It’s a subject that’s been on my mind a lot lately. How does an Atheist celebrate Christmas?
I’m not just talking about an “opt out” option, where you ignore the holiday altogether. I know people who do this: treat the day as if it were no different than any other bank holiday (Arbor Day!) and go about Business As Usual.
Clearly, there can be no religious aspects, but I also strongly object to the capitalist aspects as well (Black Friday, for example), and the idea that we must consume and spend money to show our love for others.
So, my goodness, what’s a Nice Atheist Girl got left?
I’m also interested in how people of other faiths celebrate the season – through opting out? Do you go through the motions of buying presents? Do you stick your fingers in your ears and go “LA LA LA” when walking through stores pumping the lazy crooning of Michael “The Boob” Buble? HOW DO YOU DO IT? HOW DO YOU GET THROUGH IT?
Working as I do in retail, there is little I can do to avoid the holiday. It’s literally all around me, closing in on me like the trash compactor:
OH how I like the trees. I swoon past every street tree seller at the first whiff of Fraser Fir. And I have a definite soft spot for the televised Christmas specials I was raised on – A Muppet Family Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (why am I such a misfit?), and I even got choked up at the Bible passage in Charlie Brown Christmas!
So how can I, without mention of religion, keep a foothold in my traditions? And how about new ones? Like watching Die Hard on Christmas? What are your secular trappings of the holiday season?
PS: It’s not just me, Atheists EVERYWHERE have these questions on their minds. And by “everywhere,” I mean Times Square, Center of the Universe.