December 13th, 2011

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Writer's Block: B.Y.O.B. Holidays

Which December holidays do you celebrate, and why? One random answer will win a $50 Amazon gift card. [Details here]
We're all celebrating the same one. Christmas, Hannukah, Yule, Diwali. They're all about light and jollity and feasting in the long, dark nights. Our capacity for celebration is one of the many things that raises above the other clever mammals. Surely in this case celebration leads on directly from self-awareness, and the acknowledgment of the need to cheer ourselves up a bit.

I'm an (Anglican)atheist but I celebrate Christmas, in all its glittery, commercial glory. The traditions are lovely, and I don't care if the Christians stole them from the Celts or reinterpreted them from the Romans. Each set of fading stories, each part of the pile of palimpsests has its charm. I cling to the idea that the stories are fading, because, as a teacher, I've seen the horrible damage wrought by the combination of faith and ignorance.

I embrace the commercialism and consumerism, too. Capitalism has provided the human race with far more freedoms, comforts and opportunities than religion ever has.