Even when I was growing up Christian I always thought, "It's just a day." Sure, it's a convenient time to schedule vacations since most people get the day off and the airlines are running specials. But otherwise, I could have a family get together any other random time of the year and enjoy it just as much.
Now that Christmas really has no meaning for this Atheist, why get the holiday blues?
Partly because this is also when so many other people are going on and on about their own warm and fuzzy family get togethers, fabulous present-exchanging and elaborate home cooked meals and desserts. I could care less about getting presents but feel a little bad that I can't really afford to give any. A home cooked meal sounds fabulous but A) no cooking facilities in my quasi-homeless existence and B) a spread out family I largely don't get to see on the holidays. Which leads into the being surrounded by people all warm-and-fuzzy about their family get togethers bit when I'm, well, not.
Most all of my family is way too far away, and over the years others have become far more dysfunctional than I remember in my childhood. Mostly I just kind of miss having a more functional family.
And then there's the being single. Pathetically single. *Sigh.* Put that song by The Waitresses, "Christmas Rapping," on repeat and wallow in the shallow end of my pity pool that I'm just like the protagonist in the song only without the guy at the end.
That's just normal Holiday Blues, but I have to admit the religious overtones really do have an impact now more than ever.
See, when I was a Christian, Christmas was just a day. We're supposed to love Jesus all the time, so I never really had the inspiration to love Jesus extra-super-more on December 25th. But now that I'm an Atheist?
Now is the time of year for Christians to really bask in their own ignorance and xenophobia. I really want to say something about the offensiveness of it all, but that makes me a Scrooge. So I do a lot of tongue-biting. I answer "Merry Christmas!" with "Io Saturnalia!" and mostly just get an odd look instead of any kind of intelligent conversation where I get to enlighten them on the true origins of Christmas.
Inevitably, I will run out of something critical on Christmas day when all the stores are closed.
And especially as I am quasi-homeless again this year, where will I go on the 25th to plug in my laptop? I'm getting solar soon so that won't be an issue, but I won't have it by Christmas day.
So what does Christmas mean to me? It means the inconvenience of closed stores, having my nose rubbed into my singleness and lack of nearby functional family, and it means more painful reminders than ever that I live in a world ruled by mythological sky-gods.
Better make sure I've got a good stack of books lined up for that day's entertainment. The Collected Works of Edgar Allen Poe is on the top of that stack.