Let the Christmas caroling begin

Although, when the temperatures are down around -25°C, we people in the Northern hemisphere don’t associate Christmas with drinking white wine in the sun. The sentiment is great, though, so I’ll do my part and overlook the interesting seasonal reversal there.


  1. Thorsonofodin says

    Merry Christmas! My sentiments exactly. I was born 22nd December so this time of year is wonderful because I get to be with the people I love. Atheist or not Christmas is still fun!

  2. UXO says

    Yeah, I’m a hardcore no-tolerance-for-religious-bullshit atheist, but I still like Xmas. Been listening to Trans Siberian Orchestra all morning, now onto Sarah McLachlan’s Wintersong.

    Nine more days at work till I can go home and see my kids for three weeks – gotta get jolly SOMEHOW!

  3. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    I’d rather listen to Tim’s new Christmas carol than just about any other carol, especially “The Little Drummer Boy.”*

    *Studies have shown that 42.07% of all adults experience feelings of nausea and depression upon hearing “The Little Drummer Boy.”

  4. blf says

    I’ll listen to it when the site stops being Pharyngulaised and I can actually get a decent feed. In the meantime, my own favourite seasonal song is The Pogues Fairytale of New York, which I once heard described as (paraphrasing) “The only christmass song worth playing.”

  5. Sven DiMilo says

    42.07% of all adults experience feelings of nausea and depression upon hearing “The Little Drummer Boy.”

    Presumably at least some of the other 57.93% are familiar with this version!

  6. Steve Jeffers says

    You atheists have it all wrong – no one these days thinks of Father Christmas as an old man with a white beard flying around on a magical sleigh.

    We Christians understand now that ‘Santa’ is far more awesome than that – the name we give for the perfect expression of Christmas presents, or gifts generally. More of an energy field. In fact, modern quantum physics certainly doesn’t rule out the existence of Santa at all. And this is a view shared by many Eastern spiritual traditions. And so that means it must be true.

    Presents have to come from somewhere. Even if the theory of parental selection is true, then surely it’s Santa working through the medium of parents. If a parent earns money, gives a lot of thought to a gift, goes to the shop, buys it, carefully wraps it and then hands it to their child, then surely Father Christmas is working through them and deserves all the credit? There’s nothing incompatible with that and my belief.

    A flying red nosed reindeer could not evolve by natural selection, but don’t tar us with the ‘creationist’ brush. Rudolph is clearly symbolic – a metaphor for something or other.

    And, yes, many of the various Santas that we know of in malls and department store grottos have been proved by so-called ‘science’ to not be the real thing, but that just goes to show how naive scientists are. This isn’t a valid area for science to study. It’s not as though ‘this exists’ is some kind of meaningful or testable claim, is it? If I say ‘Father Christmas lives at the North Pole’, it’s not like scientists could go up there to check, is it? What does ‘North Pole’ even mean?

    Anyway, I don’t envy you atheists. Without Father Christmas, what would stop me being naughty instead of nice? If I wasn’t going to get presents at the end of the year, I might as well go around stabbing people and raping animals. What a horrible, empty life you atheists lead. Why are you so obsessed with animal rape?

    Even if Father Christmas didn’t exist, we should act as if he did. There’s nothing to lose. If we’re wrong, we won’t get any presents.

    Hitler didn’t believe in Santa Claus. Although he made speeches saying he did, and there are photographs of him dressed as Father Christmas, that in no way means he really believed

    Only 52% of Americans would vote for a politician who didn’t believe in Father Christmas.

    Santa Claus demands total faith. It says that in my Bumper Anthology of Santa Stories. Belief in him is, basically, the only thing he values. He doesn’t even mind if you’re naughty, as long as you believe in him. Oh, and he recently sent some of his elves to Uganda to lobby their government to criminalize homosexuality. Not that I condone that personally.

    Merry Christmas, atheists.

  7. Samwise says

    Wow. And here I thought Minchin only made me laugh, think, and walk around with tunes in my head; now the bastard gets me choked up as well.

  8. Mr T says

    I approve of this song. The music is somewhat sappy and sentimental, which I guess is appropriate, and the lyrics are excellent.

    I wish my birthday weren’t around Xmas & New Year’s, though. I never want a big birthday party — and perhaps it’s a little selfish of me — but sometimes all of the hysteria surrounding the birth of a fictional character gets to me a little bit. Also, it means all of my presents are concentrated at one point in the year.

    On a related note, I loved this bit of dialogue from the end of the latest episode of Bones:

    Bones: Well, I’d rather hear what you have to say, rather than Benjamin Franklin.
    Bones’ second cousin: That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.
    Bones’s dad: Tempe, this is your gathering, wouldn’t you like to say something?
    Bones: Oh, uh. Thank you, everyone, for coming. Let’s eat.
    Bones’ dad: No, I mean, wouldn’t you like to say something about Christmas?
    Bones: Oh, okay. *ahem* Christmas has its roots in the pagan festival of Saturnalia, which is traditionally celebrated by intoxication, naked singing, and the consumption of human-shaped biscuits —
    Booth: — I think what Bones is trying to say here is that we’re all just happy we’re all together…

  9. Kel, OM says

    Although, when the temperatures are down around -25°C, we people in the Northern hemisphere don’t associate Christmas with drinking white wine in the sun. The sentiment is great, though, so I’ll do my part and overlook the interesting seasonal reversal there.

    pfft, Christmas is just not Christmas unless it’s +35°C.

  10. Benjamin Geiger says

    Christmas time is here, by golly
    Disapproval would be folly
    Deck the halls with hunks of holly
    Fill the cup and don’t say ‘when’
    Kill the turkeys, ducks, and chickens
    Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens
    Even though the prospect sickens
    Brother, here we go again

    On Christmas day you can’t get sore
    Your fellow man you must adore
    There’s time to rob him all the more
    The other three hundred and sixty-four…

    — Tom Lehrer

  11. WowbaggerOM says

    If I’m putting together a ‘highlights of the year’ package in my head, seeing Tim Minchin live is up there in the top 5.

  12. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Steve Jeffers,

    Congratulations, you have won one complete internet.*

    *Offer void where prohibited by law and void to everyone under 21 years old. All taxes, handling and shipping fees are the responsibility of the recipient. Consignor not responsible for injury, dismemberment or death caused as a result of using this offer. No animals were harmed in the making of this offer.

  13. Sven DiMilo says

    Why is he wearing makeup?

    ‘kipedia sez:

    In his performances, he typically goes barefoot with wild hair and heavy eye makeup, which is juxtaposed with a crisp suit and tails, and a grand piano. …He considers the eye makeup important because while he is playing the piano he is not able to use his arms and relies on his face for expressions and gestures; the eyeliner makes his features more distinguishable for the audience.

  14. Hampus says

    I like to replace “white whine in the sun” with “mulled whine in the snow” when I listen to that song.

    He’s wearing make-up because he has no respect for the law, of course. As we know, only women and certain badgers are allowed make-up.


  15. Acronym Jim says

    we people in the Northern hemisphere don’t associate Christmas with drinking white wine in the sun.

    With application of the proper spices and amount of thermal energy, a draught of white wine in the sun in the northern hemisphere can be quite contenting.

    Of course, “hot spiced white wine” may not be to everyone’s taste, but then again, neither is eggnog.

  16. efrique says

    Considering the constant barrage of seasonally reversed memes we in the southern hemisphere are subject to, a little reminder that there are bunches of us sweltering away and dodging bushfires at Christmas time wouldn’t hurt…

  17. redmonster says

    “Rather break bread with Dawkins than Desmond Tutu”


    And eventually I might even hear the whole song, but for now YouTube seems to think my computer is beneath its notice.

    (Alyson Miers)

  18. WowbaggerOM says

    If I’m drinking wine in the Australian summer I tend to go for white shiraz, which is kind of halfway between red and white and is enjoyed chilled.

  19. mailboat.oph says

    It’s 73 in North Central Texas today. Not too far fetched to be drinking white wine in the sun here today.

  20. Aquaria says

    Although, when the temperatures are down around -25°C, we people in the Northern hemisphere don’t associate Christmas with drinking white wine in the sun.

    We have the white win in the sun weather today in San Antonio. An absolutely gorgeous day here–21 C/71 F, and sunny. I’m heading back out now; think I’ll find a sidewalk restaurant…

  21. shonny says

    Merry Yuletide it is for all proper heathens.
    Forget about jewboy and all that crap. Got nothing to do with yule!
    But Tim is great, in particular considered that he comes out of WA (Western Australia), a true shithole!

  22. Hannah says

    This is from the tour I went and saw a couple months ago with my other half, brother and HIS other half. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and he played this song towards the end of the show. It was fantastic and very well recieved. Love his stuff and this song sums up my own feelings on teh subject of christmas (with the seasons turned round, of course XD)

  23. Elwood says

    Gold! – He’s a genius. This song now filed under Best Xmas Songs Ever alongside Fairytale of New York and How To Make Gravy

  24. Rorschach says

    For me as a northern hemispherian to see the sleigh and reindeer and xmas tree erected in a Gold Coast shopping centre on a sweltering hot December day a decade ago was one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen !
    These days, I mostly work over that period, the penalties are great.

  25. Form&Function says

    Steve Jeffers @9

    I’m pretty sure that wins the thread. Is there a prize for that? Maybe we ought to establish one.

  26. blf says

    Is there a prize for [winning the thread]? Maybe we ought to establish one.

    The prize is called the internet.

  27. echidna says

    It’s just so good to hear a non-religious, southern-hemisphere appropriate song.

    Seeing Tim Minchin live was one of the highlights of my year too.

  28. Cath the Canberra Cook says

    Love this.

    Also, Steve Jeffers prize must surely be a Molly! Sadly, I know I’ll have forgotten that by January.

  29. wordsthatsing says

    What great timing – the British Humanist Association Choir have just released a single – very much a northern hemisphere secular christmas song, called Gathering round the Fire. The music is by William Morris (composer in residence at the BHA).

    You can get a preview and download the whole thing at the itunes or amazon – all proceeds to the BHA, with some of the money supporting the BHA choir so we can record lots more lovely humanist music!

    To give you a taster, here’s verse two:

    Some know the science of the seasons

    And need no gods to venerate

    But friends and family are good reasons

    To gather round and celebrate

    (oh, and before anyone points it out, as the writer of the lyrics, I am aware it’s not actually the rotation of the earth that causes the seasons… but having tried and failed to make the words “tilting axis” fit the music, I decided to opt for some poetic license!)

  30. Rachel Bronwyn says

    That got me seriously emotional. I’m used to Tim Minchin making me laugh, not become teary.

    Very accurate sentiment though. I raise my middle finger to all the christians who say I can’t celebrate Christmas because I don’t believe in their myth. If I can’t celebrate Christmas in a secular manner, they can’t participate in anything that doesn’t directly relate to their religion during the holidays.

  31. Killer of Peaceful Dreams says

    TypePad hates me, so I’m using MT for now. Anyway, I also got emotional from listening to this, but I’m a rather emotional person going through a very emotional time, so I can’t say it’s surprising. Still, it’s a great song and I’ll try to get my wife to listen to it later (though she’ll probably sit there with a blank stare, then start doing something else and tell me “Yeah. It’s okay. But it’s not really my thing.”).


  32. Steve Jeffers says

    >The prize is called the internet.

    Er … thanks. Please be sure to include a gift receipt.

    I’m glad people liked my post. If anyone wants to pass it on, please feel free to.

  33. UXO says

    @Newfie: Whereabouts are you? I want to say that looks kinda like Clarenville, but of course so do a hundred other towns. Kinda neat to see another Newf on here.

  34. destlund says

    [Texas]That’s funny, I was drinking white wine in the sun yesterday. It’s foggy today though. [/Texas]

  35. Bill Dauphin, OM says

    Mr. T (@11):

    Nice Bones sequence, but you left out the part where Booth suggests that they should pray and Bones immediately says, “No! No praying in my place!”

  36. Coran says

    I was in the same audience as Kel. This song was one of the ones that I hadn’t heard before and it completely floored me.

    I love the way it celebrates why atheists like christmas too, without giving a millimetre to the theists.

    OT, but it seems the people sitting next to us in the audience were close Friends of Jesus. They didn’t return from intermission.

  37. bitemegraphics says

    The post attached to this kind of irks me. Isn’t it about bloody time that we southern-hemisphere folks got a single christmas song that’s not about either snow or Jesus? I feel a little ill every time I hear “There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time” as if it’s some huge freakin’ tragedy that other nations’ Decembers don’t match some cloying Euro/American ideal.

    I adore this song, of course (especially for using the word “dodgy”). It just makes me a bit upset to see PZ talking about the seasonal reversal like it’s unfortunate ):|