7 Christmas Traditions

with nucleus, mitochondria, rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum, and lysosomes!

--- 1 --- Hullo all and Merry Christmas!  I'm home with my family, looking forward to Chinese food and a movie.  It seemed like a fun time to share some traditions of my atheist family Christmas.--- 2 --- On Christmas Eve, some folks read "Twas the Night before Christmas" aloud as a family.  At my parents' house, we read David Sedaris's Santaland Diaries (his essay about his job as an elf in Macy's Christmas wonderland).  We pass the book along in turns, or when someone is laughing too hard … [Read more...]

Secret Santas on Christmas Day

I was going to post Tim Minchin's "White Wine in the Sun" for Christmas but I was a little abashed after reading No Forbidden Questions prediction that the song would show up on every atheist blog today.  It is a lovely song about a secular holiday, so feel free to click the link above or watch the video on any other atheist blog.But, as a bonus, I'll link you to a video at the New York Times that tells a heartwarming story of a couple that mysteriously recieved hundreds of letters addressed … [Read more...]

“They might stuff you in a sack and take you to Spain”

My family's other Christmas Eve tradition is a reading of David Sedaris's The Santaland Diaries.   Sedaris is now a well-known comic essayist, but before he was published, he supported himself through a variety of odd jobs, including working as an elf in Macy's Santaland.  The story is a series of funny vignettes from his term of employment.  Some of them made their debut in 1992 on NPR.  You can still listen to the  original broadcast.When we go through it as a family, we take turns reading … [Read more...]

“The Marleyes Were Dead, To Begin With”*

My family may be entirely composed of atheists, but we do have some important Christmas traditions (even beyond Chinese food on Christmas day).  On Christmas Eve, we watch The Muppet Christmas Carol.  It is the best Christmas Carol on film (it has Michael Caine as Scrooge) and I will fight anyone who says different. The movie is narrated by Gonzo, playing Charles Dickens.I've scheduled this to post in the morning, before I get up, so you'll have time to rent it before nightfall, as you will s … [Read more...]

A Very Quch Christmas*

From the Wall Street Journal comes the story of a Klingon reinterpretation of Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol. The arc of "A Klingon Christmas Carol" follows the familiar Dickens script: An old miser is visited on a hallowed night by three ghosts who shepherd him through a voyage of self-discovery. The narrative has been rejiggered to match the Klingon world view.For starters, since there is neither a messiah nor a celebration of his birth on the Klingon planet of Kronos, the action is … [Read more...]

An Atheist Christmas

I'm back home and making up my traditional end-of-semester sleep deficit.  I'll have a few substantive philosophical posts this week (I'm finishing the Eight Questions series before Christmas), but I will be supplementing with lighter fare for the holidays: unusual Christmas practices.My boyfriend's mother was surprised to hear I had any family obligations for Christmas, given that my entire immediate family are atheists.  We do have some holiday traditions, however.  There's the traditional … [Read more...]

Two quick stories about Santa and Empiricism

I really appreciate the personal stories that were shared in the comments thread of yesterday's post on Santa Claus.  I'm going to be returning to some of the more philosophical issues that were raised tomorrow in my Weatherwax Wednesday post (luckily enough, Terry Pratchett wrote an entire book about the Discworld analogue of Santa, so I've got some great passages to draw on).  For today, I thought I'd just share two stories about my own experiences with Santa growing up.The E … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X