For most of my life, I've attended TWO services on Christmas Eve: one protestant and one Catholic to appease both sides of my family. I'm no longer obligated to attend either, though, not because I'm old enough to make my own decisions, but because the churches have forced our hands.
The protestant church stopped being a requirement when the married minister got a teenager in the congregation pregnant. Surprisingly, church-goers found it difficult to stomach hearing the dude preach the good word after that, my family included.
After a prolonged process, the church hired a new pastor. He's easily 350 pounds. I can't help but guess that he was chosen in part because they figured no teenage girl would want to have sex with him. I suppose we could start going to church again because of the new pastor, but the whole thing is tarnished. Christmas especially - all of the celebration over a religious birth from a young, unwed mother still hits a little too close to home after the last guy, if you get my drift.
Right now you may be thinking, "If that's what stops you from going to the protestant church, the Catholic church story must be downright scandalous!"
It's not, though. There are no sexy secrets that I know of at this particular Catholic church, but even supposing that the priest knocked up a teen girl, they'd just call the baby a miracle and put it in the manger for the nativity play. By now, Catholics have just learned to ignore the hypocrisy - the sermon could literally be about the virtues of being a ChiMo and you'd still have one thousand people sitting in the pews because it's Christmas Eve and you can't skip church on Christmas Eve.
I am the exception that gets to skip church on Christmas Eve, however, because the Catholic side of my family is now mostly dead, so there's not much peer pressure. Besides, the sermons are awful. The priest literally just reads Christian-themed email forwards as his sermons like the bogus one about the hero marine punching an atheist professor (fucking liberals!) on God's behalf. One Christmas, the sermon was about a disfigured man who started going to an Australian Catholic church for solace - the priest then hooked the ugly man up with a talented plastic surgeon and made him into a handsome man. That man went on to be… ACTOR MEL GIBSON! First, I don't get what this tale had to do with Christmas, but second, as any idiot who has visited Snopes can tell you, the story is absolutely not true. Then again, if the priest had a problem dressing up falsehoods as fact, he'd be in a different profession altogether.
Even with all of that in mind, the number one reason we don't attend the Catholic service anymore is actually the choir. It is the worst choir you've ever heard. It's a buncha adults bleating out Christmas hymns as if they were goats. They couldn't be more out of tune if they tried. Maybe at rehearsals half of them practice going sharp, while the other half goes flat just to mess the congregation. When I briefly entertained the thought of attending mass this year, I then remembered this one hellbeast's annual solo/slaughtering of "O' Holy Night" and decided that the nicest gift I could give to my ears this holiday is not putting them through that.
So, yeah, no church for me. And I'm pretty okay with that.
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!