CHAPTER MEETING "Wrestling with Christmas: Past and Present"

Is Christmas a religious holiday or a cultural one?  Ask any social or cultural historian and invariably the answer will be “both.”  But ask the proverbial man or woman on the street and you will get a variety of answers. The duplicity of the season is as old as Christmas itself--giving rise to its ever-turbulent history and our frequent modern debates.  With its ubiquitous messaging and layers of meaning, Christmas presents a quandary for non-Christians.  Some make their “peace” with the holiday, focusing on its cultural aspects, while others opt out altogether and urge fellow non-believers to do the same. 

In this presentation, Audrey will review the origins of Christmas and its role in Western culture.  She will recount its many transformations over the centuries as a season of timeless discontent.  In addition, the contemporary secular holiday will be critiqued from a humanist perspective—teasing out its virtues and vices.  But unlike some of her atheist and humanist peers, Audrey will not argue for an “abstinence only” approach to the season.  Rather, she will advocate for yet another historical update of the winter holiday to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse society with ample room for an unabashed humanist celebration of Yule.  

Childcare is available from 10:15am-noon.  Please indicate the age of your child (or children) you intend to bring when you RSVP so we can plan accordingly.  Thanks! 

Parking at Field School is available on site.  Enter the small lot from 4th Ave.  If it is filled, maneuver your car carefully around the yellow posts and the curb cut-out ramps to park in the adjacent playground.  As usual, a luncheon will follow the presentation; watch for a separate meet-up notice to RSVP for lunch.

Audrey Kingstrom is a board member of Humanists of MN and serves as our Community Coordinator.  A devout Christian in her youth, Audrey has spent much of her adult life wrestling with Christmas after she became an atheist.  With masters degrees in theology and education, she became fascinated (if not obsessed) with the history of Christmas.  For over a dozen years, Audrey has written and produced Midwinter Solstice Revels with fellow humanists at the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, where she is also a member.


10:00-10:30 Social time
10:30-12:00 Presentation
No lunch offered this month

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  • Ginny R.

    Highly informative!

    December 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, I woke up ill - enjoy your holidays!

    December 21, 2013

  • Sarah M.

    Not bringing the kiddo this time ;)

    December 14, 2013

  • Kevin

    Plus six year old son

    December 11, 2013

  • Jill C.

    Plus 21 month old son

    December 7, 2013

32 went

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