How to be a *Good* Buddhist during Christmas

There is a complex love/hate relationship with Buddhists during the Christmas season.  On one hand many of us grew up in Christian families and attach certain emotions and memories to the holiday (both positive and negative).  On the other hand, some practitioners just want to fit in culturally during the holiday season so they either meld traditions or superficially celebrate.  (I was even told recently that by not celebrating Christmas I put my children at greater risk for bullying and exclusion…but that is a different post altogether…)

Read the rest over of my post over at Elephant Journal



5 thoughts on “How to be a *Good* Buddhist during Christmas

  1. Mike. I feel for ya! As I am limited myself in how many times I can answer questions, respond to comments etc.I will give you little hint. Clear your cache and try again.Cheers,John

  2. Many years ago I became disenchanted with Christmas. There is a window of time on Christmas day where, after the noise and excitement of giving and receiving gifts, I would be left feeling drained and appalled. You probably know the scene: a living-room littered with torn paper, empty boxes, plastic-wrap and packing foam. This image of so little joy being bought at such a great price in stress, waste and consumption was sickening to me. Christmas day was and, in many ways, remains the perfect analogy for the Buddha’s first noble truth, that the nature of existence is outta whack. Samsara wrapped in fancy paper and decorated with little lights. In response to these feelings I boycotted the holiday. I insisted that no one was to buy me any gifts. Needless to say this did not impress, but I didn`t care. Since then things have changed. I became an uncle four times over. At Christmas my wife and I give them used books and art supplies or toys made by local artisans. We love our nieces and nephews and their joy is ours`. A few years ago my sister had a brainstorm. She suggested a recycled Christmas. The idea works like this: you give something of your own that someone else could use or would like. I got a Mag Lite and a really cool, ergonomic can opener. It was great fun. Happy holidays to all of you!CD Guerre

  3. CD Guerre: I do know the scene well. But to boycott Christmas is to boycott my family whether I like it or not. I try to enjoy and encourage a more positive experience. I do, however ,agree with the handmade presents. I try to get as much of my shopping done through locally handmade items.Cheers,John

  4. I did’t mean to imply that I boycotted my family at Christmas. Not at all. I continued to attend all the events, dinners, parties even the occassional mass. I just stopped exchanging gifts. By the way, thanks for the article. It expressed the struggle of the peaceful warrior clearly. The struggle to balance compassion with integrity. All the best,CD

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