Relatively recently, I informed my mom that I am an atheist. It’s been a bit over a year, now. It’s not something that I intentionally kept to myself, but rather it’s something that doesn’t really spend a lot of time in my conciousness. My mom asked me a bunch of questions about how I believed, as she had been devoting a lot of her mental real estate on religion more recently. So I told her that I didn’t believe. I have no desire to convert her away from her religion. I’ve very much grown out of pushing my will on others. But I do more openly talk about religion with her in the context of what I’ve learned over the years.
But this isn’t really about how my mom and I talk about religion.
In the various divisive wars that the far right wants to believe we should be fighting there is the war against the war on Christmas. They believe anyone left of center is a heathen that hates Jesus and we say Happy Holidays as our bombs against Christmas. To them, Christmas is the only holiday in this, approximately, month long span, and acknowledging any other means we hate Christmas.
I grew up and live among a Christian family. As an atheist, I celebrate Christmas. But why would I do that if I don’t believe what the Bible says about Jesus?
Christmas, simply, means something a bit different to me. It has always been that time when we devoted ourselves to our family with the goal to do something, such as give a gift, that makes those people in our lives at least a little bit happier. In the more recent years of my life, it’s been a time when I might share something I enjoy with others. Perhaps I’ll gift a bottle of my favorite whiskey. Maybe I’ll gift something else I’ve been enjoying recently. Rather than focusing on what those people want, I put more of myself into it.
I still say Merry Christmas. Chances are, the person I say it to is a Christian. If there are obvious clues to the contrary, sure, I’ll use a different seasonal greeting.
The fact of the matter is, in December, there’s something like 14 different religious celebrations. I read somewhere that within a 30 day time period going from December to early January, there’s somewhere north of 20 celebrations. This isn’t just a time for Christians and saying something like Happy Holidays is intended to be inclusive. And being inclusive does include Christmas.
I have no beef with Christmas. I don’t really care which religion you practice nor which god you worship. These things occupy very little of my conciousness from day to day, with most days coming and going without ever thinking about it.
I look forward to celebrating Christmas with what little family I associate with anymore.
And may 2022 be the year we figure out how to recover!