So I’m catching up on some of my blog reading and I’m browsing through the two dozen or so entries at The Meming of Life which is run by Dale McGowan, the author of the book Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion, and it’s been awhile since I last stopped by so the entries stretch back a couple of weeks. Naturally that’s when I see an entry about Christmas that I wish I’d seen sooner.
Or, more specifically, it’s about Krismas:
Krismas is a secular holiday that celebrates the myth of Kris Kringle, commonly known as Santa Claus. It happens on December 25th of each year, and is also closely associated with Krismas Eve which occurs December 24th. Krismas is part of the “12 Days of Secular Celebration”
Krismas is about celebrating most of the modern mythologies surrounding Christmas, except for the mythology of the birth of Jesus as a savior.
Krismas is about giving gifts, especially those “from the heart”; it is about the magic of childhood; it is about peace on earth; and it is about goodwill towards humankind. It is about the universal truths of goodness that surround this time of year.
I loved Christmas growing up. I treasure those memories. I treasure the mythology of Santa Claus, Rudolph, Elves, etc. I treasure the idea of giving gifts, the beauty of Christmas lights and the smell of Christmas trees. This is what Christmas was about to me. These are the secular mythologies and symbols that we have made Christmas about.
I really didn’t think much about the birth of Jesus while growing up; it was just another mythology surrounding the time, and I never believed in Jesus as a savior. As I have grown, I have come to believe that the notion of Jesus being a savior, and many of the ideas of fundamentalist Christian churches, and the Catholic church to be detrimental to peace, acceptance and love in our world. So I didn’t want to support them any longer. It also would not be true of me to celebrate Christmas when I really don’t follow what many people consider the MAJOR tenant of that holiday. So I decided to create a new holiday that I would support the tenants that I believe are good and righteous.
In the recent years there has been a movement by many fundamentalist Christian groups to “pull” Christmas back to being a religious holiday only. I think that is fine. We can have Krismas, they can have Christmas.
As Dale points out the concept has been around for three years now and, like Dale, I’ve managed to somehow not be aware of it, but boy do I like it. It sounds the same so when you wish someone a Merry Krismas it’s up to you whether or not you want explain it further. It’s deliciously subversive in that way. More importantly to me, however, is that it does sum up what it is about the holiday that I find worth celebrating. I’m all for the secular aspects of Christmas and I reject all the religious aspects of it so using an alternate name makes a lot of sense. From now on in my writings I’ll be referring to it as “Krismas” unless I’m specifically discussing its religious counterpart.