Short answer is I think The Solsitce is cool, but you’d need to convince like, all the millions of people that “The Solstice” is a better holiday with its own themes and aesthetic and mythos and so-on to be celebrated. And then Actively crush and suppress all of the Christmas pop-culture bullshit into a mere footnote. I welcome it, but seems like a lot of work.
And, I don’t think it’s largely the active Christians who would be sad to see those aspects of Christmas get deleted or rebranded, but I do think they still bristle at the idea of their particular holiday not being #1 so even the stuff they hate about it is still something they’ve had to embrace as at least being in the right name.
Frankly, I think for most who came up in a more strictly religious Christian environment, Christmas really does seem pretty “secularized”. At least the religious and non-religious sides of the Christmas holiday event are fairly distinct. Yes they coincided and in some cases elements intermingled, but it was two opposite sides of the coin.
It’s possible to go to a Christmas branded holiday event with all of the commercialized holiday elements without a drop of religious motivation or undertone. Meanwhile one could go to some of the very religious Christmas services I went to as a youngling and none of it is reflected in the popular or secularized sides of the holiday. We did the popular solstice stuff, but then did other stuff. And then over time my grandparent’s grip on the family faded away, we no longer attended the services, etc etc. Now it’s merely Thanksgiving 2: Ham and presents edition.
I understand why those who grew up outside of the Christmas tradition don’t see it as a secular holiday they can get behind, and even if the religious aspect were to be packed up and moved to a different holiday entirely they wouldn’t want to embrace it; because that legacy is already there.
But I also see why those who are heavily Christian, or those who at least have seen into it from that angle, might have developed the sort of self selection or perspective to see that the commercial/secular/non-religious/etc part has nothing to do with their religious understanding of the holiday, but still see that side as Christmas.
(As an aside regarding the word secular, I’m pretty sure anyone of my generation who grew up in a heavy Christian environment just thinks of the word “Secular” as meaning literally “not Christian/heathen/unbeliever/etc” because it was a very popular word used by the ministry and fuck if any of them have actually ever looked up the meaning of the world. I know I haven’t. It’s just an easy, catchy, short, and sort of aggressively alluring word to use as a catch-all for “Not Christian” and so those from that background might be expected to use the world in that way.)
So anyway yes, sure, from a purely logical point of view it makes a lot of sense to just transition all of the non religious aspects of the popular American/Western Christmas tradition over to a Solstice holiday. Except all of the legacy tradition stuff that’s already there. All of the pop songs and carols and so-on. To the Christian, they don’t identify those aspects as anything to do with their actual religious tradition. Some actively dislike that stuff, others enjoy it as “good fun” tradition. But most certainly they don’t Identify Rudolph and The Santa Claus as having a single thing to do with Jesus, or at best only the most minute tertiary connection. It’s nothing to do with them.
I can see, easily, why Christians are a bit sensitive about it.
And I can see why many who aren’t actively practicing Christians just are cool with the path of least resistance and saying “well, Christmas to me is just a secular holiday event, with origins in a religious observation.” because it’s the popular image. And so unless you actively have a different faith with its own holidays, you’ve got a default to latch onto without having to adopt any sort of religious baggage.
I don’t see many Atheists being like “fuck Christmas I’m going to observe Hanukkah so I can get more time off and cuz their food is bomb” and only some actively trying to get down with the Pagan roots.
Many just say “Eh Christmas is already basically not religious so I’ll just endure it and take my time off from the office.”
And they defend it because to actively change to some new (or restore some long forgotten) holiday means all of the existing stuff is probably cancelled, and then you have to start over. And that’s scary and work. And how to you explain to your kid that “actually Santa doesn’t do Christmas, he does this other holiday. And he’s actually Comrade Stalin now.”
I mean there’s a million reasons why and I’m in no way very much someone who has thought about this. But as someone who would enjoy seeing Christmas get pulled out root and stem, but also kinda just goes with it cuz eh; I’m really trying to worry about more stuff and if the Christians want to be pissed about this at lest it’s low hanging fruit.