Posts Tagged ‘xmas’


December 6, 2009 5 comments

As I was preparing for this upcoming holiday season (Thanksgiving, Xmas, New Years) I had ample opportunity to do a little thinking about what Xmas means to me and why, despite being an Atheist, I celebrate and anticipate this holiday with so much excitement and fond recollection. 

As a child Xmas was a time of wonderment, Santa Claus, Reindeer, colorful decorations, candy, toys, music, trees, friends, warm and kindly visits with neighbors and relatives.   But, mostly there was this butterfly-like thrill in my gut associated with the glut of Xmas morning.  For a child what could be better?  Once a year I was treated like a prince and showered with gifts and warm memories. 

One of the somewhat unique features of Xmas at my house was the lack of religious teachings, or at least I never really noticed any.  There were never Xmas Eve service away from home, never any forced attendance of special services or whatever Xians do on this holiday.  No, my Xmas very secular, personal, family oriented and perfect (for us). 

Fast Forward to the present. 

I still insist on saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to my patients when they leave my office.  I don’t feel that anyone should ever take offense to someone’s well wishing.  This is foolish reasoning.  There is nothing more abrasive about wishing someone a Merry Xmas than there is saying ‘have a nice day’.  Why would I care if a Xian wished me a Happy Easter or offered to pray for me?   Both may be a complete waste of time, but they are kind offerings and hurt nobody! 

For me, in the end, Christmas is a Traditional time to spoil my children, and Wife.  It is a time of the year when I try to do extra for other people who may be less fortunate than myself.  I put money in the salvation army bucket, I read my 3 year old ‘The night Before Christmas’, I even watch that dumb movie about the BB Gun.  I love Xmas, I love what it has brought to me and my family.  

I am really curious how other Atheists approach this holiday.  Do any of you have fond memories of Xmas past?  Is Xmas just a pain in you ass?  Does a stranger wishing you ‘Merry Christmas’ piss you off? 

Merry Christmas,