I’m Dreaming of an Athiest Christmas

This will be my first Christmas as a non-fundy.  So far, it has been fantastic!  And full of egg-nog.

This is the first time I’ve had a Christmas tree with lights at my own house!  (One year we cut out a cardboard version, covered with green wrapping paper and taped it to the wall.)

  I feel no guilt for enjoying all the cultural traditions instead of  my usual angst of focusing on the ‘reason for the season’.  Somehow, being reminded of my innate depravity seemed to take all the joy out of frivolous festivities.

We even put up a manger scene.  When Lil’T asked what it was for, I told her it was to remind us of poor people and babies who are born with so little they don’t even have a proper house. 

The evergreen and pine branches that we made our tree with (recyclers to the end) remind us of spring and hope. 

We’ve actually been playing Christmas music and singing carols.  I do change some of the words and make them into lullabies for my own kids.  And yes, crying she makes. 

I may even sing about some of the other virgin births reported to have happened on Dec. 25.  (Isis and Horus, Alcmene and Hercules, or Semele and Dionysius/Bacchus)  I like Isis better than Mary anyways, but how appropriate to celebrate Bacchus with a feast. 

We’ll see what happens when we visit our family.  Luckily we have filled up the days with activities so there will be less time to get into debates over whether I’m in danger of hell or not.  Baking, sledding, games nights with neighbours…  We even hope to watch For the Bible Tells Me So if it seems appropriate.

This is the first Christmas I’ve really been excited for in a long time.  So far, everything has been more meaningful.  It is much easier to wish people joy, compassion, and needs met now that I don’t have to worry if I’m being seduced by marketing away from Christ.  

By taking the Christ out of Christmas I have not lost my moral compass or given into consumerism.  And, no more War on Christmas to worry about!

Looks like one is supposed to fight the war on Christmas by pulling trees out of people’s houses.  Or at least, my church would have had a nativity scene instead of a Christmas tree.  One of the church-goers said that trees were idols covered with gold and silver. 

Free at Last…

11 thoughts on “I’m Dreaming of an Athiest Christmas

  1. What wonderful and fun memories you are creating with your kids! It’s amazing how much more joy and meaning life has when we lose the guilt and self-degradation. Even colors seem brighter and more vivid to me.

    I really loved this post. You made me feel more warmth about the season that is usually hijacked by commercialism.

  2. Ahab says:

    I love the way you’re celebrating the holidays! I think it’s very creative that you’ve interpreted the manger scene as a way to feel empathy for the poor, and that you’re including other stories about virgin births alongside the story of Mary and Jesus.

    FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO is a good documentary. I think you’ll enjoy it.

  3. theo(il)logical says:

    Sounds like you’re having a truly enjoyable holiday. I hope that egg-nog is made with bourbon; I guarantee it’ll be an even better holiday not to mention more honoring to Bacchus that way!

    I’m interested: Have you been reading Tom Harpur lately?

  4. Eric says:


    Out of curiosity, have you ever read any of the mythological stories about Isis and Horus, Alcmene and Hercules, or Semele and Dionysius/Bacchus?

    • prairienymph says:

      Some. I think it is interesting how the stories evolve.

      • Eric says:

        What sources did you use?

        And how do you feel the stories evolved from each other?

        Also, in the stories you read were they really virgin births?

      • prairienymph says:

        Sources on evolution of myths: Clarissa Pinkes Estes, _Women Who Run with Wolves_
        Merlin Stone _When God Was a Woman_

        Sources of Virgin births: http://www.truthbeknown.com/virgin.htm and articles on deconversion.com

        I’ve not done much research but what I have read seems to follow a general pattern: Mother goddess bears a son. Time passes, Mother goddess turns into a male consort. She loses her inherent potency and sometimes the virgin aspect of herself which could be renewed annually is also lost. (Perhaps correlated with sperm being discovered as necessary for childbirth?). Goddess becomes more important because of her role in bearing the son instead of for her own powers.

        Have you done much research?

      • theo(il)logical says:

        Not meaning to be harsh, but I’m not sure of any other way to say this: I followed your link and was more than a little surprised that you would take “Acharya S/D.M. Murdock” seriously? What makes you think that *Truth Be Known* is a credible source of information? Anyone can post something on the internet and call themselves an expert (usually so through long-winded bios that construct authority on the basis of who they’ve supposedly rubbed shoulders with than any substantive or substantial merits of their own).

      • prairienymph says:

        Basically, I was being lazy in including that link. There were interesting points in her perspective that I as a Westerner am not used to.

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