Tuesday, 25 December 2012

A Multi-Cultural Atheist's Christmas and End-Of-Year Acknowledgements

Typically, at the end of every year, I write some sort of post about what I've learned over the past year, how much I've changed, and how my life is different because of a great many powerful influences.

Generally, I talk about people met, lessons learned, and experiences had, namely those which had and/or continue to have a profound impact on my life. It is not quite the end of 2012, but it is close enough, so here goes.

I’d like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and hope your holiday is full of family and happiness.

This time of year is always somewhat difficult for me because I am not very well off, don’t get along with my family sometimes, and am an atheist.

But Christmas is a whole lot more than what anyone tells you, be they clergy, media, or retail fixtures large and small. Christmas is about family and friends, joy and happiness, giving and receiving, and most of all, love.

To Abby: Felix Nativitatis, amica mea familiaris. 
To Ivan: Hyvää Joulua and s'rozhdestvom.
To Nik: Gelukkig Keerstfest and, why not, joyeux Noël ainsi 

To the many I've met online in some capacity: Z'kaliadami, Anja (and others); buon Natale; wesołymi świętami Bożego Narodzenia to a surprising amount of people; Frohe Weihnachten to those in the homeland, and many many more. 

To my beautiful and extremely-significant other: I'd say "buon Natale" if your family was a bit more...traditional? I don't know. Merry Christmas anyway - I love you and you are the best gift for which I never could have asked.

To my crazy family: We are at least a unit. Thank you for being there. Even when you aren't, or don't think you are, or don't know if you can be. At least I have a family. I have two parents who are still married and three siblings who look up to me despite pretending they don't - and despite the fact I don't always set a great example.*

To my somewhat less crazy extended family: Since you all read my Facebook and stuff, and possibly even my blog(s), I'd like to thank you for putting up with me even if it means calling my parents to ask if I'm okay, if my sexuality has changed again, or just what the heck I'm talking/posting/writing about this time.  

To anyone I consider a friend and didn't list above: I care about each and every one of you and simply have a very hard time showing it. Merry Christmas.

To anyone who also considers me a friend: You mean a hell of a lot more to me than it might seem. My life would be radically different without any one of you, and while I don't normally do this, I'd like to list some names, in absolutely no order whatsoever. You have all impacted my life for better or worse in the past year, and I would not be who I am had I not met you or interacted with you in some capacity.

Aurora, Kevin W, Aaron, Solai, Nate E, Gabriel, Olivia A, Freda, Sam C, Sam P, Yessenia, Victoria G, Matt W, AJ, Kayla, Celeste, Sydney, Court, Galen, Misha, Stephen T (\m/), Mieke, Sara T, Becka, Greg, Alexei, Nasim, all my CTY co-workers, all the other RSA technicians, and all the brothers of the Theta Lambda chapter of Delta Sigma Phi.

I would also like to take a moment to remember the many important people we have lost this year, specifically two who were important to me. 

Scott Pierre Kaplan (age 17)
John (Jack) Michael McKeighan (age 16)


I wish the very best to everyone else who celebrates this holiday, equally, regardless of creed. Protestant, Catholic, and everything else here, there, and in between.

Atheists: chill out for a day or so. It’s not even the most important holiday on the liturgical calendar. Just enjoy yourselves, okay?

Jews and Muslims: have a fantastic day anyway. Go out somewhere. Enjoy how empty most places will be. Walk around and look at all the pretty lights. Happiness is non-denominational.

Hindus: Join the other non-Christians. Sure, you have ten times as many deities as they do, but at the end of the day, no one gives a crap.

People who don’t fit any of these labels: If you don’t identify with any “major” religion, or aren’t quite an atheist or aren’t entirely agnostic, or have no idea what you believe or why, forget it and have a wonderful day regardless. Everyone everywhere.

Except the members of the Westboro Baptist Church. I hope the lights on your trees short out and you are consumed by the resulting electrical fire so we can picket your funerals before heading off to after-Christmas blowout doorbuster sales.

Yours truly,


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