Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Hubbub

I love the holiday season. Who doesn’t? People everywhere are happy, giving, loving, caring, all around better. This time of year, the entire world shows how humanity should be. Instead of hating others we should be helping them. And this month shows it best with one of my personal favorite holidays, Christmas.

“What? But, you’re an Atheist!”

Yes, I know. I’m celebrating a religious holiday and don’t even believe in the story behind it. But it goes a bit beyond that. So, this month I’m going to answer one question that always crops up around this time of the year.

“Why do Atheists celebrate religious holidays?”

Actually, the answer is usually a lot simpler than you might think. In most cases it’s a force of habit. Their parents raised them on certain holidays and they feel strange not celebrating them year after year. It’d be like not celebrating your birthday, it just doesn’t feel right. Sure you could get used to not celebrating Christmas or Hanukah, but you don’t really want to.

In my experience, I’ve always celebrated Christmas, not because of Jesus or God, but because of the holiday itself. As a child I believed in Santa Clause, the person, and as an adult I believe in Santa Clause, the concept. I believe in the spirit of giving that Christmas portrays. Other than habit, this is the main reason Atheists celebrate any religious holiday, the message behind it. Or, in the case of an Atheistic child, the presents involved. Let’s be honest, a kid that has no idea about the religious side of the holiday just sees it as a special day where they get all kinds of toys and goodies without needing to do anything but put up with their siblings and peers for the few weeks leading up to it.

So, Happy Hanukah, Merry Christmas, Crazy Kwanza, and Happy Holidays from the Land of Disillusionment.