I asked my atheist Facebook friends if and how they celebrate Christmas and what the holiday means to them. Below are some of their responses.
- “I love Christmas and look forward to it from the start of autumn onwards. For me it means comfort and familiarity and being with my family.” – David
- “Yes, my husband, daughter, and I celebrate, but under protest. Basically, my siblings are very pro (secular) Christmas, but I hate the holiday. We all live more-or-less local and I cannot say no to celebrating unless I want to piss a hell of a lot of people off” – Alexandra
- “I celebrate Christmas. I buy gifts for people and cards, enjoy accepting increased invitations to see family, decorate the house and eat more yummy food than usual!” – Dany
- “Nah, I grew up Jewish.” – Avi
- “It’s just an excuse to have family together and have a nice dinner and I enjoy picking out gifts for people. For me it’s just about family time.” – Sara
- “We celebrate Christmas and Chanukah, since my husband and I have different traditions. We have a menorah and a Christmas tree, we open gifts and share food. We view it as important to pass traditions on to our daughter, so mostly it’s a family-centered time of year.” – Arianna
- “Yes, it’s a time to spend with friends and family and have fun, as well as exchange some gifts and eat nice food and stuff. It’s a holiday like any other to me, like Thanksgiving with presents or a birthday for everyone at once. It’s just an excuse to have fun with people and see people, really.” – Jason
- “We put up a small tree, give to charity, look at lights, bake cookies and I give the kids a couple gifts. Sometimes we do crafts and all that seasonal jazz, but in general, we’re pretty low key at Christmas. To me its just about continuing cheerful traditions.” – Lea
- “I don’t care for tradition just for the sake of tradition. I only set up a Christmas tree when someone I live with insists on it.” – Daniel
- “I’m all for anything that gives people a nudge to not be an asshole a few days of the year.” – Shea
- “We observe it as much as we do any other holiday. Mostly we plan for a restaurant dinner somewhere.” – Elizabeth
- “Yes, I celebrate Christmas and other winter holidays (Solstice, Hanukah, “the holidays,” depending on who I’m celebrating with). I mostly celebrate with parties, gifts, cards, and big festive meals.
To me, it means a lot of things, but mostly:
(A) It’s cold and dark and damp, and will be for a while, so it’s good to celebrate and bond with people I love, to help get each other through.
(B) The world is chaotic, so it’s good to create rituals and traditions that give a sense of stability and continuity and self-created meaning.” – Greta
- “I try to use the holiday to teach my daughter about giving more than receiving and about accepting what you’re given graciously. I also try to instill that sometimes she may be the needy one who requires help on Christmas – I’ve been – so it’s an exercise in empathy.” – Ava
- ” I looooooooooove christmas!, and I am a non believer since, maybe 12?… But it was never about Baby Jesus, hell no!, it was about family, lots of yummy food and presents.” – Merry
- “I don’t have any desire to celebrate Christmas. This year I’ll finally won’t even need to go see family and celebrate a secular Christmas that’s still Christmas and an obligation. I’ll finally be able to do the nothing that I want, and just have a day off and rest/have fun.” – Judit
- “Christmas is my most cherished and important holiday. I see no reason to change anything except for not going to church or having a nativity scene. Christmas to me means love, family, and giving.” – Beth
Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Yule, Saturnalia, or nothing at all, may your season be filled with love and comfort. Happy holidays to all!