Atheist FAQ: How Do Atheists Celebrate Christmas & Thanksgiving?

Atheists are a diverse group of individuals. The only commonality they have with other atheists is the lack of belief in a higher power. Other than that, atheists are very different from one another and each atheist may choose to address the season in their own way – which includes partaking in any number of Christmas traditions or none at all.

The idea that atheists are Scrooges that hate Christmas and want nothing to do with it is, however, not true. Atheists celebrate the spirit of the season, which is all about giving, caring, good will to all, family and togetherness, good meals, seeing relatives you have not seen for a while and so on – none of which are things that have anything to do with religion or Christianity and which, in fact, can be done outside of such a realm.I, for example, don’t have crosses and nativity decorations around or go to church or pray or do any of the other religious themed things people do around the holidays. Unless children are involved, I do not give out gifts either because of the ridiculously commercial aspects that have come to overpower Christmas. Other than that, I enjoy the spirit of the season with its familiar sounds, smells and imagery just as much as the next person.

It is important to remember that,  after all, Christmas, just like Halloween and Easter, is a pagan holiday. In fact, it is an exclusively pagan tradition and was only co-opted later by Christians who wanted to convert pagans into their ways. Therefore, if there is anyone who should be feeling like they are celebrating something untrue to their beliefs, it is Christians – because none of the Christmas traditions have anything, whatsoever, to do with Christ or Abrahamic religions.

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