December 25th. Most people know it better as Christmas. To me, it’s just a day like any other day.
When I was a child and my parents were still living, Christmas was magical. Looking back I could easily say that I was the luckiest kid in the world. Santa always seems to know exactly what I wanted and I always got what I asked for, so I imagined that I must have been a very good child. On the contrary, I was hell to deal with!
My father died when I was 10. He was the big kid at holidays. He would spend hours teetering on tall ladders placing multi-colored lights perfectly on all our trees and outlining our house. We had the best decorations in the neighborhood, and when it snowed, it was even more spectacular.
My mother, who died when I was 14, handled the indoor decorations which included a giant fake tree. I used to help her hang the ornaments on it. She would cook, preparing for my older siblings to arrive with their families, wrap presents — at which time she demanded that I go outside to help my dad, and when the sun started going down, I would come in for hot chocolate, marveling at all presents under the tree and the pretty lights decorating my own personal winter wonderland outside.
So much changed after my parents died. I rebelled against the only form I held responsible for being so cruel as to leave me without parents and alone — God. It’s not even that my parents had been religious. I mean, my mother used God, or more likely, Jesus, to try to instill fear in me concerning certain issues. She detested going to church though, which was just fine with me because I’d rather sleep in on Sunday mornings! My father “found” God sometime in the last year of his life and spend more and more time being reclusive reading his bible. He must have been trying to “get right with the Lord” for previous indiscretions.
As I got older, my hatred for God began to dwindle. It was the Christians and all of their hate that made me full of rage. Long before I identified as an Atheist, I identified as anti-Christian. I dabbled into the dark side, still filled with hate and fear. I was consumed with both and found life unbearable. I didn’t really care if I lived or died during those days. I look back now and realize how lucky I am to have survived.
Reason saved me. My internal desire for knowledge and exploration led me to study philosophies that encouraged me to think rationally. It is as if my mind transformed by logical thinking. The hate, and more importantly, fear, slowly seeped out of me. I grew strong in truth and found myself…reborn.
I don’t hate Christmas. I don’t much care for the fiasco it causes and what it’s come to represent — greed. It is the one time of the year that humans return to their primal animalistic selves. It’s a Capitalists dream come true — the rich getting richer off the poor buying outlandish gifts they can’t afford for children who will be bored with them and demanding even more expensive gadgets a month later.
Christmas — what a joke! It’s just another day!