"Without celebrating Jesus, what is the reason for your celebration of the season?" - first Christmas card of the year note.
I got this card today from an old friend. She's known me for about ten years but only recently figured out I'm an atheist. When she found out, she didn't talk to me for a year. I understood her feelings when I told her, but I can't understand the fact that she can't accept it still. Actually, that's what she's said in her card, "I can't accept that you are an atheist..."
Here's the truth - I'm not asking her to accept it. Accept it or don't. Sending me snippy cards isn't going to change my feelings.
What's our reason for celebrating Christmas without Jesus? Easy. As I said last year, until a reputable authority shows me that the Christian Christ was actually born on December 25, this holiday isn't a celebration of the birth of Christ. If you say it's a symbolic celebration of his birth, then why is the date special? Why December 25th? I celebrate the fact that this time of year brings out the best in people (usually). I love it when I know every person in this house is busy planning little ways to make others feel good and loved. I love it when there's a holiday allowing my kids and I to sit down and paint ornaments for our tree or use clay to craft a keepsake for others. I don't need the holiday excuse, but it doesn't hurt. I celebrate the magic of the holiday as my children see it. P4 ran outside tonight and saw that a neighbor had put up lights on their house. He was so excited. P3 whispered in my ear, last night, that she couldn't wait to make puppy chow. The season is special because it's full of family traditions and rituals that we don't have at other times of the year. My reason for celebrating Christmas is purely selfish- I know my children will grow up and leave my side one day. Christmas gives me an excuse to pull them close and impart upon them all of the wonderful traditions and memories we've made. I get to spoil them with society's blessing. I also get to teach them about how special and privileged they are. I get to see their humanitarian sides grow with the understanding that not everyone has what they have. I celebrate Christmas for the construction paper chains, the time baking sweets with the kids, and the scene set before me on Christmas Eve when all of my babies are sleeping together in the living room in perfect peace with sweet dreams. The lights from the tree make the room glow in pinkish-orange softness, which reflects off their sleeping faces. All is right with the world in that ten minutes when Pdaddy and I watch them sleep. I celebrate their childhood and the child within Pdaddy and I. It's about love. Love is the reason for the season. Even if you're a Christian, your celebration of Christmas is a profession of the love you have for your savior. I love my family every bit as much as you love your savior and that's reason enough to drop the petty concerns of normal life and focus on the love around me.