Secular Season’s Greetings

closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

Here are a couple of Christmas-related observations:

1) As an Atheist, I’ve been trying to figure out what to say to people who tell me, “Merry Christmas.” I could say, “Happy Holidays,” or “Season’s Greetings,” but they really don’t express an obviously religion-free point of view. After some thought (note, that’s “some thought,” not “much thought”), I decided that “Secular Season’s Greetings” did the job and was pretty funny. I don’t think I’ll actually ever say it to anyone (at least, not seriously).

2) Morah made an interesting observation recently. When you think of Christmas, what type of weather do you associate with it? If you’re like most people I’ve talked to, the weather you think of is snow. Now think about how much of the planet has snow this time of year. Certainly not most places in the Southern Hemisphere where it’s summer (high altitudes and Antarctica don’t count. Especially Antarctica. Those penguins are cheaters). In the Northern Hemisphere, probably about half (perhaps a little more) has snow. So about a third of planet actually has a white Christmas.

White or not, hopefully your Christmas has been great! Secular Season’s Greetings!

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  1. I’ve often thought about point #2, especially since the first Christmas did not even happen in a place that I associate with lots of snow! I guess that’s 20th century American commercialism for you. Maybe it was the movie White Christmas that started it? Or the legend of Santa Claus?

  2. It likely had something to do with the fact that most modern Christmas stories originated (and often took place) in parts of Europe and North America where snow in the winter was commonplace.

    It may also have something to do with Santa Claus living at the North Pole (although perhaps him living at the North Pole came as a result of snow at Christmas).

  3. Chelsea

    I didn’t know that you are an athiest! When did you decide this? I’m way out of touch

  4. By the end of high school, I was pretty sure that I was an Atheist, but I had been harboring doubts about religion for years prior to that.

  5. Secular Sunday XVII – Secular Season’s Greetings

    The Christmas season is filled with platitudes wishing you good cheer. When shopping this time of year, many people tell me to have a “merry Christmas.” A couple of years ago, I decided that “secular season’s greetings” made for a…

  6. emilyjem

    As a resident of the Antipodes, I can say that the Australian & NZ image of Christmas is quite different to the reality. Despite the soaring temperatures and blue summer skies, we spray our windows with fake snow and eat massive roast turkey dinners. This year we are planning a Christmas barbecue instead!

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