Things This Atheist Likes About the Holiday Season

Christmas candle decoration

Accusations of being a Grinch aside, there are some things I like about the time of year many refer to as "the holiday season." Some of them don't even have anything to do with the war on Christmas. Here are a few of the things I enjoy about this time of year:

  • The weather. Aside from the tornado threat, I love the weather in Mississippi this time of year. It doesn't make up for what it is like most of the rest of the year. Not even close. But I'll take it rain or shine and the colder, the better.
  • The smells. The trees Christians are not supposed to have in their homes smell great. Even better are the spices used by those few who still cook for themselves. Yes, there are some great smells in the air this time of year.
  • The lights. Christmas is an excuse to light one's home to resemble the set of a Mario Bava film. Having recently watched Black Sabbath again, that's appealing. I haven't tried it, but I'll take that over the more common Griswold approach.
  • The time off from work. I always appreciate time off from work, even though I often use it to work from home. I often cross some things off my to-do list I haven't had time to get to, do more cooking, relax, or all the above.
  • The temporary (fake) kindness. I know some are fond of condemning this, but if dates on a calendar lead some people to be nicer to others for a few days, I'll take it. Is it real or fake? I'm not sure that matters too much. I welcome the fake nice vs. the alternative of treating others poorly year-round. It is a welcome change.

I don't hate Christmas, but don't get me started on the fireworks Jesus demands. Hate is an appropriate term for how I feel about those!

I am one of the few atheists living in the United States who does not celebrate Christmas. Doing so holds little appeal to me. But that does not mean there aren't some things I can still enjoy about the season. Focusing on these things and trying to tune out the rest usually makes this time of year more enjoyable. And when those efforts fail, there's always the bunker.

Image by Monika from Pixabay

An early version of this post first appeared in 2018. It was edited in 2022 to improve clarity and correct some typos.