It is often quoted in the media that a lack of belief in the Christian deity means we refuse to acknowledge and indeed hold in contempt the traditional holidays which make up the American year.
We have been told often that there is a “War on Christmas” and disrespect for every holiday and celebration the people of this country embrace.
The truth could not be further from the propaganda. For those of us who value life the concept of celebration could not be of greater value. It gives us a chance, each year to embrace family, friendship and fun.
Taking Christmas as an example, it is absolutely joyous to enjoy turkey and presents under a tree. These are traditions entirely separate from the mythology of the birth of a deity.
We do not need to revel in the torture and death of a mythological figure in order to eat chocolate eggs at Easter.
We do not need a belief in ghosts and witches to wear masks and knock on doors for candy on Halloween.
There is no war on Christmas, just as there is no war on any tradition, and that idea has nothing to do with belief or disbelief.
If there is a war on tradition let it be called what it is, challenging the politicization of myth.
A Christmas tree is a beautiful thing. It fills a house with joy, but that tradition has nothing to do with scripture. It is a pagan rite and a wonderfully happy one.
A war on Christmas would mean fighting that tree and the gifts under it, the tradition of Santa Claus, of a turkey feast and of a table surrounded by family.
The simple act of denying a god has no effect on how we feel about these beautiful traditions.
That the Christian mythology chose to align itself with these practices is its own affair, and those who wish to equate each with the other are welcome.
I, for one, welcome all trees and ornaments and presents and festivals. I welcome my friends and family. I welcome the love and warmth this ancient traditional winter solstice brings before a harsh winter, some cold months, and reminds us we are family, friends and community.
It also reminds us the spring sun will soon shine in a new year and a fresh dawn.