Why I hate Christmas. (Or used to.)

This is a Christmas blog I wrote several years ago. I guess I have become calmer in the meantime. I still don’t like Christmas, but now I just ignore it. So, I wouldn’t write any longer what you will read below, definitely not in these harsh words. But some of the thoughts are still valid.

Why I hate Christmas

Yes, I actually hate it.
I would prefer to simply ignore it, because I usually respect everybody’s way of life and everybody’s ideas. But unfortunately, all these Christmas-junkies are making it impossible for me to ignore it: Wherever I go, whomever I meet, in every e-mail I read, it mentions something like “Merry Christmas”.

Targu Mures Christmas 2The problem is: I don’t believe in it. I am neither a Christian, nor do I believe in any other hokus-pokus-God-persons who allegedly let their children die brutally to make a point.
So, my natural response is: “Thank you, but I don’t believe in Christmas.” – Honest, but still polite, wouldn’t you think? – Hell NO, people look at me as if I was a terrorist! As if I was advocating the end of civilization.
Usually, I am then requested to justify my non-belief, which I find very silly, because one would assume that whoever strongly believes that a child was born without its Mom having been banged by her boyfriend, is the one who has to justify their very silly beliefs.

But anyway, I do not want to discuss religion today. After all, it’s a belief and not a science. BUT I want to be left alone with it, PLEASE! Please go to your churches and celebrate it. Sing and praise the lord (for whatever?) in your home. Do it all day long if you have nothing useful to do, like going to school, having a job, or educating yourself.
But leave the rest of us alone!

– Why do I have to listen to these ugly songs everywhere?
They make me puke!

– Why do I continue to get Christmas cards and greetings although I am open about my atheist attitude?
Don’t you feel bad that you can’t even call me or write me without using a silly festival of an obscure religion as a pretense?

– Why are you lighting everything up as if you wanted to attract aliens from far-away galaxies?
What a waste of energy. And even the last farmer in the farthest forest should have heard about energy conservation.

– Why is everybody in such a rush to buy presents?
We all know why: Because you suckers feel guilty because somebody else is giving you something and you think you ought to hand out bribes in return. Most presents are then thrown away or idly sit there, because the recipient doesn’t know what to do with it because he didn’t ask for it in the first place.
Just stop the shopping frenzy and buy something useful for YOURSELF. You’ll have much more fun. AND you don’t need to do it between mid-December and 24th December. The stores are open in March and July as well!

– Why do you cut Christmas trees to throw them away after two weeks?
Ok, I understand: It’s that old tradition of sacrificing life to please your Gods. Well, THANK YOU that you have at least come so far that you don’t do it with virgins and children anymore.

– Why do you allow pedophiles to play with your children just because they dress in red and put on a fake beard so as not to be recognized by law enforcement?
Oh, I forgot: Molesting children has some tradition in the church…

As I said, I see it a bit more relaxed now, in line with my general liberal world-view. I even accept presents now and have put together a wishlist for you. :-)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
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25 Responses to Why I hate Christmas. (Or used to.)

  1. John Erickson says:

    The biggest problem I’ve always had is the religious push behind the phrase “Jesus is the reason for the season”. Where do I start? Best estimates put Jesus’ birth in the spring, not December. The “Christmas” tree is a borrowed pagan symbol. Christmas itself is a Catholic super-imposition over the traditional mid-winter pagan celebration. Santa Claus is a composite of several non-religious figures with a couple religious figures pasted on top. Mind you, I don’t mind the pretty lights (in moderation, PLEASE!), and the music isn’t all bad (although I spent several years in various choirs, so I’m biased). But the commercially-skewed amalgam has as little to do with Jesus as the Easter Bunny. Jesus isn’t the reason for the season – the retailers’ bottom line is! So how about “Merry Year-End In The Black?” “And to all, a good profit.” (Okay, rant over. We now return you to your regularly scheduled holiday cheer!)

  2. tedd says:

    One admires the fervor with which you discuss Christianity and religion. Of particular note and worthy of commendation is your seek for proof which is why you are so vehement with your ‘hate’ or dislike for religion and God and this is a pleasant relief for me because he who seeks will find. Your scientific mind, contrary to popular opinion, makes it easier not harder for God to make apparent to you the truth behind reality as you and i know it. And this knowledge, of the truth, will set you free. Again, while you have not solicited my saying this, i will say it nonetheless: In no distant time, God will visit you and He will unveil to you the Truth you seek and set you at peace once and for all. Until then, God bless you.

    • John Erickson says:

      With all due respect to Tedd, I’m sure it’s the Judeo-Christian (and most likely Roman Catholic) god. Sorry, God. I’ve met people from a lot of different faiths, and it seems that only the Christians (and again, Catholics) are hardcore proselytizers. Sorry, Tedd, I don’t mean to insult your beliefs. I’ve just never met a non-Christian faith member so willing to convert people. Though I will give you one thing – some of the most ardent believers in the Christian God I ever met were (of all people) high-energy sub-atomic particle physicists. Make of that what you will!

  3. Karen says:

    Let me assure you, “True” christians “do not” celebrate Christmas. http://www.watchtower.org/e/rq/article_11.htm

  4. Cheryl says:

    Ok, so you’re an atheist. I am not and contrary to popular belief and your obvious lack of exposure to people like myself, I am not out to demonize you or save you. That’s a job for God. I know…I think some people have some serious identity issues when it comes to them thinking they are God. In regards to your hate of Christmas, I can somewhat see your point. It’s a big commercial holiday full of stuff that has nothing to do with celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Lots of paegan symbols, lights and food and LOTS of shopping. I get it. However, I love it! My parents are agnostic and we never went to church. I was always allowed to find faith in whatever religion I wanted or not at all. We always celebrated Christmas, because they did when they grew up and it was tradition. My Mom used to always stress the importance of giving and sharing your treasures, time and talents with others and this time of year was a way of reminding everyone how precious we all are and how much kindness and love and generosity can transform even one life. It was a time when we all remembered how small we are in this big world and how much we needed each other. We are a social species, but sometimes we forget. I love this season for all of the that! The smells, sights and sounds remind me of what is was to be a child and not be at all concerned with the negatives in the world, only pure joy! So, I say to you: Have a wonderful winter season filled with people you love and memories to cherish!

    • gsw says:

      I think some people have some serious issues when it comes to them thinking that they know what their god wants, what he (almost always male) will do and even how he will do it, if not exactly when.

      Makes one wonder whether these people know their god so well because they invented the whole thing?

      Oh yes, and I think you may have missed the point – making the Midwinter-Solstice the excuse for being kind and loving tends to give people an out to be bastards for the rest of the year!

  5. Nicole says:

    I both agree and disagree with what you wrote. While I am in no way a religious person, I rather enjoy the environment Christmas brings.

    In the effort of remaining rational through my skepticism, I have maintained an agnostic view to whatever power/spirit/as you choose to define is in existence. I find religion… unnecessary in the politest manner possible. Religion clouds judgement, imposes itself into every aspect of life, and creates ignorant uneducated and unresearched opinions thrown at me through every possible outlet. I find it irritating, and also guiltfully entertaining at times, that everytime I read a news article online I am privy to a plethora of rash, offensive, and blatantly misinformed opinions. I hate the lack of appreciation for other cultures. I stopped accompanying my sick mother to church while in college because one of my mother’s church friends referred to me as the little pagan. It’s ignorant and rude to tell a person that with time they will “see the light” and “be saved.” I can’t believe in something that smites me for having a tattoo or indulging in simple pleasures. But I do believe in something and I, like you, do not have to define what my beliefs are everytime someone asks me “how come you haven’t accepted your savior into your heart”

    That said, I celebrate Christmas every year, quite enthusiastically. I’m not doing it for the religion. It could be called a celebration of the winter solstice, the beginning of the last week of the year, or gift giving/market supporting day for all I care. Christmas is the one time of year that a good portion of the population emit good tidings, connect with each other, and give generously. Sure, these things should happen year round, but lets be honest, you can be a straight A student all the way through schooling with praise here and there, but its the graduation were you get to go all out in celebration.

    On a side note, I just read through your blog (it was a link on CNN by the way) and I suggest going to Peru to see the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. There was a spot in Yucay when I visited that was spectacular yet simple!

  6. David White says:

    I’m enjoying this thread, so I’m commenting to help me follow. Intriguing

  7. John Erickson says:

    Nicole- It sounds like you and I agree on the holiday. I tend to enjoy the secular side of the holiday – the music, the decorations (again, in moderation!), and the general feeling of (to use a hackneyed phrase) good will towards men. And, of course, women too. And while I have no problem with any religious celebrations (having sung more than my fair share of religious songs, Christian and Jewish both), I get tired of the religious extremists (pro and con) screaming their biased viewpoints. If my town puts up a Christmas tree or a manger, I don’t want to hear that we’re anti-Semitic because we didn’t also put up a menorah. Nor do I want to hear that we’re offending atheists with our religious trappings. For me, it should be a time to enjoy WHATEVER you want. If you just want movie marathons on cable TV, fine. If you want a nice tree and some songs about reindeer and snowmen, cool (pardon the pun). And if you want to sing the praises of Jesus, or Jehovah, or about Kwanzaa, or whatever, that’s your business too. And I get the feeling from this thread, that is the majority view, as well. So Andreas, enjoy the beautiful snowy landscape.
    Cheryl, if you choose to believe that Jesus WAS born in December, then blessings upon you.
    Nicole, have a holly, jolly Christmas!
    And to all, a very good night!
    And if you can’t all agree on a specific December 25th celebration, have a party on the 22nd, so you can wish me a happy birthday! (Yes, that was shameless self-promotion. Sorry!) :)

  8. i personally believe that people’s appreciation or lack-thereof of this holiday is based upon personal tradition. i’m atheist, but i used to enjoy the holiday nonetheless until both of my grandfathers and father died within 2 years of each other, my sister got married and moved across the state. after that the holiday meant nothing. the tradition was gone, and so went the meaning. i now live in a 90% buddhist country, but they still display christmas decorations all over the place just because they think its fun.

  9. By now, Christmas is less about jesus, and god and whatever, and more about family, and friends, and love. It’s like Valentine’s day and Thanksgiving combined, then multiplied by twelve. Which I find a good thing. So what if a Jew puts up a Christmas tree? We have a few jewish themed ornaments on our tree, and while I have no religion, the majority of my family is what I like to call ‘psuedo-christians’. Meaning they believe in god, and stuff, but can’t work up the nerve to go to church more then once a year, and gladly take the lord’s name in vain if the situation calls for it. (ie- stubbed toe, broken nail, pimple…) And I actually think that the more christian you are, the less you follow ‘traditional’ christmas things. Like, my friend, who is hardcore, church every day, capital ‘g’ in god christian, doesn’t give gifts, and will donate anything you get her to charity. She does indulge in a Christmas tree, but only decorates it in these weird church ornaments, with parts of the bible written on them in glitter glue. On the other hand, there’s me, who sees no real proof there has been, is, or ever will be a god, and I do it all. I do the black friday shopping, the tripled electricity bill because of my decorations, the 7 foot tall tree in my too small living room, covered in ornaments that have been collected for over 50 years, the christmas specials… And what’s more? I enjoy it. I’ve been watching christmas movies since halloween, and listening to the music since Thanksgiving. So really, whether you celebrate christmas has less to do with your religion, and more to do with how much you cave to commercialism. And I cave. Big time. But that’s the point. It’s like all the other holidays are high school dances; fun, sure, but nothing memorable. And then you have Christmas, which is like senior prom. You go all out, even though it really is no different then any of the other dances, because of the sentimental value.

    So. That was my big ‘it’s three days til christmas and I want everyone to enjoy it, but i don’t want to shove my personal views down anyone’s throat’ speech of the year. And i did it using an analogy that doesn’t apply to me yet, since I haven’t gone to senior prom yet, so that’s… cool. yeah. I’m gonna stop talking now. Merry Christmas/Happy Chanukah/Happy Kwaanza/Have a pleasant December 25th, and a Happy New Year!

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  11. Ammad says:

    I hope in your wishlist one day you ‘ll also add our Book Qur’an. The miracle of this book is, if a reader has some questions in his mind this book gives the answers. Only the reader has to be the recipient plus ready to pay heed on its logical replies. As far your faith is concerned.. you enjoy yours and I enjoy mine. Most important to survive in this world is to be good to each other.. that is what I learned from this book. Q U R A N.

    like to send you a copy as gift . May be it would help you better understand Philosophy.

    Click to access Quran_Khan.pdf

    for better understanding this religion instead of googling and finding anti Islamic hatred

    visit http://www.shareislam.com

    Apart from religious comment, I want to say that I am enjoying to read your blog alot. inshAllah will keep on visiting and enlighten myself with something new :)

    • John Erickson says:

      Thanks for the websites, Ammad. I look forward to checking them out.

    • gsw says:

      I read the book, absolute rubbish!
      Sun going down in a puddle? Men’s spines producing semen? Flying horses?
      Please, spare us.

      Much better to buy, and read, “The Reliance of the Traveller,” it contains the Shari’ah Law followed by almost all honest islamic courts and will open your eyes to the true meaning of the word “barbaric”, especially if you are a women.

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  13. verymerry says:

    Merry Christmas!

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  16. Lillian Smith says:

    I agree with gsw Ammad. The book is full of contradictions, but what is noteworthy is that the peaceful versions have been aborgated by the more violent verses, such as the Verse of the Sword. So when Muslims quote the loving, peaceful verses of the Koran, they are not exactly telling the truth.

    Also, Muslims believe that the Koran can only be read and properly understood in its original language, Arabic. Thus any English (or other language translations) are invalid, in addition to the fact that such nasties as death for apostasy and wife beating have been mellowed down for European-Judeo-Christain consumption.

    However, I commend you for being a good and decent person, not because of any religion, but despite religion, which let us face it (and this goes for all of them) have brought nothing but bloodshed, war and superstition which have kept mankind in chains and backwards for centuries (I should have at the very least expected that by now humanity would have moved forward to at least the same level of scientific and technical prowess as seen on Star Trek, the original version.

  17. abjectbooks says:

    I sort of some times enjoy Christmas as a shared cultural event, but have no real belief in it what so ever. This time of the year would be pretty boring and depressing without it, which is what I think is the real reason for the season, no matter what major holiday you’re celebrating.

    The hours of sunlight are dwindling, so we put up other lights. Back in the days of an agricultural economy, there wasn’t much to do, so we spent time with family. In this way, I do honor it as a cultural tradition, and a connection to the past, but if I have to hear about Black Friday one more time…..

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  19. Núan says:

    I see sooooooo many homeless out there. Everyone oughtta go out and buy a much needed gift and spend a few Celebration minutes with people in need during Xmas.

    • Absolutely!
      And not only on Christmas.

      Out of curiosity: Where do you live that you see so many homeless people? (I have never seen more than in Vancouver.)

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