A Secular Childhood: Letters to My Daughter — no. 23 “Holidays”

Dear daughter,

By now I’m sure you know, I hate Christmas. I hate Christmas shopping. I hate Christmas carols, and I absolutely hate that Christmas seems to last the whole damn month of December. 

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Eat. Hang out with family and friends. Simple.

You are turning five at the end of the month, and this year you really enjoyed Easter. We had a couple egg hunts at home and at Pop Pop’s and you had a party at daycare. You even said it was your favorite holiday. (I know that’s subject to change.)

Our little family celebrates Christian holidays but not in very Christian ways. Older generations of our family were Christian so Easter and Christmas are traditions, but these days the traditions are secular and we’ve made them our own. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are fun parts of childhood; Jesus is not required to give Christmas and Easter meaning.

My favorite part of any holiday is getting to spend time with our family.

My beautiful daughter — you are growing up and soon will start a life of your own. Make holidays your own as well. Whatever you do, celebrate what makes you happy.




  1. Katydid says

    My kids started school in the early 2000s, and our local elementary had a bunch of really obnoxious fundy Christians who felt free to impose their flavor of Christianity on the student body. After my daughter got sent home from first grade for wearing a cute little Gap Kids sweater with a black-and-white cat face on it (black cats are Satanic, don’t ya know) that matched our own black-and-white cat, I made a point of dressing up to the nines for Halloween and going into the school to pick my kids up.

    We also nominally practiced Christian holidays because they’re literally shoved down everyone’s throats and because it was our cultural practice, but we weren’t super-serious about it, and anyway, most “Christian” practices are not at all Christian.. Egg hunts have nothing to do with Jesus. The Bible is very clear about not bringing trees into your house and decorating them. Etc.

    • ashes says

      Thank you so much for sharing that article! I am in awe of what Minnesota Atheists have been able to do and it definitely gives me hope for the future!

      I always get really nervous about speaking engagements but I really enjoyed meeting you guys!

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