The Great Courses

An Atheist...Christmas?

Dec 2, 2015 at 1:48 PM

Here's something I recently stumbled across:

hate atheists who celebrate christmas

Why would somebody care if someone else enjoyed Christmas? Weird.

Actually, while Christ's name is in the title of the holiday (like Thor's name is in Thursday and Mars' name is in March), the bulk of the Christmas holiday is historically non-Christian, anyway.

Pre-Christianity, late December marked the pagan Winter Solstice festivals and a celebration of the returning sun (not the Son), which explains the choosing of December 25th as Christmas Day. Decorated trees were pagan traditions, as were yule logs, gift exchange, carols, etc. Mistletoe was considered a magical plant by the Druids. Gift exchange dates back to the festival of Saturnalia. Santa's legend stems back to Germanic folklore and has shades of the norse god Odin. Etc.

If this indignant protester wants to celebrate a Christ-themed holiday, wonderful. This doesn't mean he/she gets to assert Christian privilege and make a declaration of ownership on the whole occasion. Christmas doesn't belong to any one person, any one legend, any one tradition, or any one religion.

Christmas is for all of us.

secular christmas

For my part, I'm already looking forward to seeing my family sprawling on the floor under the tree (stuffed with home-cooked goodness), soaking up Vince Guaraldi on Pandora, smiling behind an ocean of shredded wrapping paper, giving hugs, swapping stories, making memories, and feeling the warmth, safety, support and love of this home.

Oh yeah. We're doing Christmas.

Here's my short video titled, Christmas: Behind the Curtain.

-Seth Andrews

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