Tuesday, December 22, 2009

An atheist Christmas

Contrary to what your hear on Fox or on right wing hate talk radio, not all atheists hate Christmas. In fact, this atheist loves Christmas. Both Sparky and I do. What we hate is intolerant small minded Christians who insist on trying to ruin the holiday with their insistent cries that every one must tow their line or else. They seem to think they are making Jesus happy that by forcing everyone to bray, "Merry Christmas!," even if you're an atheist, a Jew, or a whatever.
You see, to me Christmas is not about the birth of the son o' God. It's about spending time with loved ones and friends. And the gifts I give to them don't symbolize the gift of the birth of mankind's savior, they are heartfelt offerings made out of love to remind that person of how much they mean to me.
I send Christmas cards, carefully chosen so as not to say 'Merry Christmas' or include any religious bull shit, to people near and far because I want them to know I am thinking of them at this time of year. I like to get together with friends this time of year not because someone decided years ago to co-opt a pagan celebration (it's no accident that Christmas falls only days after the winter solstice), but because another year has passed and I like to be with them once more to let them know how much I enjoy them and their company.
We put up Christmas trees not because they symbolize everlasting life, but because they are bright and cheery in an otherwise drab time of year.

But you know what? If you celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday then good for you. More power to you. I'm not about to try to stop you. You celebrate however you like. And I want you to let me do the same.

So stop telling me I have to say 'Merry Christmas' and not 'Happy holidays!' because you think I'm disrespecting your religion. Stop telling me Jesus is the reason for the season, he's not really. The reason for the season is that humans in the northern hemisphere have always celebrated the fact that the days start to get longer after the winter solstice and once they made their way to the southern hemisphere they took that celebration down there as well.

To me this holiday season is all about home, family (the ones I like that is), and friends. It's about giving and doing for those that are close to you. It's about trying to be a nicer person and starting the new year out right.

I'm an atheist and I celebrate Christmas the way I like, the way that works best for me. If only some of the people who call themselves Christian would do the same and stop trying to make others do as they do, then that would be a Christmas miracle we could all believe in.


Wings1295 said...

We really are on the same wavelength today, aren't we Doc?

Kudos to you on a well written post! Gonna add a link to it on my post today. :)

And Happy Holidays to you and Sparky, too!

And a great 2010!

John said...

Glad you said what needed to be said! Well you know I am in a holiday driven industry, so you not what Christmas is all about for u$ LOL

Have a great holiday!

Ubermilf said...

You know I loves me some Halloween. That doesn't mean I believe spirits rise and roam the streets that night. (Well, in the bellies of most of my neighbors, spirits walk...)

The day someone blocks my way to church on Christmas and says, "Sorry. You must go shopping today" will be the day I complain about a "war on Christmas."

What amazes me is that most of the fear-mongers are descendants of the Puritans, who outlawed Christmas because it was too much fun.

Have fun! And Sandra Lee says to put Godiva white chocolate liquor in your egg nog.

Unknown said...

Like your Christmas tree, well decorated with ornaments. It was nice going through your blog. Have a wonderful Christmas. Ihampers.co.uk

Anonymous said...

I'm not an Atheist, but I agree wholeheartedly with this post. It is so freakin' obnoxious when you try to make things a little more inclusive and some twit yells at you: "Its Merry CHRISTMAS, not Happy Holidays!" or "No menorahs or other religious stuff allowed!"

Excuse me? Other people celebrate other holidays around this time too y'know! If you only want to see Christian stuff, then go to Church!

Laura said...

I don't think I would label myself an Atheist but I'm getting closer every year. LOL
I agree with everything in this post.
It really makes me angry when people think they are right about everything.
My sister and her family are Mormon and OMG.. they think they are the only ones right!

Happy Holidays Love

Spooney said...

I’ve said “Merry Christmas” to a Jewish person & got back the slightly nasty “Happy Hanukkah” more than once. Now I only do “Happy Holidays” unless I know for sure that they celebrate Christmas.
Vikki & I are both hell-bound atheists too, but we luv us some Christmas! Fuck you god people, we do what we want.

Megan said...

I'll celebrate Christmas with you and Sparky any time.

Mnmom said...

Again, agreed, 100%

Christian oppression of pagan rites is the reason for the season.

Kulkuri said...

I'm a Born-Again Agnostic and I never had a problem with Xmas until Fux Noise and the Christianists started their "War On Christmas". It has gotten to the point where if someone were to say "It's Merry Christmas not Happy Holidays" I'm liable to tell them to STFU!!!

However you celebrate the season, hope it is happy and good.

michaelg said...

Very well put. Thank you.