The article listed some Protestant denominations that have had times, at least in the past, of not officially celebrating Christmas, and the Quakers were listed.
While recognizing that the questions of whether Quakers are Christians or are Protestants are themselves contested questions (but let's not get sidetracked with these questions for the moment...): The reason that Quakers didn't/don't officially celebrate Christmas may not be so much for reasons like those summarized above, but probably has to do more with the fact that (most) Quaker Meetings don't "officially" recognize any holidays.
Yet I know that many (most?) Quaker families do celebrate Christmas at home. And some Meetings do mark the occasion in a number of ways (singing Christmas hymns, having a special potluck, maybe having a special Meeting for Worship on Christmas day, though I have seldom seen the latter during my many years among Friends).
So I am curious about Friends' thoughts on this. If you feel so moved, please consider responding to some or all of the following:
- Does your Meeting do anything special for Christmas? (Any other holidays?) Why or why not?
- Do you celebrate Christmas at home?
- If so, do you regard it as a secular/cultural holiday or a religious one? That is, does your way of celebrating it come more from family traditions than from your Quakerism, or vice versa? (I know that Quakers want to say that there is no distinction between their Quaker life and the rest of their life, but those who do not come from Quaker families may engage in Christmas traditions inherited from their non-Quaker families even if they now infuse them with Quakerly meanings).
- Do any of you hold strictly to a Quaker-inspired practice of not honoring any holidays in any special way, including Christmas? If so, how do you communicate this to family and friends who may expect some participation?
- If you do celebrate Christmas, what about the way that you celebrate it is most meaningful to you? Or, if you could celebrate Christmas any way you wanted, how would you?