This Atheist’s Christmas
Ready for it? I celebrate Christmas. Now, when I say I celebrate Christmas I don’t mean I celebrate the birth of Christ; that would be preposterous. Christ’s birth is the only event to have caused me more grief and pain than my own. For if I hadn’t been born I certainly wouldn’t be demonized by certain Christians and my civil rights wouldn’t have be constantly trampled on.
Not only would it be silly for me to celebrate the birth of Yeshua because of the trouble he’s caused me, but also because I’m not even sure he was ever really born. There are serious and valid arguments that suggest he might not have existed at all. I’m not saying he did or didn’t exist, I’m just saying there is contention of that fact.
So, why do I celebrate Christmas then, if not over the birth of Yeshua, the son of Yahweh, the Jewish god of war? Tradition, primarily, I am the only atheist in my family and I celebrated X-mas with said family before I officially became an atheist for much the same reasons I do now. I enjoy spending time with my family; I love them all very much. I don’t get to see them very often, the drive to southern Missouri is long and unpleasant, and I don’t get much time off from my job. Any opportunity to see my family is a cherished one.
I also celebrate X-mas because I think the more modern ideas behind it are great, family togetherness and the act of gift giving and receiving. I love seeing the look on my brother’s kid’s faces when they unwrap something I got them and they love it. I love seeing my girlfriend’s reaction to something she’d been eyeing up at the store for the last 6 months being in her hands now. Sitting in front of the TV with my whole family or playing some sort of game with them outside is truly a treasure to be had.
Fortunately for me, my family may be religious overall, but they agree with me that the central theme of modern day X-mas is love in general. We don’t say grace before meals or attend any sort of church service. It’s all wonderfully neutral. My dad does make jokes from time to time about me saying grace for everyone before we eat, which coincidentally is how he originally found out I was an atheist to begin with, but it’s all in good fun.
For a lot of people, being an atheist during the holiday’s can be difficult and possibly very lonely. Whether they oppose celebrating X-mas or because their family shuns them over their lack of faith. I feel very lucky to have a family that loves me for who I am and not who I pray to. I hope for only the best to happen to those of you who are enduring tough times this winter.