Thursday, December 10, 2009

Local newspaper highlights atheists who celebrate Christmas

Well, this was a pleasant surprise today! The Exponent, Purdue's student newspaper, ran a piece today on atheists and agnostics who still celebrate Christmas. As a heathen who has pretty much been listening to nothing but Christmas music for the last week, I definitely fit into that group.

“It seems that Santa Claus, rather than Jesus Christ, is the mythical figure around which Christmas is centered,” Stolyarov said.

Chris Komlos, a junior in the College of Engineering, said even though his family is agnostic they still celebrate like everyone else.

“I tend to think of it as more of a second Thanksgiving. It’s more of a family holiday than a religious one,” Komlos said. “The commercialization of Christmas is good for those who are not so religious and want a feel-good family holiday.”

Remington Roberts, a junior in the College of Technology, said Christmas is lost in the commercial aspect and is hardly religious anymore.

Roberts is atheist but his family still puts up a tree, has dinner with relatives, opens presents and hangs up stockings.

“When I was younger I questioned the meaning behind Christmas, but after I found out I just started celebrating it to be with my family,” Roberts said. “There is never any conflict between my relatives who are religious and me; I just go with the flow.”

Success! Though the one downside is the Exponent is no longer taking letters to the Editor for this semester, so no watching those "Keep Christ is CHRISTmas" people spluttering.

I'm a bit bemused, however, that the Society of Non-Theists and it's members weren't contacted for this story. You'd think you'd want to use your resources on campus, right? Maybe I should take this as a sign that non-theism is becoming more accepted that they don't need to go find a local group. Or more likely (since I've known people who worked at the Exponent), this reporter had some heathen friends she could call up, and that was good enough research for her. Oh well, good article nonetheless!


  1. I told someone yesterday that, since I'm an atheist, I celebrate "Krismis"

  2. "As a heathen who has pretty much been listening to nothing but Christmas music for the last week, I definitely fit into that group."

    I love the psalms, hymns and for that matter carols, but 'Christmas music' makes me want to wreak violence.

  3. So you, like my roommate, would go into a frothing rage when I put Feliz Navidad on repeat?

    *evil cackle*

  4. Jen that would be a death sentence if you did that to me.

  5. At least Feliz Navidad is mostly in Spanish

  6. I'll put the Christ back in Christmas when they put the Thor back in Thursday.

    Or Woden back in Wednesday.

    Or Augustus Ceasar back in August.

  7. I want "Put the Thor Back in Thursday" on a shirt.

  8. Thor back in Thursday!! That's amazing!!

    Anyway. I don't celebrate Christmas anymore. I celebrate Festivus. In addition, if I have to do Christmas, I refuse to refer to Santa Claus. My gifts come from Ded Moroz, who wanders around with a magic staff, a bottle of vodka, and a wicked-hot snow elf to give out presents to kids.

  9. " I celebrate Festivus."

    Do you start with the Airing of Grievences? Followed by the Feats of Strength?

  10. I'd celebrate Festivus if I could tolerate its originating show for more than ten minutes.

    As for Christmas, I'm generally just about as apathetic during it as I am for my birthday. I hate most Christmas music, as I'm a veteran of the dreaded Week Long Christmas Shopping Expedition (Back when I was younger, with my grandmother still walking about often, this was a yearly thing. I cannot tell you how happy I was when I was just with my dad, and Christmas shopping turned into the five-minutes-in-and-out-per-store planned attack strategy that made up most of the rest of my Christmas shopping until the glorious advent of internet shopping.)

    Feliz Navidad is probably the only Christmas song that doesn't make me want to strangle people to death, but that's because it gets stuck in my head far too easily, and comes out just as quickly.

  11. Yep, I know the guy who wrote that article. He definitely just personally knows some heathens.

  12. I never 'got' Seinfeld.

    Jen, luckily it's no longer 1993 (and this isn't Myspace), so the embedded midi is dead.

    :blows raspberry:

  13. Whoa, Festivus wasn't started by Seinfeld. It was started by some guys, a friend of whom later wrote for Seinfeld. So, true to the tradition, I celebrate it however the fuck I want.

    Seinfeld sucks.

  14. Popularized by Seinfeld, conceived by the father of the guy who wrote for Seinfeld, according to the Sometimes-Knowing Wiki.

    But yeah, I can agree with that. I just don't bother with it myself.