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.

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Comment by Jo Jerome on December 24, 2009 at 1:04pm
**** UPDATE *****

As I now embark on my Xmas eve/Xmas avoid-the-religious camping excursion, I have to say, the Holiday Blues are a hell of a lot less severe since I'm not working this holiday season.

Normally, I'd have the daily throngs of people coming through my store to do their Christmas shopping, or last year, coming to the Ski resort for their Christmas vacations. Christmas this. Christmas that. "Merry Christmas" a thousand times a day.

But this year? I've spent December holed up with my laptop and headphones. Atheist Nexus, Rachel Maddow, news and oddities from around the internet, reading, writing, and a steady stream of classic rock stations.

Other than the occasional venture out of my shell to pick up something at the grocery store, very little exposure to annoying Christmas music and annoying religious people.

Comment by Jo Jerome on December 21, 2009 at 5:47pm
--> Grundgetta ... "Great Depression Xmas Cards." Awesome!
Comment by Little Name Atheist on December 21, 2009 at 10:21am
If only we had a Star Trek style transporter. You could come and eat the lamb of god with us (our traditional Xmess meal hinges around lamb, for the irony).

With family like that, who needs enemas?

If I had my shit in the proverbial kit, I would have sent you this.
Comment by Jo Jerome on December 20, 2009 at 1:40pm
Ooh, or maybe that's a good day to test my new idea for hobo-bath: Water heated by campfire. Yeah, a day of reading by campfire out in the desert. No Xians around. that sounds nice!
Comment by Jo Jerome on December 20, 2009 at 1:11pm
Well, I'm trying to channel it into more "Holiday Anger At The Institution" or "Holiday Intense Blogging." ;-)

Mostly I just find it ironic that Atheists do indeed get the Holiday Blues. And pissed off that it's yet another passive-aggressive dig I've gotten from said dysfunctional family members in the past. "But you don't believe in Jesus, so how can you get the holiday blues?"


Maybe instead I'll find a local charity where I can help do the food-serving. Yeah, that would be a productive Xmas. In addition to reading lots of Poe and Hitchens.



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