So here’s the biggest question of all: Why do atheists and other nonbelievers celebrate Christmas if they don’t believe in Christ? What do they think Christmas is? Going into debt and giving presents just for funsies?
because the days are short and the night is long, and it’s awfully cold out there, and we have months of snow and ice and drudgery still to go.
because I haven’t seen the sunlight in weeks, and it’s kicking my seasonal depression in like whoa.
because I have end-of-the-year deadlines kicking my ass.
because my rent goes up on January 1 and so do my insurance premiums, and this might be the last time I have spending money for a long while.
because goddammit, I could use some good will towards men right now. This time of year I need people trying to cheer each other up and be kind to each other. I need to think of nice things like pretty lights and hot chocolate and singing songs and warm fires and candy canes.
because taking the time at the end of the year to think of all the people you love the most and try to think of nice things to give them and do for them is actually a really great idea. And when other people think of something like that for you out of the goodness of their hearts it’s the nicest thing ever.
because encouraging generosity and empathy and caring is a positive no matter what the reason.
because once a year we all pretend magic is real and people are good at heart and sometimes that’s all that keeps me from giving up on the world in general.
so even though I think the virgin birth story is a myth ornamented with pagan rituals to make it more fun, I don’t have to believe in an actual existence of the judeo-christian god to love it all anyway. Christianity has some pretty music, for one thing. Christmas carols, the Messiah, Bach, it’s all really nice. Even if I didn’t, there’s plenty of Christmas things that have nothing whatsoever to do with jesus, like The Nutcracker, and Elf, and A Christmas Story, and doing up your house in pine branches and lights, and all sorts of other wonderful things.
that’s just me, but those are my reasons.
don’t like some asian countries celebrate christmas as a romantic holiday
so basically, yeah, spending time with loved, giving gifts to show appreciation
pretty much the same as birthdays. why is that so weird to imagine lol
it’s the season of grace coming out of the void
where a man is saved by a voice in the distance
it’s the season of possible miracle cures
where hope is currency and death is not the last unknown
where time begins to fade
and age is welcome home
it’s the season of eyes meeting over the noise
and holding fast with sharp realization
it’s the season of cold making warmth a divine intervention
you are safe here you know now
don’t forget i love
i love you
it’s the season of scars and of wounds in the heart
of feeling the full weight of our burdens
it’s the season of bowing our heads in the wind
and knowing we are not alone in fear
not alone in the dark
"atheist christmas carol" - vienna teng
Not to mention that “Christmas” as it’s largely celebrated - Santa, Christmas trees, presents, etc - is largely secular. I grew up in an extremely conservative, extremely religious Christian household, but you know what the focus of Christmas always was?
Spending time with family. Getting each other presents. Having a big meal. Doing nice things for people less fortunate than us. Beautiful decorations and the classic stop-motion Christmas specials. I can count the number of times we went to any sort of specific Christmas service on one hand. Yes, we celebrated the birth of Christ, but it was… sort of a nice addition to Christmas, which despite the name, despite all the “Jesus is the reason for the season” stuff, was never about Jesus, not even in my family.
Christmas hasn’t been mostly about Christianity in a long time, and pretending like it is just makes you look ridiculous.
Some of us still celebrate the midwinter holiday—based on observable solar & planetary events—that was around before Christianity showed up.