So I guess this is my Christmas Eve, Eve post. Something I don’t understand, are some atheists that absolutely refusing to celebrate Christmas. I know that there are some that think that if they do, then they are somehow perpetuating a religion that they have rejected. I tend to disagree. Christmas has become less a religious holiday than a cultural experience., as well as a commercial venture (which I’m sure upsets many fundamentalists).
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong by not celebrating Christmas, in fact, I think it’s more common among the general population than what we may have been led to believe. I don’t bother even asking why to those I know that don’t, mainly because it’s none of my business just as it’s no one’s business why I, an atheist do. I tend to think no matter where anyone stands on this, we sometimes make it a bigger issue than what it actually is in the sense that it’s really not a issue at all.
I‘ve had some years go by that I didn’t celebrate the holiday either, because I was off by myself and was unable to get back to family for whatever reason. I never felt bad about it, It’s just the way life is sometimes and for some I know now that don’t celebrate, what I hear when they’re asked by others why not, one reason is because it’s too much trouble: decorating, gift buying, cooking a special meal. Another reason I’’ve heard is that they just don’t care one way or another about it. I understand both.
The reason I’m writing about this is due to a conversation I had a couple of days ago with a friend that absolutely could not understand why some people, other than for different religious belief, didn’t celebrate Christmas? I thought, what’s the big deal and said as much. I guess there are some that think there’s something wrong with a person that doesn’t want to celebrate Christmas, as there are some atheists that think there’s something wrong with those of us (atheists) that do.
When I really think about it, it’s all about the build-up than the actual day isn’t it? I mean, on Christmas Day, it’s all over in a few minutes, with the exception of the meal. But the whole thing becomes anticlimactic doesn’t it after all the wrapping is scattered on the floor and the boxes are everywhere? The very next day, other than the decorations, it’s as if it never happened.
Before any of us criticize some for either celebrating a “religious” holiday or not doing the same, remember, it’s not so much a tradition in this country as it wasn’t officially a holiday until 1870. Before that, it was just another work day.
2 thoughts on “Celebrating Christmas”
I think it may be fair to say that the vast majority of Christians in the U.S. think there is something wrong with those who do not celebrate Christmas. The only reason I don’t celebrate it is that I don’t enjoy it. But of course, there is something seriously wrong with me for not enjoying it (or so I am repeatedly told). The same is true for all the other holidays I don’t celebrate (which is all of them except for Halloween), but the most hostility seems to be reserved for Christmas. I’ve grown tired of explaining myself over and over, so I think I’ll just try responding with, “Yes, there are many things seriously wrong with me” and hope that ends the conversation.
I think atheists explaining how and why we do (or don’t) what we do is fair enough. I do it every year because it is good for people to know. I find it useful to learn how other atheists deal with life for all sorts of things.