Well, for starters the fact that the person asking the question assumed that I was a Christian is part of the reason. I find that at Christmas time, many Christians are on their absolute worst behavior when it comes to non-Christians – and that is saying something considering that so many Christians aren’t really well behaved toward non-Christians during any other part of the year either.
Don’t get me wrong here, I am not referring to ALL Christians when I say this, but the fact is that a large number of Christians seem to claim the entire month of December as their exclusive holiday. Some may grudgingly allow Jews to celebrate their minor holiday of Hanukkah without much fuss, but that is only because they believe Jesus was Jewish and Christianity be basically a sequel to Judaism anyway. According to many Christians, if you are not celebrating Christmas and you don’t have the approved excuse of being Jewish, then you aren’t allow to have any fun during the entire month of December. The fact that it is widely known that Christians pretty much stole Christmas from other pagan religions and traditions is almost completely forgotten.
The reality is that the winter season has always been a time for celebration and festivities. Different people just have different excuses for why they are celebrating and what traditions are a part of those festivities.
Winter is cold and depressing, so the best way to cheer people up is with celebrations. This is the real reason for the season… or at least the reason we celebrate the season. I’m all for that. I have no problem with celebrating the winter season, but my issue is with Christians who are even more intolerant and insufferable than they usually are during this time of year.
To be honest, I’m also not a fan of the music that plays 24/7 nearly everywhere I go. It has nothing to do with religion; it is just bad music. Music is a matter of taste and I know plenty of non-religious people who love the music even the religious music, but for me it is just too high pitched. It is annoying and it plays everywhere all the time. There is no escape.
I also don’t approve of the Christmas lying. Yeah, I’m talking about Santa. Parents use Santa as an excuse for not getting their kids every new toy they desire instead of just telling their kids that they can’t have every new toy. Santa becomes a convenient scapegoat. I think it is more constructive to tell kids that toys cost money and that parents can’t afford to buy everything.
The worst part of this Christmas lying is that I am expected to lie too. If some kid comes up to me asking about Santa, I am supposed to “play along” and lie about Santa’s existence. I don’t want to lie. I don’t feel comfortable lying to a kid about Santa. But if I tell the truth, I am “ruining” Christmas. This whole lying thing is ruining my Christmas. Kids can still have fun with the whole Santa thing and still understand that Santa doesn’t exist.
My four-year-old son is used to people dressing up in costumes because we go to the Wizard World Comic Convention every year. There he sees multiple Darth Vaders walking around and so he understands that they are just people in costumes. Santa is no different to him. He still enjoys the holiday season and nothing is ruined for him at all. But now, he is expected to lie about Santa too.
These are all minor complaints, but they pervade the season and make this Christmas a stressful and less enjoyable time of year. It’s not easy being an atheist at Christmas… although I do have fun criticizing the birth of Jesus story during this time of year. But I do try to save that for the fundamentalists who are even more arrogant than usual this time of year.