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My family is Catholic but as I grew up, I realized religion wasn’t right for me. None of it ever clicked with me but I have always loved holidays, especially Christmas. I love the decorations, the food, the music, the shopping, and spending time with family. I realize it may seem odd that an atheist celebrates Christmas, but I’ve never been one of those people who keep the “Christ” in Christmas (obviously).

I think I’ve been an atheist my whole life, as most of my life I never truly believed in any God. When I believed in Santa Claus, I thought he was just someone that rewarded children for their good behavior who lived in the North Pole with all the elves. If I ate my vegetables, did my homework, and went to bed on time then I was being a good kid in Santa’s eyes (and my parents). I still think of “Santa” in the same way; it’s a great tool for parents to use, and for children it’s a magical idea that keeps their imagination alive. If I have children, I will want them to experience the same thing. I think it’s important for them to have an imagination filled with wonders and the impossible task of someone flying around the world in one night.

Over a decade later, I view Christmas as a time to give back and celebrate loved ones. Decorating, making cookies, and giving gifts are honestly things that just make me happy. After a long year it’s the perfect time to reflect on the year while doing something fun to spice up the year. Christmas vibes are immaculate and the perfect way to end the year. Seeing all of the brightly decorated houses while you drive at night is always a good serotonin booster.

So yes, I am an atheist who celebrates Christmas and while my reasons for celebrating may be different than my family’s, we share the same traditions of decorating the tree, baking cookies, and celebrating love on Christmas morning. Christmas is about love and giving, which should be done all year round, but there is something magical about seeing so many people coming together to give before the new year comes.

Hello! My name is Alaina, and I'm a senior this year at MSU. I'm majoring in Neuroscience and Spanish, and heading off to medical school next year. In my free time I enjoy running, reading, traveling, and finding the best coffee spots.
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