An Atheist’s Christmas

So I saw a tweet today (I won’t link–go search if you want) that went “FACT: athiests(sic) CANNOT celebrate Christmas. #youreallhypocrites” Silly person; celebrating what currently goes by the name “christmas” started long before her religion did, and trying to tell people they aren’t allowed to eat and drink and celebrate with friends and family just because they aren’t in your club is an exercise in futility. Face it: Christmas is a secular holiday, celebrated by many and ignored by many.

Anyway, this verse is from all the way back in 2007; I was recently reminded of it because someone wrote to ask permission to use it in their family christmas cards. So I’ll tell you more or less what I told them: feel free. If you do anything commercial, we gotta talk. If you want to stuff something in my stocking, there’s a button over at the bottom right hand side of this page. And yes, it’s early for this, but that tweet was just today, and it was a week or so ago that my reader asked, so apparently it’s not too early for people to be thinking about such things.

It’s a really sweet verse, but now I’ve written enough that I’m gonna have to put it after the jump:

An Atheist’s Christmas

We’ll all open presents, and cook a big dinner,
And share in traditions we learned long ago
But Christmas is different for this humble sinner,
No “birth of the saviour”, just people we know.

It has nothing to do with a babe in a manger
Or kings being led by a star up above,
But rather in family, friend, and in stranger,
In kindnesses done for the people we love.

A spirit of hope, and a spirit of giving,
A promise of peace in a troubling day,
A chance to examine the way we are living–
The courage to say what we’ve wanted to say.

You don’t need to think there’s a god up above you
To want to be good to your fellows on Earth.
To give to your friends, and to tell them “I love you”
Has nothing to do with some son of god’s birth.

For love, and for giving, we say “tis the season”
For caring, for kindness, for sharing good cheer
But why limit ourselves? I mean, what is the reason?
Why can’t we be giving the rest of the year?

This Christmas, my wish for each sister and brother,
To you, and to everyone you may hold dear;
Remember, this Christmas, to love one another—
Not only this season, but all through the year!

Related posts: An Atheist Christmas Card
Tis the Season
The War Against Christmas Comes Early


  1. Gordon says

    Atheists cannot celebrate Christmas, and only the Norse can schedule anything for Thursday… or Friday, or Wednesday…

  2. Jim says

    I’m an atheist and a rhyming poem enthusiast. Well done.

    Every bit as good as anything my man Robert Service wrote.


  3. Mimmoth says

    Wonderful poem!

    I will stay away from the Christian parts of Christmas (the sermon, the creche, and the carols that mention God) if the Christians will stay away from the pagan parts (the lights, the wreath, the tree, the candles, the mistletoe, the dinner, the candy and the presents.)

  4. grumpyoldfart says

    Ask them to find a verse in the bible that says Jesus was born in a stable – that will keep them busy for the rest of the day.

    [The only dwelling place mentioned is the “house” where the wise men saw Jesus. Matthew 2:11]

    You might have to remind them that a manger is NOT a stable, it’s an animal food bin, just the right size for a baby’s cradle.

  5. OhPedanticOne says

    And never mind the fact that what we know as Christmas began as a Pagan holiday; everything from the Christmas tree and Yule log, and in fact any plant or herb you find around Christmas, and again almost every aspect of Christmas, is Pagan in origin. So really, only Pagans can celebrate Christmas, except they’ll just go back to calling it the Winter Solstice.

    If Christians really want to celebrate the birth of their alleged messiah, they can do it when he was actually born; in late summer.

  6. barbf says

    I have to come in on the schmaltzy side of this in quoting Kermit ( yes, the frog)
    “If you believe in love
    That will be more than enough
    For you to come and celebrate with me.”
    Christmas, Beltane, Yuletime, Winter solstice, or just “a time to come together and lay all differences aside”. Really 364 days of anger is not enough? Take a chill pill or maybe two and enjoy yourself, have a good time regardless of the label.

  7. The Lorax says

    I’ll take me a day when loved ones are near
    And frolic within my abode

    I’ll take me a day of love and good cheer
    And lighten my back’s heavy load

    I’ll take me a day that I can hold dear
    And 364 more for the road

  8. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Oh, cuttlefish – you misunderstood.

    She wasn’t grammatically inscrutable. She’s not incompetent with spelling.

    What’s going on here is that she was using the superlative form of the adjective, “athy,” known to all Firefly fans as describing pompous, possessive, plutocratic jerks from Persephone who have probably never been within smelling distance of the Sundowner docks, often bully registered Companions as if it was okay to own another person, and like to skewer other men with swords to prove that it’s okay to be a real douchegabber if you have money…and spare time to practice the sword.

    She was calling us the “athiest” people she knew. I would take it as an insult, except I’m just too stupified that she knows the Firefly universe that well to have any brain cells left with which to take offense.

  9. Margaret says


    My cat an I are atheists, and that’s all the atheists I know in town.

    Your cat doesn’t believe in himself/herself?


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