christmas, but we are not trying to have a Christmas tree or anything like that,” Sarah says, adding that it is her own religion.
The family is not alone.
In April, the US Census Bureau released its 2017 data on the number of Americans who reported being atheists or agnostics, a significant number of whom are women.
More than half of these atheists and agnostics, or 36.5%, identified as religiously unaffiliated, or as a “nothing in particular”.
And more than half said they had no religion at all.
“Our society has changed in the last few years,” says Susan Brown, a spokesperson for the National Center for Science Education.
“Now it is more mainstream to be an atheist or a non-believer, and to be very comfortable being an atheist in the community.”
‘We celebrate a religious holiday but we do not celebrate Jesus’: The Pew Research Center’s 2016 survey of US adults, published in Religion News Service, found that atheists were the most religious Americans.
But Brown says there is a big difference between atheists and people who identify as Christians.
“Christians do celebrate