This may surprise some, but despite being an atheist, I celebrate Christmas with my own family. Traditionally, both sides of my family are Christian, albeit non-practicing, so we celebrate traditional Christian holidays, such as Christmas and Easter. However, my family does not make those holidays religious, and it is more about getting together and remembering family and friends, than about the birth of Christ. We exchange gifts, eat Christmas dinner, and simply joke around and have fun enjoying each other’s company. Uniquely, I feel that as an atheist as well, it’s not like I really can celebrate the “wrong holiday”, as if being secular is a religion in itself and requires its own holidays! It’s not like saying I’m Christian then celebrating Diwali day or Eid, both holidays outside the Christian religious tradition, or a Hindu celebrating Easter! There’s no God or gods to say “no, you can’t celebrate this or that… You’re worshiping the wrong god!” when you don’t believe any gods or God exists. Who says I can’t celebrate a longstanding family tradition with my family? Who’s to say I can’t have a nice dinner and exchange gifts and enjoy the warmth from a close knit family? For my family at least, Christmas is an inclusive holiday, whether or not you make it about Christ. To me at least, the “reason for the season” is about family getting together, despite our busy lives, to stop and remember how much we care for each other and have a little fun, in between challenging and hectic lives. The warmth and joy of our family all together means so much more than about celebrating a man that supposedly lived 2000 years ago.
This may surprise many of my conservative peers, but I do not feel the need to have Christmas in the public sphere and be the only holiday. “Happy holidays” and “season’s greetings” do not offend me. I understand the argument about such things being a PC invasion by the liberals, who want to force “diversity” on people. I mean, I don’t like forced diversity than any of my fellow conservatives, but being non-religious, I do not believe America has to be a “Christian Nation”. Christmas celebrators often take for granted, how prevalent Christmas is during the holiday season already. Even phrases such as “the holidays” are often used as a code for “Christmas”, even if they are trying to avoid it. Christmas has been in the public sphere for ages now, it’s everywhere one looks! I’m not trying to say that all traces of Christmas must be banished, there can be no Christmas trees or presents in stores, or no colored lights outside. That’s not what I’m saying, but I am not personally offended if businesses, or the US government wants to make it more generic to others who don’t celebrate, to either uphold that the US is not a Christian theocracy, or to attract more potential customers during this time of year. I am all for private citizens and private businesses, if they so choose, to have the freedom they’re entitled to to express their beliefs and traditions. Private entities should not be intimidated to hang colored lights, or have Christmas trees on display! My main point, is that in the public sphere, not private homes and businesses, such as municipal buildings, and government buildings, “the holidays” is more appropriate in a nation of religious freedom, than Christmas alone.
Some fellow non-religious conservatives however, point out that there are concerns about counter-culture people wanting to use getting rid of Christmas in the public sphere as a way to undermine our culture and our society, perhaps slowly turning it into theirs to impose their own ways. While I am no fan of political correctness, nor forced diversity, nor the dismantling of important tenets of society and morals, Christmas is just not as high on the list of issues to fight over. There are many battles waged by the PC liberals, but even we must pick and choose what to prioritize. The world won’t fall if Christmas is relegated to the private sphere of life. Jews celebrate Hanukkah, and even more important holidays to them, such as Passover and Rosh Hashanah in the private sphere. Muslims celebrate Ramadan, and Eid in the privacy of their own families. Hindus celebrate Diwali Day alone. They do not have the luxury of having school and work let out on their time frames. They do not have or demand that stores mention their holidays when the time comes, or menorahs, colored chalk, or slaughtering goats in the public square annually! Yes, it would be a stinker to have work or school on Christmas, but it is not the end of the world, to miss one day of work/school declaring a religious exemption as many have the freedom to do as well.
Not to mention, all the other holidays have the same sentimentality attached to it as Christmas. Those who argue that Christmas out of public life would somehow impede the celebration in private homes and families is absurd. That was never the issue. It was about Christmas as the only holiday being acknowledged in public where everyone is. They fear that their cherished memories would be destroyed. No, they won’t, because one, you can celebrate Christmas to your heart’s content every December 25th in your home for the rest of your life! Number two, who’s to say Christmas is anymore special than other holidays cherished by other families? Whether it’s Passover dinner, Eid celebrations, Diwali day etc… family and friends come together and celebrate their own cherished traditions and make memories of their own surrounded by the warmth of their own families. I’d argue that holidays in general, are so special to people, not because of the religion, but because of the family, and the memories made and shared together. Holidays are a very personal thing, as well as societal. Not everyone needs your memories, nor your holiday. They have their own.
As for the argument about people, such as radical Muslims, demanding that we give up our own culture, starting with Christmas, I pose the question, Is it actually productive and reasonable to fight Islamic extremists, who wish that the entire world become an Islamic theocracy, by making our own nation a Christian theocracy? Is one theocracy for another change anything really? What about rising above those ignorant people, and saying, “We’re better than you. We won’t sink to your level. Our society allows people to be different from us. We stand for the freedom of people to have their own identities.” Implying that those who disagree with the assertion that Christmas must be celebrated collectively in the public sphere, are un-american, or anti-Western or anti-tradition insults people like me, who are not Christian, for one thing, and actually celebrate Christmas with family, just not demanding everyone else has to as well! I fight against the PC invasion of the “anything goes” society, the hook up culture, the faux victim hood of minorities who just want benefits like welfare and affirmative action. I am against radical feminism that makes girls and women vulgar and masculinized, society accepting that gender is meaningless, the acceptance of broken families, etc… Whether or not there’s a Christmas tree in the public square, people saying “merry Christmas” stores with nativity scenes, is inconsequential when compared to society’s real issues such as hook up culture, the welfare state, affirmative action, gender confusion being taught as “just another identity”, “Nasty women”, the glorification of divorce and single parent broken homes, medicalization of addiction as a “disease”, safe spaces, ad hominem attacks, and hypocrisy and censorship among countless others by the PC Liberals.
I am not against people from other religions or cultures being in this country. Not everyone has to be white Anglo-Saxon protestants! My issue starts when they demand victim hood status, and things such as forced diversity, the welfare state, quotas, and everyone else to walk on eggshells and be immune to any critique! Christmas being treated like every other religious holiday that isn’t Christian is not the end of the world, nor our society! What really matters in the society I and many other conservatives want, is not a superficial thing like celebrating one holiday over another, or by itself exclusively, but a society of intellectual freedom, as well as morality and common sense. A society of broken homes, people on welfare asking for victim hood status, hook ups, “Nasty women” people silencing who disagree with them, will be dismantled by morals, common sense, and those willing to fight back directly against the issues at hand, not whether or not we celebrate one holiday above all others in this nation! Using Christmas as a proxy war for other more impactful ways society is being dismantled does not address the respective issues at hand, and only serves to imply the need for Christianity to make a just society, which is not necessary for the secular conservative. As many conservatives, unlike our liberal opponents paint us to be, are not white supremacists, who wish only one race should exist, or is moral, but who simply want no special treatment for others and discrimination against themselves, let’s not be religious supremacists where we believe that only a Christian country and society is a just and righteous one! I celebrate Christmas, and believe in the right for it to be celebrated, but not for the entitlement for Christmas to annex the public sphere! Let’s save our “wars” for what is really worth fighting for to create a fair and just society!