Another xmas gone and I must admit I am one of those who fail to catch the holiday "spirit." For my daughter, I have tried to go through the motions. I have a miniature multi-colored artificial tree that I pull out for my daughter. And at some point, we open presents. Each year, the gift-giving in our family gets reduced by some new condition. First it was towards cheaper gifts and now we've agreed to give only to kids. For some reason, I find the whole ordeal of buying gifts and sending them off troublesome and I get little joy from opening boxes of clothes that don't fit and gadgets that I'll have to sell at the next yard sale.
Last year I went hiking for xmas--a great way to spend the holidays. The more I think about it, I can't figure out why in the hell I'm even pretending to celebrate xmas anymore. I'm not a Christist (i.e., Christian). I have no problem with people believing in Christism but after years of being subjected to right-wingers' rant on about how they will run around the world and teach everyone how to be decent folk, I'm fed up.
The crass commercialism of the holiday also turns me off. Do Americans really need an excuse to blow money on worthless crap? When I wander around Walmarts and other massive outlets, I can't believe that all those bright plastic doodads are really necessary for us to live quality lives.
I've decided to create a new holiday. It'll be called To The Mountains Day. Everyone will climb a mountain or a hill, look out from a snowy pass, or canoe around a misty bayou. The sacred food will be chilly cooked over a camp fire with coffee boiled from the same pot.
P.S. Pharyngula and No Religion Now have some nice posts on xmas in the proper humbug spirit.