Thursday, December 24, 2009

a letter to the christians, upon the occasion of christmas

First of all, let me apologize for having hijacked your holiday. For that, as a secular agnostic, I am deeply sorry. This Santa Claus business, even though I am sort of fond of the big guy, really has sort of taken away from the original meaning of the big day. Let's face it, jolly ol' St Nick has got nothing to do with the birth of Jesus.

That said however, we need to talk.

I know it's your big holiday. I know. But it's not everyone's big holiday. I mean, some of us out there are only in it for the gifts, decorations, food and family time. Let's be honest. Probably most of us are only in it for the gifts, decorations, food and family time. So when you send out those Christian Christmas cards, although I know what the holiday means to you, well it just sort of leaves me feeling cranky. I mean, if you know most of us are in it for the fun stuff only, then opting to send us a reminder of the original meaning of the season sort of makes me wonder about your intentions.

Here are a few of the motives that I've come up with to explain why you're sending out these cards to everyone on your list:

  1. You want to distinguish yourselves from the hordes of consumers and remind us that you have pure motives for celebrating the holidays.
  2. You want to make us feel guilty for being so consumeristic
  3. You want to remind those lapsing Christian friends out there that their priorities might be skewed and not focused on what really matters
  4. You're not aware that your friends don't celebrate Christianity
  5. You're not aware that some of your friends aren't Christians and might in fact be practicing other faiths
  6. You don't really care that they may not practice/believe or not believe in your faith but want to remind them that you do
  7. You can't believe that some of us aren't really all that gaga over the nativity
  8. You aren't aware of the prior pagan associations with Christmas, or just don't care and enjoy usurping the traditions of other holidays
These are only a few of the possible reasons out there. Really, the list might be extensive. And your reason might not be even included or be anywhere near the suggested list.

But here's the thing. Some of us are not Christians and some of us actually have a really hard time with Christianity and therefore celebrate the season for reasons other than the nativity. So when you opt to send that very Christian based card, it sort of feels a bit like a slap in the face because it doesn't take into consideration the person who is on the receiving end. I mean, do you send out gifts based on your needs and wishes, or based on what you think the person who is receiving the item might want? Chances are, if you're Christian I have probably already figured that out by now. And I respect that that is your path and your choice and wish you all the best for the season. In all fairness, maybe I should be sending out cards to you that are nativity based. But until it's clear that we're all batting for the same team, maybe it would be a nice consideration if you'd just send a card that says Happy Holidays and All the Best for the New Year.

I don't know, I mean, it's just a thought. You know?


  1. an interesting thought - I consider myself a Christian but I always try and think of the receiver when I send a card - there are only one or two people I know that would truly appreciate a faith based card. The others are very generic jolly holly type of cards.

  2. Hi Sam,

    Most people are very considerate and I went off on a bit of a rant based on something that happened to a friend of mine who is Atheist and to a coworker who is Jewish because of recent experiences with my Catholic in-laws. I probably should have prefaced the post with that!

    Having grown up surrounded by west coast new age hippies, now living in Montreal, I am sometimes very shocked by how conservative religious views can be here, despite being known (in French) as the city of sin.

    I hope you have a lovely Christmas.

  3. Oooh, I couldn't have said it better myself! Or, rather, I know I couldn't. Can I link to this blog from my LJ, and let your words do the talking for me (using you sort of as a literary shield)?

    -V. ;D

  4. But of course. Hope you had a lovely, relaxing day! Talk to you when I get back.



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