By Rachel Birdsell
I believe in the spirit of goodwill that shows itself during this time of year. I believe that the world is a little nicer around Christmas.
Last week I wrote a snarky piece in which I made up a lot of traditions we atheists do for Christmas. I wrote it because there are some people who don’t understand why I celebrate the holiday. After all, if I don’t believe in god, why would I celebrate the birth of his son? I suppose that’s a valid question, so now I’m going to answer it in a nonsnarky way that doesn’t involve weasels or wild boars. So, why do I celebrate Christmas? I celebrate it because, while I may not believe in god, I believe in a lot of other things about the holiday.
I believe in the scratchy sound from an old, vinyl record of Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” almost as much as I believe in Nat King Cole singing “The Christmas Song.”
I believe in hoping we’ll have a white Christmas even though most years it doesn’t happen. I believe in building snowmen and snow angels and having snowball fights. I believe in driving around neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights on houses, whether they are simple, white lights or gaudy multicolored flashing lights.
I believe in the excitement children feel while waiting for Santa Claus to show up on Christmas Eve and their elation on waking up on Christmas morning. I believe in their simple acceptance of the idea that a jolly, fat man comes down their chimney or through the front door every year to give them presents.
I believe if I don’t watch “White Christmas,” “The Christmas Story” and “A Christmas Carol” during the holiday season, the movie gods will be sorely displeased with me, and as punishment, they will force me to watch every Lifetime movie ever made.
I believe in all of the lovely people who spend their holidays volunteering for homeless shelters, soup kitchens and taking the time to visit and buy gifts for those who are alone. I believe in carolers who weather the cold and snow to share their love of singing with the rest of us. It doesn’t matter if they’re singing “Jingle Bells” or “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.” It’s all beautiful to me.
I believe in my friends and family and the comfort it brings to know they love, encourage and support me, not just at Christmastime but all year long. I believe in making the cookies and candies my mother made for Christmas when I was a child.
Finally, I believe in the spirit of goodwill that shows itself during this time of year. I believe the world is a little nicer around Christmas. Even though it may be for a short time that only happens once a year, I’ll take it.
Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer and artist. You can drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.