Did you think we’d make it to December before this topic came up? I just can’t help myself. Why? Because (hold on, you’re about to get a major confession):
I am an atheist and I love Christmas!
I make my husband hang up lights outside even though he doesn’t want to climb up on the roof and hook the lights onto the gutters, I buy a Christmas tree almost every year even though it drops needles all over my living room floor and orgnaments get broken by my cats, I cook lots of fattening foods and gain five pounds even thought I really should be losing weight, I send presents to all of my family members even though they never say “thank you,” and I even read the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke every now and then, even though I don’t think it’s true.
My mother, who is a born-again Christian doesn’t do any of these things. But then she was raised as a secular Jew, so what does she know about Christmas? She didn’t grow up with trees and lights and Santa and the baby Jesus. She doesn’t even go to Church on Christmas because she says they do the same thing every year, and how boring is that? (Although she doesn’t seem to mind the same sermons year after year on non-holidays, I guess because she doesn’t got to a liturgical church, so they vary the schedule of the messages.)
I grew up in a Long Island neighborhood with equal populations of Jews and Christians. We sang Christmas and Hanukkah songs at school and did crafts related to both holidays. Plus, we got all of the Jewish and Christian holidays off from school, so you know we kids weren’t going to complain.
I guess that’s why I see the war on Christmas as being so ridiculous. I’m an atheist with Jewish ancestors, and I celebrate Christmas. I estimate that about 99% of Americans do so, regardless of their regligious affiliation (or lack thereof). Everywhere you go from Halloween to New Years you see Santas and Christmas trees and wrapping paper and Christmas cards, and even a few mangers with the baby Jesus in swaddling clothes and a couple of camels and the three wise men looking over him. OK, sometimes there are “Happy Holidays” or even “Happy Hannukah” cards too. I guess that makes the baby Jesus cry.
Please join me, as fellow atheists, skeptics, and unbelievers of all names in celebrating Christmas, even though you think the Chrstian premise for the holiday is bunk! Remember the real reason for the season: It’s to spend time with your family and friends, to eat, drink, and be merry, and to remember that the dark days of winter won’t last forever! If Christmas ever was primarily a Chrstian holiday, it hasn’t been so in a long time so we should be willing to celebrate with abandon.
P.S. I hope this doesn’t get me placed on that Nice list we mentioned the other day. I’d so much rather be Naughty.