Thursday, December 24, 2009

About Christmas

It's Christmas Eve and my wife read me a post from a forum she follows. A woman wrote that she didn't know why atheists would celebrate Xmas except, maybe, for the presents. My cool wife responded that she did indeed do it for the presents; she loves making and giving them.

I really love Xmas and I don't care whether Jesus was perceived as a deity, or whether he was a religious leader, or whether he was just a composite of several 1st cen. messianic types. I gladly take the day off and enjoy the time on Martin Luther King Day and Presidents' Day and I enjoy the green beer on St. Patrick's Day without once thinking of any of them as my god and savior.

I often read Xian writers who assume that unless one buys into the Jesus mythology, that they cannot, or perhaps, should not enjoy any aspect of the celebration. For one thing, many assume any reference to Jesus in song or activity would be an irritant that atheists would try hard to avoid, I think that's because so many Xians assume that atheists hate their religion when, in fact it's just that we don't believe any of it. So, they probably think we are tolerating unpleasant experiences just to get to the cookies and presents.

I will assure the Xians that the lights are just as pretty, the music is just as melodious, the people are just as generous and joyful, and the warm feeling one gets from giving is just as warm if you don't believe in the divinity of the birthday boy.

To everyone who reads this; happy holidays, whichever holidays you choose to celebrate. For those who don't understand, if you see me smiling, singing carols, generally enjoying the season, it's because I sincerely love everything about Xmas except the parts about Jesus being a deity. It doesn't mean that I'm faking it for the treats and it doesn't mean I've become a Xian again.

No comments: