Merry Christmas, or an editorial rant about what it all really means

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If all else fails, I’ve got my Christmas nail art….

AH, CHRISTMAS. My favourite time of year (Eurovision excluded, but that’s for another article…). The smell of the Christmas tree, all the food you could possibly handle, and spending time with your loved ones.

I really love Christmas because of all of those things. Yes, even if it does mean the stupid arguments, the getting up early to do the countless food shops, the wrapping (and equally boring unwrapping IMHO…). Not to mention the slaving away at the stove (yes I actually help cook it) and most of the clearing up after because “you didn’t help cook at all!”. Thing is, atheists like myself are often on the receiving end of abuse this time of year. I’ve not seen it much before this year, actually, but this year I’ve definitely heard the “You can’t celebrate Christmas, you don’t even believe in Jesus!” line more than once… well, you know what, I want to.

Times have changed a lot, and the true meaning of Christmas is all but lost in the commercialised world which we live in today. Why shouldn’t I celebrate a time of year, and call it Christmas? Would it be better if it was called something else? Well, no – it’s the same celebration, no matter what arbitrary name you give it. If I didn’t celebrate it, I’d be the pariah, the awkward family member who refuses to join in, and that’s not what family is for me. It’s hard, because I hate the idea that we only have to pretend to play happy families once a year, but it’s better than not at all, right?

... right?

… right?

I’ve been reading a lot of Reddit lately, to tide the pre-Christmas boredom over, and they keep going on about the whole Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays argument, especially in r/talesfromretail (check it out, it’s a fantastic sub!). Christians angry that atheists are saying it (how can you tell?), other religions being offended by it… I don’t get it. A few words aren’t going to curse you. It’s just a stranger being nice.

I’ve just realised I started this to wish all our members Merry Christmas, and I’ve managed to ramble on into a massive rant. That’s not what I want. Christmas, whatever religion you follow, or even if you’re an atheist; it’s a time of togetherness, celebration, and joy.

I hope you stuff yourselves silly, have a few too many glasses of whatever alcohol you may choose (chocolate orange Bailey’s for me, oh my god get yourself some!), get every single thing you could ever wish for, and just generally have a marvellous time.

So, from all of us here at ASM, happy Christmas, merry holidays, joyeux Saturnalia, feliz navidad, any other sentiment you might want to hear… but most of all, enjoy it, and we hope you have fantastic new year.

Laura

Online Editor

p.s. Welcome to the very first Notes from the Editor. Named after Bill Bryson’s wonderful book, you’ll be able to find everything from ASM updates to my ramblings – I’ll try and keep them short and sweet, but keep you up to date on a more informal level!