Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dealing with the Holidays

It can be tricky to go through the holiday season as an atheist.

I went home from university for the Thanksgiving holiday. I had a great time. I got to see a lot of my friends. We played Risk, watched movies, ate at restaurants...we even played Ultimate.

I think my parents are doing pretty well. I told my mother about being an atheist, and she took it about as well as I could expect. I'm not sure if my father knows about it yet. I haven't explicitly told him about it. He's a difficult person to talk to about sensitive issues. I love my dad, but he's one of those men who seems to have a difficult time talking about or expressing his emotions sometimes. He had a rough relationship with his father, and sometimes I wonder if he still apprehensive about it.

I try to do my best not to be disruptive. When we prayed for the Thanksgiving meal, I just mumbled a few words while the rest of my family was praying. They're not too serious about it. It'll be a bit more difficult when I go to see my other relatives over Christmas; they tend to make a bigger deal of it. Hopefully I won't have to attend church with them. It's not that I dislike church attendance in principle, but it feels really uncomfortable to be there now that I'm not really a religious person.

My parents asked me to go to a Christmas concert with them at my mom's new church, but fortunately I was able to come up with an excuse. I'm not sure why my mother asked me to go to a Gospel concert even though she knows that I'm not really interested.

I'm not trying to be a thorn in anyone's side about it. I want to be able to feel comfortable not practicing religion, and so far I'm doing the best I can.

I was with my friends at a restaurant the day after Thanksgiving, and the speakers were blaring with Christmas music. I have nothing against Christmas music; sometimes I am even fond of it. It has its own special nostalgia for me. But the day after Thanksgiving is much too soon for me. After several weeks, it does get a bit tiresome. Why not save it for the week or two before Christmas? It's almost as bad as people who put up Christmas lights right after Halloween (which I've seen many in my old neighborhood do).

If I had just one wish this Christmas, it would be that all the little children of the world would hold hands and sing....


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