Thursday, December 15, 2011

The most wonderful time of the year

It's one week till Christmas, which means it's time to dust off my Grinch t-shirt, which I love because that's precisely how deep my grumpiness at Christmas goes, even on a day like today when I've got a persistent migraine and have had what you might call an unsatisfactory shopping experience. My wife tells me she wants me to put up the lights, and I grumble and groan about being able to see the house from space, and then as soon as the garage door closes behind me, I'm whistling Christmas carols while plotting on where to put the giant inflatable polar bear (in a Santa cap).

And when I come inside, I  set up the nativity scene on the mantle, and smile as I settle the little pewter baby Jesus in his mother's arms.

Did I mention I'm an atheist?

It's true that I was raised Lutheran, but my love for Christmas isn't backsliding. And I'm not celebrating Solstice or Winter-Een-Mas or Festivus or anything else. I am celebrating Christmas. No, I don't go to church, but I do recognize that I am part of a non-religious minority living in a majority Christian country, and I'm okay with it. I am no more harmed by their faith than they are by my lack of faith. And then, of course, there is my family, which is more devout than not. And because I love and respect them, I love and respect their faith.  I just don't happen to share it.

And besides, how cool is the Christmas story? No, I don't buy it all as fact. But the story of Jesus being born in a barn is so different from the origin myths of most religious leaders that I do wonder if there might be some truth to it. Regardless of its truth value, though, as a father, I love the idea of a foundational myth that says that every child, regardless of circumstances, has the potential to save the world.

1 comment:

MatildaBonaparte said...

Hadn't been by in a while. Glad to see you're still writing. It's as entertaining as I remember it to be.