In an attempt to catch the seasonal spirit today, I watched a video on the history and pagan origins of Christmas (linked here http://youtu.be/gkGfcwY5yKI
), that began like fairly normal documentary but went a bit bat shit Christian at the end.
Most of the history in the film I had learned in school, so it wasn't new information to me. But it really made me think, considering almost every aspect of what we now know as Christmas was stolen from other cultures, where do these Christians get off saying that Christmas is being stolen by atheism, or secularism, or commercialism? It's like saying, "You can't steel that, we stole it first!"
Do these people honestly think that two thousand years ago the people of Bethlehem, or Jerusalem, or Israel, even knew what a pine tree was, let alone decided to cut one down, bring it in the house and decorate it once a year. We're talking about the Middle East here.
I don't deny that Christmas, as we know it today, is as much about Baby Jesus as it is about Mithra, or Odin, or the winter solstice, if not more, and Christians have as much right to celebrate it as everyone else. But that doesn't mean that Christians own it now. You can't play "finders keepers" with a holiday! This constant insistence that all winter celebrations should be all about them is asking for too much.
Europe, and by extension the US, have a Christian idea of Christmas. But that doesn't stop us having Yule logs, or hanging holy, or kissing under the mistletoe, or putting up wreaths on the door, or leaving gifts for Santa, all pagan traditions that have nothing to do with the Bible or the nativity. We still do these things because we always have, our parents and grandparents and all our ascendants all the way back to a time before Christianity hijacked our dearly held beliefs for their own gain, all did these things at what we now call Christmas time. It's our culture.
So I say, "Merry Christmas Atheists!" because that's what people from my corner of the world say at this time of year. As an atheist I will continue my festive traditions because they're mine, they don't belong to Christianity.
Don't even get me started on Easter!
As a post script I'd just like to add that, in my opinion, this "War On Christmas" argument that rears it's ugly head every December is little more then a scare tactic used by Christian politicians to drum up support from people who think that anyone other then a Christian enjoying the festive season their own way is somehow a direct and calculated attack on them, because their Mammy never taught them to share.