Seasons greetings to all! It's that time of year again, get out the tree, the tacky tinsel, some shit decorations you/your siblings made when you were in primary school, invite old relatives of whom you weren't entirely sure existed round. You all sit round the table to eat what is probably the most stressful roast anyone has ever made - I mean, it is literally just a roast with Turkey and sprouts, I sincerely don't get all the fucking cookery shows about it, but whatever. Watch a shit tonne of TV, those Christmas specials, if you haven't seen Gavin and Stacey Xmas Special, you have never truly experienced a proper Christmas. Anyway I want this to be about what Christmas means to me, as an atheist, and what it should mean to you.
Many people will sprout shit like, 'oh you aren't a Christian so why are you celebrating Christmas?' Well, in the same way that people no longer associate Halloween with soul cakes and a celebration of cleansing the soul, the meaning of Christmas is no longer about Baby Jesus - at least it is definitely getting that way - and his birth. (Evidence suggests he was actually born in April, but yno, as per religion - a bit sketchy with the details.) Christmas is now about family.
I recently read a piece by Ricky Gervais about what Christmas meant to him. It was very emotional and drew upon remembering his mother, father and other loved one's who are no longer with us. I am lucky enough to have never experienced anyone who is close to me, dying. So whilst I cannot say that this is what Christmas about for me, on a personal level anyway, I believe it is what it should be about in general. Christmas ought to be about being grateful for the people around us. For family, friends and for humanity as a whole. We should be brought together with who are with us, initially with our family on Christmas day and our friends throughout the whole Christmas period. Throughout the whole year, it is very easy to forget those that matter. To discard people who are annoying or who perhaps forget to get in touch over an extended period of time. However, Christmas should be about forgetting what has come before and focusing on what is important now.
Within my belief system, we only have one life. After this, nothing will come after. Absolutely nothing. And so, we ought to make use of the time we do have. There isn't time to be petty and to hate for shit and unknown reasons. Let Christmas be a time where we can thank everyone for their contributions, however small, to our lives. I am a massive prick the majority of the year, but I'd like to think I am appreciative of those people who are in my life. I wouldn't trade them for the world.
To end, I leave you with a quote:
"Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savoured."