I am referring to what I'll call the "winter solstice defense" since I am not sure what else to call it. It goes something like this:
Christians stole Christmas from the pagans. It was originally a pagan holiday that had nothing to do with Jesus, and early Christians co-opted it as a way of stamping out paganism.I do not doubt the veracity of this claim. Christians did co-opt this pagan holiday, but I am not sure how this is supposed to explain anything about why an atheist would celebrate Christmas. What does this even have to do with atheism? At best, it might explain why a pagan would celebrate Christmas. Most of us aren't pagans though, are we?
If an atheist wants to celebrate Christmas, he or she should be able to do so guilt-free simply because he or she finds it enjoyable. Why are any other reasons needed?