Saturday 14 December 2013

The Atheist's Guide to Christmas

Tis the season to be reading, and as I often do as Christmas is coming, I am today plugging another Christmas related book. This one is particularly close to my heart. It is The Atheist's Guide to Christmas. Because I am an atheist and I love Christmas. I blogged about how I lived Christmas an atheist before (here and here, among other times). But anyway, since I don't think there is any God or gods to celebrate, let alone one made flesh, it is nice to see that I am not alone to view Christmas as secular. There is of course, in America but also in the wider Western world, a hysterical attitude among some Christians fearing that their favourite holiday is being taken away from them. I am referring to of course to the so-called War on Christmas, an imaginary war feared by paranoid religious fundies. The guide may be about the multiple faces of the celebration, the ways one can celebrate and interpret the holiday, more than it is trying to stir a controversy, nevertheless it often challenges this dubious claim that Christmas is exclusively Christian. It explains the pre-Christian and primitive roots of the holidays and shows how our enjoyment of it can be areligious as well as (and this may surprise some) non consumerist. Understanding Christmas, its origins and its manifestations is for me a way to enjoy it and love it even more. And there is such a lovely diversity of perspectives in this book, from artists to scientists too. So it is a must read, not only for Godless heathens like me, but maybe a few Godly people too.


Mantan Calaveras said...

I don't suppose that there's anything particularly theistic about a mass for Yeshua. He was a pretty significant historical figure, and his reform movement definitely contributed a great deal to the ongoing struggle between common people and the Machiavellian ruling class.

I don't think there's much harm in celebrating the dude, and many of the folk traditions of the holiday are just good winter survival practices, like bringing evergreens into the home, it's very healthy.

Cynthia said...

Noël n'est plus tellement une fête religieuse, surtout que des gens de toutes les religions le fêtent. Tant mieux, c'est encore plus joyeux si tout le monde fête!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Spirituality is not dependent on belief in a deity. That comes as a shock to most people but it's true. Some of the most spiritual people I've met have been atheists and agnostics.