Today is, in the western world, Christmas Eve. Tomorrow, Christmas Day, is the second most sacred day to Christians around the world. If you believe the Christian Bible, tomorrow is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. If you don't believe that bible, well, it's December 25th. To most religions, and there are literally thousands and thousands, tomorrow is just another day and nothing more. To Christians, it's a time to come together and celebrate by...putting presents under a spruce tree?
Yeah, I know, it's messed up. For all intents and purposes, Christmas has become about as secular as is humanly possible. Most people won't go to church tonight or tomorrow. Most won't be thinking of Baby Jesus when they open up their flat screen televisions and shiny iPads. Yes, many of them will go out of make a big fuss about being believers but when push comes to shove, those pews in churches coast to coast will be more empty than full come Sunday morning.
As an Atheist, I find this all rather amusing. To me, the Bible and the Christian Faith are no more true than the fairy tales of Mother Goose. Science has answered many if not all of our questions and with each passing day, it becomes more and more clear that we are just random beings inhabiting a rather ordinary planet that orbits a rather ordinary star in a rather ordinary part of a rather ordinary galaxy in what is looking more and more likely, one of trillions of universes that exist in the here and now.
There is no longer any need for a supernatural being to explain who we are and how we got here. We exist because the rules of our universe say we should exist. That to me is more than enough and so tonight and tomorrow, I'll celebrate the secular Christmas by getting together with my small family, having a nice dinner out tonight, watch a movie afterwards and come tomorrow morning, the dogs and I will head to Mom's to unwrap some shiny gifts of our own.
We'll also make another vow to do everything in our very limited power to make this world a somewhat better place for all to live in. That to me is the ultimate meaning of Christmas. It is not about the birth of Jesus anymore than it is about Santa Claus and eggnog. No, Christmas is about bringing the vast human family together and figuring out a way to make this life the best it can possibly be, not just for us, but for all living creatures.
I want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas, a Happy Holidays and Happy Winter Solstice. However you choose to celebrate or not celebrate, please take a moment to give back to the world at large and remember, may you forever find peace.