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Christmas is upon us. I’m not a Christian, so I really shouldn’t be celebrating the day, but this happens to be an enforced holiday so I will follow like the others. The kids get a break from school. There are mandatory presents to buy (whether we have the money to do so or not). On almost every channel, there are different Christmas specials to watch.  It seriously is enforced.

Why aren’t other religions’ holidays enforced in our country? It’s not as though we have a national religion. Aren’t we taught that the pilgrims came here to escape religious persecution?  That freedom doesn’t apply to only one religion and that freedom should apply to the choice to NOT practice religion. I have noticed that some of the most persecuted for their beliefs are those who are openly atheist or agnostic.

I have a personal example of persecution based on lack of belief. About a month or so ago, my aunt and I had a religious discussion. I asked her questions that she answered with all the normal cliches, but never really addressed the specific questions.  Toward the end of our talk, she slams me with: “Don’t you want to go to Heaven and see your Daddy again? I’ll be going there and I’ll be able to see him. Don’t you want to see us?”  Uhhh. I sat like Patrick Star for a moment just drooling. Can we say manipulation?  Maybe a phrase we can try to pronounce is “guilt trip”.  You get the gist.

Why do those who are so certain that they have found salvation concern themselves about everyone else? MY salvation may not be the same as yours.  I want to live my life by The Golden Rule. I want to help others when I can. I want to die loved. I want to die without leaving debt to my children. I want to die with my name not being poison on anyone’s lips.  To me, that is salvation enough.

So, on Christmas day, I will get up earlyish with the boys, eat our yearly french toast casserole for breakfast, and then I’ll hand out their gifts to them… which will NOT be plentiful. I can’t afford to buy my children EVERYTHING they want (and really, I wouldn’t do that if I could afford it. I don’t want my kids to feel entitled to anything).  I will then round up everyone and go to the same Aunt’s house for Christmas lunch with mostly her friends that I slightly remember.  After eating, I will help clean up to chatter about all the money she spent on everyone, and the cruise she bought for herself and her husband.  Then she will she show me the new chocolate diamond ring her husband bought her this year.

Christmas. The enforced Christian holiday where guilt trips are laid upon non-Christians and faith is proved by spending exorbitant amounts of money.  The one who spends the most, gets the Holier Than Thou Award. Keep your receipts to prove it.

I am cynical. Take it or leave it. However, I’m sure at least some of you will see some truth to my words.  Also? There will be a sentimental Christmas post. How can there not be?  I do have a heart.  I swear.

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