“I Don’t Celebrate Christmas!”: Everyday is a Day for Loving and For Giving

A couple of days ago, I met a man and a boy (his son). The man was helping me to tow my car (yes, back to the dealer) while the boy sat patiently in the cab waiting on his father. I was a little amazed that he occupied himself so responsibly, while the two of us wrestled to get my non-responsive car on the flatbed truck (well, the man did most of the work).

Though I am an atheist and I have entirely rejected the concept of Christmas and any other fairy tales that go along with this day, i.e., Santa Claus – which is why I could care less about nor will I participate in any debate about the racial identity of such a figure on national television or elsewhere for the matter (no more than I would take the time to care or argue about, say, “The Grinch”) – out of a sense of courtesy and conversation, I asked the young boy, who is 12 years old, what he was planning for this week. In response, he said, “I Don’t Celebrate Christmas!” He continued, “And, I don’t believe that Jesus was born on Christmas.” After a few moments of catching myself staring in amazement I said, “I don’t celebrate Christmas either,” and, ” Good for you, you are right, Jesus was not born on Christmas.”

Rarely, if ever, do I hear such boldness from children concerning matters of god and religion. His simple critique of this holiday – declared a “holy day” by some – was thoughtful, true and authentic. I was quite impressed. His father chimed in to say, “Everyday is Christmas in our household,” and during the ride we continued in a lively discussion about how he as a father came to that conclusion, and about how he as a son was quite remarkable. One day the son hopes to play for the NBA, and I suspect that he might reach that goal, and a few others that he hasn’t yet formulated. Their loving attachment to each other (a black father and son) caused me, momentarily, to forget my car troubles.

At this moment I am preparing for an afternoon visit with my family, yes, on Christmas. Normally, I spend Christmas alone, or in the company of a mutually, loving partner (which I will probably do later tonight), but this year is different. I want to show support to a family member who is going through a very difficult and traumatic tragedy; one that I could not imagine, not in a million days. Of course, I don’t celebrate Christmas, but after meeting this man and his son, I was reminded that everyday is a day for loving and for giving (and forgiving). It’s that simple, that true, that authentic. Cheers!

© 2013 annalise fonza, Ph.D.

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8 thoughts on ““I Don’t Celebrate Christmas!”: Everyday is a Day for Loving and For Giving

  1. That’s a cool story. It reminds me of when my son was 4 (he is now 17) and I was teaching him to say, “I’m an African Man.” His teachers assumed he was saying, “I’m a Fu__ing Man.” Then they brought is mother into this thinking as well. They never thought about the fact that he was 4 years of age and trying to say, “African.” When children are taught to think away from colonial training, they are NEVER given the benefit of the doubt. I hope this child’s father prepares him for that.

    I don’t celebrate Christmas either. I don’t believe a man named who is supposed to be God’s only son named Jesus ever existed. I do not believe the Bible is the word of God but the word of man. I do not believe in the God I was raised on. It just doesn’t make sense to me. I do “believe” there may be something that is responsible for all that exists; however, I do not claim to “know.”

    I also believe that we are all at different places in our understanding of life and for that reason, people should have the right to believe what works for them without being harassed, ridiculed, or called negative names because of their beliefs.

    Live and let live. Grow and let grow. Learn and let learn. There will be no leader who’ll lead the collective to the promise land. Life is an independent journey with common meeting places. We all eventually leave these common meeting places for the independent journey of death – while the messages we leave will continue to journey on.

    peace
    Alphonso

    • Thanks for the comment Alphonso. And I am with you on many things here, including the part that the father should also prepare him for the backlash. I have learned good lessons this year in response to using the word atheist and I have no shame in using that word, in particular for personal, social and political purposes, and to push back against religious bigotry, which is very destructive and sometimes turns violent. So, while I also believe that the philosophies and narratives that one embraces in life are very personal or independent as you say, I also feel that we journey together, collectively. Thus, yes, while personal affirmations are very important, my sense of social responsibility, as an educator and as a human being, motivates me to not be afraid to challenge or critique inaccurate claims.

  2. Joy to the world when more people pursue and accept truth for what it is. I hope the young brother maintains that courage. December 25th, just another day as I work diligently in my office. It really is that simple. Keep the messages coming Annalise.

  3. Dr. Ray Hagins: On Psycho-Pathology and the Myth of Christmas – annalisefonza

  4. We’re Born That Way…Atheism | The Pessimist Perspective

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