Atheists Can Celebrate Christmas, Too

CNN’s Todd Leopold wanted to know if I, as an atheist, celebrated Christmas.

Like a lot of atheists I know, my response was, “Of course!” I just ignore all the religious aspects of it…

While some Christians may object to anyone not embracing Jesus this time of year, the fact is there are a lot of us who don’t accept their mythology and have our own traditions, many of which overlap with theirs.

Mehta says his celebration of Christmas probably doesn’t look much different than most Americans’.

“Yes to the trees, because it’s fun, yes to the gifts, yes to spending the time with the family,” he said. “I think if you saw what I do on paper and didn’t know anything else about me, you would assume I’m religious. I think the only thing we’re not doing is, we’re not doing a church service. But there are Christmas carols playing in my in-laws’ house right now, and none of us are religious. It’s just kind of nice.”

And if you say “Merry Christmas” to Mehta, he’ll happily acknowledge your greeting.

“I just take it at face value. They mean, ‘I wish you well,'” he said. “So I’m not offended. I’ll say ‘You too’ or ‘Happy holidays.'”

I’m sure you’ll all be quick to let me know if I’m a godless traitor.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.