i am an atheist. and i celebrate xmas, sort of, in my own way.
as a child i never believed in santa or god. i don't know why. it was just something hardwired in my brain. i've spent years pondering things. searching. reading. studying various religions and philosophies. and in the end, i just do not believe in god, or any higher power.
so why put up an xmas tree? well, it's a happy childhood memory for me. i always loved putting ornaments on the tree, and the beautiful lights. and as an adult i LOVE the pink xmas tree my friend rachel gave me. only now i decorate my tree with weird dolls, glittery things, and whatever dan adds to the tree. it's pretty and makes me happy.
as i've gotten older, i've become stronger in my convictions, but also less adamant. i don't feel the need to change anyone's mind, or to proclaim my beliefs. my beliefs are mine and while i'm happy to discuss these things, i don't force it on anyone.
i also choose to respect other's religious convictions. in fact, i support them in their freedom to worship, and to believe in whatever makes sense to them. i will even bow my head in prayer if sitting at a dinner table with people who pray. a few years ago i wouldn't have done that. but now it feels right to me.
i say "happy holidays" or "merry christmas" when i feel like it. or when someone says it to me. it's fun to take this time of the year to be extra warm, polite, and to make people happy.
i try to take time to appreciate my family & friends. i also try to commit random acts of kindness. i make a pot of coffee at work even if i'm not drinking it. i clean up after someone who's made a mess and left it behind. it's stuff like that makes me feel good, and i think that is the spirit of "the holidays".
i do feel like i need to continue to speak out when religion is being included as part of the government. i need to vote to show my support of candidates that want to keep religion out of government, out of schools, etc...
so, there's my rant on being an atheist, putting up an xmas tree, etc...