Atheist Christmas

Heather Horrell

Isn’t Christmas a lovely holiday? Not just the day of-the whole season. I mean, almost everyone agrees otherwise there surely wouldn’t be enough material, or money, for Hallmark to continue filming formulaic spinster holiday movies.

As an atheist, I love Christmas. It’s a chance for my family and I to relax, have a great time, and celebrate with some annual traditions. For example, I noticed that this year, the War on Christmas seems to have petered out. Maybe people are preoccupied with trivial things like what’s going on in Ohio or whether some kids even have food and gifts this year, but not me. My top priority is ensuring that others know I am deeply offended, like any good atheist should be, when I’m greeted with “Merry Christmas”. It is my duty to kindle the flames of this dying yuletide fire and ensure that X-mas isn’t a fail this year. Starbucks better not disappoint me.

We celebrate fun fictional characters, just like your family does. Elf on the Shelf is a cool villain as far they go, I guess, but it’s pales in comparison to my personal favorite. Krampus is the real OG. If you don’t know about Krampus, he’s a creepy spy too, watching what you do. He’s got a job though, and he’ll be damned if those naughty ones are spared with a simple lump of coal. Atheists want nothing more than to see people’s spirits dampened by questioning their own shitty morality, obviously. Christmas is the best time to reflect, eh?

A couple of other fun traditions my family I really look forward to every year are baking pentagram-shaped cookies, nicking Amazon packages off our neighbor’s doorsteps, and crashing our friends’ holiday dinners. On Christmas Eve, rather than admire brilliant light displays, we’d rather go “nativity hunting”  where we knock over the cradle of baby Jesus. Why do people have such offensive things in their own yards?

And on Christmas morning, we have a lengthy, but necessary academic discussion before opening presents about how God isn’t real and that we are only celebrating because we’re greedy consumerists. I really want my children to understand that they are only getting presents because it’s a cultural norm, based on a story, but definitely not enjoyable. How else will they take up their War on Christmas torch?