I wrote a bunch of stuff about not being Christian but by some miracle, it got deleted. It’s just as well: it sank to the level of drivel by virtue of its self-righteousness.
I’m not Christian, though. But I wait all year to walk around with a wide grin saying, “Merry Christmas!” I vary my chortling with the occasional “Happy Holiday”, but mostly I give it the full-on Feliz Navidad. I’m goofy about it. I stop random strangers in parking lots for the single-minded purpose of exchanging festive salutations.
I cruise stores for perfectly picked presents, usually for weeks ahead of time, and then spend ridiculous amounts of time culling wrapping paper from the stash purchased after the holiday each year at half-price or less. I miter corners, scrunch the ends of extra paper around oddly-shaped packages, and write names of recipients in little white spaces which form Santa’s beard or shooting stars. The decorated gifts go under my tree or on a little table beside it, grouped by family or the day on which we’ll be seeing particular visitors. I contrive occasions to give gifts without telling those who will be present, to be sure they won’t have one for me. I don’t care about receiving. I just like to give.
I can’t say that I’m thankful for “God”, or “Christ”, or the pagan holiday to which Christmas can be said to be loosely tied. Plainly, and simply, I’m grateful for the entire season. My heart soars at the radiance on the faces of people as they unwrap what I’ve taken care to select for them. In this season, I cheerfully subject myself to loudly tendered endearments offered by clerks, old ladies, and people whom I might normally suspect of patronizing me. It’s Christmas, people. Get your happy on.