What are your helladay plans?
December 5, 2011
Well, the Some People's Favorite Holiday Season is upon us again. How to you plan to observe -- or not observe -- the "helladays"?
I invite your comments for an obvious reason. As the "Anti-Claus" I've become kind of the #1 guy for secular humanists and other unbelievers who choose to sit out the entire holiday season, purposely and conspicuously. Of course, secular humanists vary widely in their approaches to this ubiquitous and, to many, intrusively religious season. Where do you stand?
In no particular order:
1) It's not the birthday of anyone I know. Far as I'm concerned, December 25 is just another day. (That's my stance, but you probably knew that.)
2) I find the holiday deeply offensive and rebuke every aspect of it. Christians who wish me "merry Xmas" are practicing cultural imperialism of the most brutal and contemptible sort. (Even I don't go that far, though I come close!)
3) I observe an alternative festivity, but not the Winter Solstice -- after all, if I'm not a Christian, I'm not a pagan either. (So what do you observe? HumanLight? Festivus? Newton's Birthday? Something else?)
4) I keep the secular side of Christmas -- what the hell, most of it's pagan or commercial in derivation anyway.
5) I do the whole Christmas routine from hot buttered rum to rum-pum-pum-pum and I don't see any contradiction between doing that and being a secular humanist.
6) Jingle bells, jingle bells -- I just can't help doing it all at holiday time, worldview be damned!
This isn't one of those glossy online polls where you get to check boxes, it's a plain old blog post. Please reply with your thoughts. If none of the five options express what this time of yeare means to you, by all means ignore tham all and post your own comments.
And here's another, related question. Are holidays in general overrated? Do you welcome any excuse for a party, or does it seem to you that in our culture where most people (except the poorest) lead lives of agreeable consumption day in and day out -- and where even those considered "poor" today lead lives in many ways incalculably richer than those known by kings of old -- the whole notion of a holiday as a socially sanctioned opportunity for conspicuous consumption means less than it used to?