Why I love Christmas

I know that not everyone likes Christmas, I know that some people positively detest it, but for me it’s one of my favourite times of year. It has nothing to do with the religious festival (I have no belief in a benign god who wishes us to celebrate his birthday). It has nothing to do with the FOTCR™* (although I have caused some cash registers to feast!)

It has everything to do with having time off from work at the same time as most of my family and friends and being able to relax and spend time with people whose company I enjoy. I’m also a bit of a sucker for many of the trappings of Christmas: Christmas trees (real ones of course), giving gifts (although I prefer this to receiving them, is this a bit odd?), baking Christmas cakes and mince pies, hearing Noddy Holder and Roy Wood wishing us a Merry Christmas.

Anders Hanson put all this much better than I can:

“After my last posting about being an atheist, you would probably expect me to be fairly ambivalent about Christmas. But I am not at all, I love it, and it’s all down to some intangible nice feeling that I get because of all the trappings that come with the time of year.

I like Christmas carols, (as long as they are being played at Christmas and not weeks beforehand in shops), I like turkey dinners, I like Christmas pudding, I like Christmas presents (it’s not just because it’s a gift, although that is nice, it’s the excitement of opening the wrapping paper to discover what’s inside), I like Christmas trees (proper ones, that have come from a real forest and smell as a Christmas tree should and not of plastic), and other decorations, and I even like nativity scenes. I suppose much of what I’ve described is not particularly about religion, but I even like some of the religious side of it. You can’t really object, it is a religious festival after all, but just because I am a non-believer it doesn’t stop me from just liking the atmosphere and the Christian tradition that we celebrate at this time of year. I suppose it is because, to use Richard Dawkins’ now infamous phrase,
I am a cultural Christian. I grew up in a Christian country, in a generally Christian family, and so I like much of the tradition that comes with that.”

Of course Christmas does have less appealing aspects: the CD of utterly depressing Christmas songs that seems to be popular in my local pub this year, houses that are smothered in flashing lights and hideous decorations and writing all those of Christmas cards (I feel I ought to enjoy this – after all, I do like writing to friends, but sending a mass of cards all at once feels like a chore).

I think what I enjoy most is preparing for Christmas: choosing presents, baking, decorating the tree. The big day itself is a day for Mr TLC and me to relax – I’m quite lucky that I don’t have a demanding family – so we’re looking forward to our chill-out day.

Merry Christmas!

* Since my attempts to link to this particular post have failed, I’ll just copy it:
FOTCR™ : Feast Of The Cash Register: Christmas, in all its over-commercialised glory, first used by
Blue Witch in the run up to Christmas 2004, and believed to derive from a Dave Allen (comedian) sketch from the 1970s.

Comments are closed.