Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Heartwarming Holiday Message

This time of year really annoys me from BOTH sides of the camp. On one side, I've got Christians yelling at me that I am not "allowed" to celebrate "their" holiday because I don't believe in any god or supernatural being, especially the one they chose out of the pantheon of deities (meanwhile most Christians are extremely ignorant as to the whole tree lightning history and are completely unaware that most of "their holiday" rituals predate Christianity by thousands of years.) On the other side, I've got your "stick-up-the-ass" Atheists who think that telling my kids about anything magical or imaginary or out of "reason" (i.e. Santa Claus, Harry Potter, the Tooth Fairy, etc.) that I am making them silly people and lying to them and I might as well be teaching them about Jesus and gods and other fairy tales.

To BOTH camps, I would like to politely tell you to "stuff it".

To the Christians, kindly mind your own business. I can celebrate Christmas if I want to AND call it Christmas AND have a tree AND decorate it AND I can even sing Christmas songs with my kids and tell them the story of Jesus. Why? Because for us, it's just another story. And Guess What? It's a good one! I mean really, it's full of drama! Pregnant woman (by whom?!?!) and her husband, freezing to death and can't find shelter, shack up in a barn, have a kid who is magic and kings from far away lands bring exotic gifts. Throw in a couple million bucks of special effects, Ridley Scott directing and you've got a blockbuster! I can even celebrate Christmas AND Festivus if I wanted to! See, the best thing about being an Atheist (because trust me, it's not all it's cracked up to be) is the fact that we can celebrate however, whenever, and for whatever reason we want. We could celebrate National Day of Dancing in Our Underwear if we wanted to and it wouldn't hurt anyone or anything and I certainly wouldn't be offended if non-Atheists wanted to join in. So kindly stfu and let us celebrate Christmas because, to be honest, you don't "own it".

To the Atheists, I would reiterate the above statement and tell you to stuff it as well. If I want to celebrate Christmas with my kids and tell them stories, it's not going to make us any less Atheist than the next guy. Hell, I played the Virgin (*snort*) Mary in a school pageant years ago and I still turned out ok. So telling my son the story of Jesus isn't going to all of a sudden make him want to become an child evangelical minister and scream on sidewalks about going to hell. In the same respect telling my kid there is a Santa Claus isn't going to make him a moron who never grows up and resents me for "lying" to him. Santa Claus isn't dogma. Santa Claus doesn't preach from an ancient book and condemns you to an eternity of suffering if you don't believe in him. Santa Claus and his adherents don't get involved in politics or try to legislate laws on who can marry or who can have a baby. Santa Claus is magic and yes yes yes I know "magic doesn't exist" and "only reason and logic are important", but guess what? Magic is awesome when you are a child. Imaginary friends and imaginary creatures and wonderful places like Santa's Workshop and Hogwarts are incredible when you are a kid. (They're also pretty fun as an adult, but Universe forbid that an adult should participate in such "irrational" behavior). So you too, cranky Atheists, stfu and let us celebrate the holidays the way we want to.

I mean, you don't hear Jews screaming at us for NOT celebrating Hanukkah. I have yet to see a Muslim knock on my door to tell me the "good news" about Ramadan. And I certainly have never been accosted by a Buddhist at an airport with a pamphlet about the sins of stepping on bugs because they could be your reincarnated Uncle Carl.

So I will never understand this incessant "war" between the "Our way is the only way" Christians and the "You can't have any myths or magic or imagination" Atheists. Truthfully, I wish you would all find an island and duke it out and leave the rest of us alone.

So to the rest of you out there, Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday season and peace and love in the New Year.


Alessandro said...

Shortly after we first met someone incorrectly told you that I was an "Atheist" and you asked me if I was interested in joining a group that gets together and talks about that stuff etc. I dunno if you recall but I remember telling you thank you but no thank you... that thing you're describing sounds like a Religious group to me ha ha ha.

So yeah... common belief system, check... wanting to control what other members of the group teach their kids, check... derisive of some other religious group, check...

Oh and I thought the primary benefit of being an atheist was supposed to be sleeping in on Sundays ;)

Kat said...

*Stands up and applauds!* Thank You! The problem of other atheists turning up their noses at me because I celebrate holidays (both christian and pagan, even though there is hardly a difference, really) has always seemed so ridiculous. What exactly is so "unreasonable" about teaching kids the stories behind holidays and rituals that have played such a huge role in our history as human beings? What is unreasonable about enjoying our cultural observances and utilizing them to grow closer to family and spend time with friends? The celebration of holidays and what we actually do on those days and believe about them has evolved over time, and will continue to do so.

I hope you have a happy, healthy holiday season, and enjoy every moment of the "irrationality!"

Now This Is Life... said...

Kudos!!! I think one of the first times I came to your blog was after a discussion on MLM around Christmas where everyone was bitching at everyone else for their Christmas beliefs...or lack of.

I am agnostic, as of now, and we do Santa and the Elf on a Shelf (and tree, and window blinds, and the ceiling fan) but I don't judge anyone else for doing whatever they choose for the season. You always state everything with such humor and make me LOL all the time. :):):)

Alessia said...

ACK! Elf on the Shelf creeps me out! I am now going to totally judge you! ;)

Seriously though, don't you find that elf just a tad bit Poltergeist-y?

Candace said...

Hi! I just found your blog by clicking the "next blog" button up there. I am a Christian but i am a very open minded person and I enjoy hearing all points of view, so your blog and your way of writing is very interesting to me! :) you made me smile and I appreciate your honesty. I look forward to reading more in the future. Take care.