Saying Happy Holidays Did Not Kill Jesus

It’s only the first week of December and I am feeling a little stabby over the rhetoric regarding phrases and traditions. It’s like an amplified Mommy Wars. So you are either the mom who does the weird elf stuff, or the one who likes to mock those who do it. You either say Happy Holidays or don’t, and you are likely the person who complains about how awful it is to say Happy Holidays instead.

You know what I say?

Who the fuck cares. 

Yes, you heard me. Sorry, Santa, but it had to be said.

Who. The. Fuck. Cares. 

I don’t care if you wish me Happy Christmas, Hanukkah or even a freaking Happy Birthday. I may be confused if you do the latter, but I will just be pleased to see that you are wishing me any sort of merriment. Right now, most most people are being assholes because the parking at the mall sucks and their bank account is screaming at them for all the spending they are doing. So yes, thank you, kind stranger, for taking the time to wish me well. I’ll likely you wish you well in a similar manner, or just smile brightly at you. Either way, it doesn’t fucking matter, because I am not making a big political statement. I am just being polite, because I have manners. Most of the time.

(For the record, I do opt to say Happy Holidays because I recognize that Christmas is not the only celebration this time of the year. I prefer to be the person who wishes you well than be someone who is adamant that everyone celebrate the holidays I do. But I won’t be offended if you wish me Merry Christmas).

If I do happen to wish you Happy Holidays, please just smile or nod in my general direction. Saying a thank you or wishing it back to me would be even better, but I don’t expect it. Please, don’t get all ranty about how it’s about the baby jesus and how it’s insulting. You know what is insulting? Saying something nice to a person, and getting a crazy person screeching at you; I could go talk to the crazy drunks at a local bar if I wanted to be screamed at about some non-existent conspiracy theory. No one is taking baby jesus away from you, and Happy Holidays has not yet been proven to be a christian killer. They are still looking into it, based on the posts on Facebook. Be a normal, sane, person, and just move along quietly if you don’t like it.

Happy Holidays is not meant to be offensive. If you take offense, I legitimately question your sanity. Truly.

In our house, we do that damn creepy elf. Whom, Potato has named Locker, which is actually extra creepy. Guess what,guys? My kids LOVE IT.  They race around the house in the morning to find the damn thing, as I lay in bed and try to remember if I remembered to move him the night before. Potato goes berserk for the whole thing, and it makes me smile to see him believing in something so magical. When you insult me for a tradition I do with my family, I sort of get twitchy. As an atheist participating in this holiday, there isn’t a whole of things I can do that don’t involve religion, so when I find something, I want to do it. Like the damn elf. Which I actually happen to like.  Even if he looks like a doll from a horror movie. I accept this.


Let’s be frank here: I don’t call your traditions creepy or weird. We all have weird shit we do at this time of year. Like for instance, making our children sit on a strangers lap for pictures. That is, actually, sort of weird. I do it, because I love the hilarious pictures I get from my children. But it’s a really strange tradition.

Nonetheless, you are not better than me if you attend midnight mass, or celebrate the religious side of the season. You are not better than me if you don’t have a elf, or if you do, and it does really mischievous things. You are not better than me if you spend thousands of dollars on your children, and I refuse to. You are not better than I, if you make a million cookies and feed them to line ups of homeless people- really, just call me over, and I’ll devour them for you. I am generally starving, and I can look homeless.

It’s supposed to be the most joyous happy time of year.  How about instead of laughing at each other and the weird traditions we all have this time year instead, we focus on enjoying this holiday season with our families and close friends. Let’s save the judgment for the racist, bigoted family member we all have, who will get so drunk at our holiday festivities while we all whisper to each other, wondering who invited him. That drunkard deserves the judgment and maybe an intervention. The rest of us trying to do our thing, and make our own traditions? We do not.

Because the holidays will be over soon, and we’ll still have each other on Facebook or Twitter, and I really like you every other part of the year. Unless it’s an election year, then maybe I might dislike you. But I’ll try to be nice, even then.

So Merry Whateverthefuck You Celebrate. This atheist is going to enjoy her starless Christmas tree while she decides where to put her creepy elf for the night.

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12 thoughts on “Saying Happy Holidays Did Not Kill Jesus

  1. I say, put the damn elf on as the tree topper on christmas eve…. Our family never used a star, and we're Jesus lovers!

  2. This is our first year of doing the elf. I wish I had known about it before now. Seeing Mea run around looking for her is hilarious. Not to mention that she is Santa's spy, and her behavior has been better.

    I agree with you on all the rest my dear.Happy holidays.

  3. Last weekend, when we went out of town, I managed to pull of the Elf going to Grandma's house, and then DISAPPEARING, and reappearing in our own house. Potato went crazy for it, like stuttering speech, jumping up and down and freaking out. It was hilarious. Although, now he thinks the Elf will follow him everywhere.

  4. I completely agree with you about the Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays thing. 🙂 If someone takes the time to wish me well, then I'm going to count that as awesome. I also agree it's actually creepy to thrust my toddler into the lap of a complete stranger and beg her to smile, but as you said, the pictures are so darn funny.

    I hope you don't think I'm being rude by commenting here; I am a Christian (and I do think the elf is creepy, but I don't like clowns or most porcelain dolls either, so it's nothing personal), but I've written a lot about Christmas lately and wanted to clarify in case you stop by the blog. My thoughts about Christmas are addressed to other Christians; I wouldn't really consider my thoughts relative to an atheist or persons from other religious groups any more than a Buddhist post on how to celebrate Vesak would apply to me. I think it's hypocritical that Christians say we're celebrating a holiday to honor baby Jesus and then make it about everything but that. If you're an atheist, then you get a separate set of rules and can celebrate the holidays however you wish. At least you're not putting on pretenses about making it about something else.

    I fully support your decision to believe or not as you choose and to celebrate the holidays with whatever traditions fit your family. And I wish you a Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas/Fabulous Tuesday or whatever with genuine joy. I've enjoyed reading your blog for a long while now, and I always appreciate the opportunity to learn from someone different from me in some way. 🙂 Through writing, I'm trying to find what works best for my family, but in no way are my thoughts meant to say I'm somehow better than you or anyone else.

    Also, I have a bow on my tree. It's prettier than the star.

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