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Atheist Holiday Cards, Part One

Yesterday morning, I picked up the newspaper, and it had the familiar red envelope we have come to expect this time of year, the mass-produced, signature-stamped, highly religious Christmas card from the guy who delivers our papers. We will likely get another from the other paper, and one or more from the postal carriers. Sometimes they are secular, but this one was very very religious.

So, being me, I wondered if I could write something equally treacly, but without citing bible verses. Just for fun.

As luck would have it, later yesterday PZ posted a couple of alternative seasonal cards–for Newtonmas and for Squidmas. They are quite good, actually. I took the opportunity to post the treacly thing I had written earlier that day.

To make a long story short (too late), this post you are reading now is the beginning of an experiment. At least one person (ggab) is planning on doing artwork and making holiday cards from some of my verses, and I thought I might open up the fun for anyone else who might want to join in. So here, and perhaps in some future posts, I will post a few card ideas and verses, and they are yours to work with. If you use them for your own cards, take them as my cephalopodmas gift to you. If you make and use enough to feel guilty about it, there is my tip jar over there to the right. If you go into business and make a bundle, I want a cut.

Anyway, I know that some cards have short verses, some have long, so I just started tooling around with some…

Shorter:

From our house to yours, in this holiday season,
We send out a message of warmth and good cheer—
There’s no greater meaning than love, as the reason
To say Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

Longer and really sappy:

The reason for Christmas is bigger than Jesus;
It’s bigger than even a God up above.
The reason we gather together this season
With friends and with family, simply, is love.

The stories they tell of a wonderful heaven,
The myth of a savior’s miraculous birth,
Are mere consolation for leaving behind
All the love we encounter in one life on earth.

More precious, more rare than the greatest of treasures
This life we are living—each one, we know, ends;
I wish you a love even greater than Christmas
And hope you will share it with family and friends.

Longer, with a verse for front and inside, and a bit more feisty:

[front]
As we battle our way through the line at the store
And think to ourselves “there has got to be more”
And wonder where “Christmas of long ago” went,
When the meaning of Christmas was what it first meant…

[inside]
It was stolen by Christians from heathens, of course—
From Greeks and from Romans, from Celtics and Norse—
Why, Christmas is pagan, from yule-log to tree
To mistletoe waiting for you and for me

The meaning of Christmas—the good stuff, at least—
The ornaments, stockings, and “rare Who roast beast”
Has nothing to do with a Son of God’s birth
But rather the changing of seasons on Earth

The nights now grow shorter, the days will grow longer,
The rays of the sun (and our spirits) grow stronger!
So celebrate Solstice, rejoice in the season,
And love one another whatever the reason!

And a very ambitious one for a patient artist:
(front—very dark, with bathysphere, tethered, way down near the bottom, perhaps with lights illuminating a very small area around it)

We can’t trim a tree, there’s no room to hang holly
And a bathysphere doesn’t have halls we can deck
To celebrate Christmas down here seems pure folly
But we had an idea, and thought “what the heck?”

(inside, first)
Much better than ornaments, histioteuthis
Make beautiful tinsel, so that’s what we did
You’d think we hung lights, but the simpler truth is
You’re seeing the flash of the Firefly Squid.

With photophores flashing, they gather together
To send you our greetings from under the sea
It’s beautiful—but—I am wondering whether
The message is really from them or from me!

(Inside, folded—hundreds of histioteuthis [beautiful Jeweled Squid] and firefly squid, perhaps only a few actually in detail, most as not much more than dots, creating a giant “Merry Squidmas!” banner which dwarfs the bathysphere.) (if I had any Flash skills at all, this would work as an online card… if you have the interest, feel free!)

That’s all for now–oh, but there is this one from last year… and 2008 is the last year this one will work!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, the dog wants to go out…

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