The Atheist does quite well at Christmas. In theory, we who believe Jesus is a mythical figure do not deserve gifts. Yet, in the spirit of good cheer, gifts are pressed upon us. Though the fact that our stance on organized religion is consistently ignored might sting, far be it from us to scorn a random present – especially ones presented with hugs, good intentions and bright, shiny bows.
We especially do well in the culinary sense. Again, it’s food we technically have no right to eat. Panettone, white fudge-covered Oreos, honey-glazed ham, heady ron ponche, midnight tamales, egg nog, candy canes, spicy gingerbread, insalata di mare; it’s an endless bounty of delightful treats. It comes once a year and no one seems to mind if we partake. In fact, we are encouraged to do so; over and over again, at equally endless holiday fetes brimming with cheer, booze and delightful traditions like the mistletoe kiss.
The downside to all of this taking is that since we are polite and included in the fun, we feel obligated to give in return; thus, we are pressured into celebrating holidays we don’t believe in. But what can we say? Say this: “Yes, I do like that black Banana Republic shrug – thank you! More gingerbread, please. Don’t mind if I do help myself to some scrummy, rummy egg nog. The ravioli are amazing this year – ben fatti!!”
The way to an Atheist’s black heart might very well be through our stomachs.