I'm curious about how fellow atheists celebrate the Winter Solstice holiday season if at all, especially those of you who who have children.
For me I haven't really celebrated the solstice in years. Last year was the first time I celebrated the holiday. My son who was 6 months old at the time and I flew out to Pennsylvania in January for a late Xmas celebration with his mother. I say "Xmas" because his mother is a devout Christian and that's obviously what the holiday is to her. This year I'm trying to start our own traditions since Logan's mother and I aren't romantically involved anymore and I have sole custody of him.
My son is now 18 months and I've got a 2nd hand fake tree from my mother which saves me money this year, but I'd really like to get a new one. This one is kind of a piece of shit. It'll work this year, but next year I think I'll get a new one. I also bought him a stocking for stuffing.
I grew up with a devoutly Catholic family and some of the traditions I had growing up I would like to preserve... the secular traditions. Fuck the midnight mass, the nativity set, and bullshit religious crap.
I have no ornaments or anything for my tree yet. I ordered some lights from Walmart.com today that I expect to arrive a week or so before Solstice. I think for this year especially considering how young my son is and his natural curiosity ornaments aren't the greatest idea. I sure as hell don't want an angel topping my tree. I did however consider a star, but even the star is part of the religious tradition symbolizing the star the 3 kings or wise men or whatever the fuck followed to find baby Jebus. But I suppose a star doesn't HAVE to be religious because a star is after all a natural thing and not a supernatural thing.
Now I'm debating on what I should teach Logan about Santa Claus and how I should teach it. Santa seems like "practice" for god belief, since the ideas behind them are so similar... Believe in Santa and be good and you'll get toys... be bad and you get a lump of coal. Believe in god and be good and you'll go to heaven when you die... be bad and you go to hell.
Will telling Logan Santa isn't real take the fun out of it? Teaching the idea of a fat bearded man in a red suit who travels the world in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer and delivers gifts to every child in the world in a single night isn't exactly teaching a child rational or critical thinking skills. Is it better to leave Santa out of it and just enjoy gift giving among family?
So I'm curious what other nontheists do to celebrate the holiday with their kids and families.