Sometimes people ask me if I feel “left out” at this time of year (full disclosure: nobody asks me that, I just said it as a way of introducing this post). My reply (full disclosure, this “reply” is entirely in my imagination) is, “On the contrary, this is the time of year I feel most included.” Here’s why:
At this time of year, there’s a big to-do about a magical being who knows if you’ve been bad or good, who sees you when you’re sleeping, knows when you’re awake, etc., and who can do magical things like visiting billions of homes in a single night, defying all the known laws of physics.
And it’s pretty obvious that there are lots of people who actually believe in this magical being. And everybody kind of gets the message that it would be really uncool to tell these people that they’re wrong, or even to express the opinion that these people are wrong. There’s a very strong sense that we should all just play along, so these people don’t get disillusioned by having their mistake revealed to them.
In other words, the holiday season is when everybody over the age of about 8 gets a taste of what it’s like to be an atheist.
Happy holidays, everybody!