Sunday, December 11, 2005

An atheist's Christmas

Of course, after I write a post about being atheist, I put up the Christmas tree. We celebrate Christmas as a midwinter holiday. We have most of the trappings of a traditional Christmas. Santa comes to visit and stuffs the stockings and leaves presents. Most of our decorations, however, are decidedly secular: snowmen, santas (semi-secular?), ice skating kids.

A great deal of Christmas has, of course, become mostly about buying presents. Every year, I become less and less inclined not only to buy stuff, but to receive it. This year, however, we got everyone books. It was much more fun to find books we thought people would enjoy rather than buying them yet one more thing they don't need. Last year, we bought things that benefited one cause or another. But that was kind of painful. At least the inlaws cut down the 5 boxes to 3 this year.

What I like about Christmas is being with my family, eating good food, relaxing in front of the fire. I don't need gifts for that, and I hope that one day, my kids won't either. For now, we just try to keep the gifts as a peripheral part of the holiday.