I’ve now gone multiple years without directing the words “Merry Christmas” at someone in the traditional sense of wishing a “Merry Christmas.”
Avoiding the phrase “Merry Christmas” in my greetings is more than just a personal choice; it’s a reflection of my commitment to a world grounded in reason and fact-based beliefs. This decision stems from my understanding of the historical and cultural context of Christmas. The origins of Christmas as we know it are entwined with various pagan traditions and holidays.
The celebration’s link to the birth of Christ is tenuous at best, as historians widely believe that there’s reason to believe (if he existed) that he wasn’t born on December 25th. I don’t feel I have good reason to believe that he ever existed, and of course there is the silliness of multiple gods which have supposedly all been born on December 25th. Furthermore, the dominance of Christmas in many societies didn’t arise organically but was often a result of forceful imposition and societal conditioning that discouraged intellectual inquiry and promoted religious conformity.
My stance is also a subtle protest against the way Christmas rose to prominence – not through peace and understanding, but through coercion and the suppression of other cultural celebrations. This history, combined with my upbringing in a Christian environment, has made me acutely aware of how central Christ and Christian ideology are to this holiday.
In everyday interactions, my empathy for others remains paramount. I genuinely hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, filled with joy and good company. If someone wishes me a “Merry Christmas,” I respond with “Happy Holidays,” reflecting my own focus on the Winter Solstice and the New Year – celebrations that resonate more with my worldview. This isn’t about diminishing others’ happiness but about staying true to my principles and what I’m comfortable with. It’s about maintaining integrity in my beliefs while still fostering goodwill and understanding with those around me. Someone recently suggested that I could say “to you as well” or “you too” and I don’t have a qualm with that.
While some might view my stance as antagonistic or rude, it’s crucial to understand that in a truly fact-based world, I wouldn’t be confronted with societal pressure to acknowledge the birth of Christ in a manner conflicting with my values. As I’ve mentioned, I genuinely care about others, and my approach is mostly internal.
When someone wishes me “Merry Christmas,” I’m not confrontational. Instead, I quietly strive to stay true to myself, which means not perpetuating a system I see as harmful.The societal pressure to conform is disconcerting. It’s often overlooked how taxing it is to live in a world dominated by the literal belief in an imaginary entity. I hope anyone that reads my views with a sour thought can have empathy for my position and conceptualize how uncomfortable it is to constantly navigate a society of adults with literal adherence to obvious myths. I will never fully experience a world governed purely by facts, but I endeavor to get as close to that ideal as possible, living authentically according to my understanding of reality.
And for those Christians that wished I would acknowledge the birth of your mythical god character who I don’t think ever existed, just be happy that I’m not running a Blasphemy Challenge this year like I did in 2006.