We exchange gifts, have a tree, cook a large meal etc... but nothing religious, no church, no praying etc. We made xmas about us. We don't consider ourselves "cultural xians" just a family who enjoys some old Pagan holidays, with whatever else thrown in that we want. I look at atheism as freedom to do whatever we want on any given holiday and the xians aren't taking them away from my family :)
(And if I wanted to go to church to make my mother happy I would go and not feel one damn bit guilty about it. I'd just be laughing on the inside at the stupidity of it all but making my sweet mom happy on the outside.)
Yep it's real hard on kids when they see their friends reaping the bounty of toys, video games and gadgets.
I really don't know what kids are supposed to understand about this nation or Christmas through this commercial exercise except that you sure don't wanna screw up a good thing that in most families trumps the celebration of your won arrival.
I'm actually an Atheist for Jesus, like Dawkins. I think Jesus should be appropriated as a cultural icon and a culture hero, without the supernatural beliefs. To me, he was a socialist and a revolutionary, I like his social justice message and I can ignore the supernatural claims. Plus, there was a lot of innocence in the way that Christianity was taught to me so that even if I reject the religion, there are things about it that still hold that innocence.
I also believe that Christ himself flirted with atheism. He said from the cross "Father, why have you forsaken me?" I think somewhere in his being he realized that he was dying for no reason, and people can suffer through anything as long as they find meaning for it. Meaningless suffering is what's difficult.
Having said that, I don't use the label Christian. I'm not a believer, just an admirer :)