My attitude towards Christmas is as follows:
- I appreciate the holiday season, as I do Thanksgiving, for the way it brings families together, especially extended families.
- I tend to resent the forced gift-giving materialism aspect of it, naturally.
- I object to the efforts of some to try to make the holiday Christ-centric. It’s common knowledge the solstice was chosen as the date for Christ’s birth to ease the (forced) conversion of new Christians.
So what does an atheist like myself do?
- I celebrate “the holidays” with minimal, practical or thoughtful gift-giving.
- I wish friends a happy holiday.
- I don’t freak out or correct anyone who innocently wishes me a “merry Christmas,” not because I am afraid to offend, but because I don’t want to make anyone sorry for the kind act of attempting to spread some cheer! And of course, Christmas is fairly secular for a lot of people, so it’s not like they just wished me a “merry feast day of Our Lady” or some such completely, overtly faith-based thing.
Happy holidays, and make the best of 2010!