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 seasons 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 nothing 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.
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.
A look at history shows us that none of the Christmas traditions observed have anything, whatsoever, to do with Jesus or Christianity.
In fact, Bible forbids the decoration of trees (see Jeremiah 10). That is the case because around the time the old testament was written, people knew that some cultures and traditions already did worship trees and vegetation and decorated them as part of their religious rituals.
Centuries before the Christ was allegedly born, many cultures – in response to the changes in the natural world such as the changing of the seasons – brought evergreen trees into their homes for decoration in the month of December to celebrate the beginning of winter.
Much like the celebration of All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween, originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain. The original spelling of the Celtic…
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