An Atheist's Christmas

I can't even remember when I last looked forward to Christmas this much. Obviously it must have been when I was quite little - maybe 8? I haven't even celebrated it for the last umpteen years. It's not much fun in LA when you're alone. Most people were doing the 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' thing that felt uniquely American to me - the mass stampeding to airports for red-eye flights to small towns in the Dakotas or New Jersey at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sitting in my apartment, no urge to cook for one person, (when I never cooked any other time), with two cats who hadn't thought to wrap a present for me and lacked the opposable thumbs to pull a cracker, just sapped me of any Christmas spirit.

But this year seems really something special. Gagan and I are heading to Canada. The cold climes of Vancouver Island in December, a lovely apartment with Mum and Dad and four cats (including our two terribly missed Tufty and Pippin) and a whole month of food and conversation and my own culture. I haven't seen them in a long long time - is it two years already? And we haven't been all together for the festive season since I can't tell you at all.

Is there a big question mark in your mind at this point? The atheist 'thing'? :) Well, my whole family are thinking people (as I put it) and there was never religion in the house (only the discussion about it). But we always had a fun Christmas, which consisted for us of a decorated tree (no angel at the top thankyouverymuch! I can't remember what was up there), presents on Christmas morning (and stockings when we were very small), and a wonderful tasty delicious meal cooked by Chef Mum (which I am drooling thinking about). In Australia, it was often a cold Christmas lunch on those 40+ degree summer days, which was still tasty, but never as fun as the idea of a turkey. Anyway, we made it into our own thing - a day of family and enjoyment. Dad had some problems - sad memories of his childhood added a tension that I picked up on even when young, but it was still nice. Once I grew up though, I lost any urge to put effort into it. I didn't realise until living in India with Gagan, that I was missing it. I just like the idea of a day where you have the people you want together (family or friends or whoever you choose), give some presents (size is not important, but something that makes each other smile) and share some great food, laughs and conversation. You certainly don't need the guise of religion to provide that... Festivus anyone?

Gagan has never seen a western Christmas (and I think an atheist one is just dandy - no superstitions and fear-of-god hoohaa to mess up a good feast!). Enjoying it with him and my parents together will be just lovely. Twinkling lights in gardens, frosty winter paths, breathing dragon breath with rosy cheeks. I could even enjoy some Bing Crosby singing Christmas songs while sipping egg nog :) Yessirree ... it's going to be a good-un!



11/16/09, 11:51 PM

All the plans are falling into place and we've ordered snow. We even have a haiku.

shiny Christmas star
rescued from a garage sale
searching for a tree

And now we have the tree!


11/17/09, 10:02 PM

My blog's first haiku! Yippee and yahoo!

Snow and a tree... with the eggnog and a little Bing we're laughing!

A star eh? hmm.. ok, I can pretend that's not too away-in-a-manger-y then ;)


11/23/09, 11:15 AM

It's just a star that got lost - no religious connotation at all. It's happy to have found a home.


The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of Atheism