The following was sent in from a reader's who posted this on their personal blog last year on another website; any changes were made by the author. Reprinted with permission.
Yes, I'm a Rational Hedonist, I am the center of my world, and an atheist when it comes to any external deity. And I know that Christmas is that season of giving and unselfishness and giving -- to others ... But ... BUT ...
I love Christmas! I love the hunt on Black Friday, I love that the prices go down to what they ought to be the entire year – I'll usually buy myself a few things along with odds and ends on sale for others. I just like being out and soaking up all that energy.
Who cannot love the lights, the whimsical displays, the decorations and food, and .... presents!
I get happiness at knowing I got someone that one thing they mentioned months ago and watching that light in their eyes, the look on their face as they look at me with disbelief. Yes, I listened and remembered. Damn, I'm good!
Does it bother me to say, "Merry Christmas?" .... Nope, not at all.
And maybe what I'm actually saying is, “Merry Kris-mas”? As in, Kris Kringle, not that "other" guy!
Most of the customs and traditions of Christmas actually pre-date the birth of Jesus, but that's the holiday's name, and it's pretty far removed from its original point, starting from the time when Constantine melded "barbaric" winter solstice type traditions with newly forming Christianity, trying to unify the Roman Empire under a universal religion. Until the capitalistic Americanization of Christmas exploded with the marketing strategy of Santa's appearing in department stores, Hallmark, and Coca-Cola reconfiguring the image of Santa, in other countries, Christmas was pretty much a Dickens's "A Christmas Carol "/"God Rest Ye Merry. Gentlemen" quiet collective mixture of British, Germanic, and Nordic traditions.
I'm not a "Bah-Humbug"-ger, I don't feel the need to argue anyone's belief that Christmas is Jesus' birthday when odds are, realistically, if the man existed historically, he was born probably late summer or early fall .... and that if Christians are so offended by the paganization and commercialization of the holiday, it could have been moved to another date - one without presents or lights, just quiet church-time reflection, but come on, it is when it is, mixed together with a little bit of this and that, it's colorful and fun, so lighten up!
I do things my way of course. I have my artificial palm tree with colored blinking lights, my sexy high-heeled-boot stocking (size large for extra stuffage space), because Santa knows where all the naughty girls live!! I'm going to enjoy the parties, and the gifts, the lights, colors and fun of the season - matters not to me what is being celebrated - Chanukah, Christmas, Solstice/Yule .....
Political Correctness? Offensive to some? I certainly don't say it to everyone; but f I see some sweet older lady wearing ornament earrings and a green sweatshirt depicting a Christmas tree surrounded by dancing Santa and reindeer, I think it's a safe bet I can't go wrong saying "Merry Christmas!".
I don't have to be a "downer" or grinchy, or an intellectual snob during the only time of year it seems to be mutually agreed upon for people to be nice to and think of each other. And hey, people want to give you something, they struggle wondering what to get you, so don't be shy about hinting or flat out telling folks know what you want!
Have fun enjoying with family and friends!
G.K. is currently the official Spokesman representing Rational Hedonism online; an Ordained Celebrant (not "celibate"!) with R.H. and conducts or advises others with Weddings, Civil Unions, Remembrance Ceremonies (both people and pets), Adoption and Naming Ceremonies; and conducts "Garden" Parties for Rational Hedonists throughout the United States.