Like a lot of other atheists I really like christmas. I like the candles, the colors, the christmas songs (not all the dodgy lyrics), the smell of cooking and the taste of the chrismas food. I really understand that people in the northern hemisphere have been celebrating the winter solstice for a long time, long before christianity hijacked it. I’m also pleased that in Norway we still use the ancient, heden word “jul” (related to and pronounced like “yule”) for this holiday. For me christmas is an opportunity to spend time with my family, and I happen to like them all a lot.
This song by Tim Minchin describes a lot of my feelings towards christmas. I’m lucky enough to live close to my family, but gladly admit to wanting to live somewhere where drinking white wine in the sun is a more likely scenario than shuffling snow. I’d also love for my dad to still be around, we all miss him.
It really is very good, and funny too.
“December is historically a time when humans have a festival to cheer them up because the sun has gone, and Christmas holds the current title. Christmas has done well, to its credit. It’s beaten off the competition and is the reigning champion.
There is also a lot to be said for Christmas. The high spirits, good food and bringing people together are excellent things for humans. Although anyone who says it is the greatest story ever told clearly hasn’t read Watchmen.” (Page ?, I’m reading it on my Kindle.)
Kristin and I usually spend some time every Saturday doing the different quizes in the local newspaper Bergens Tidende. We usually demonstrate amazing amounts of ignorance on all the music and football questions. Jointly we usually show a bit more competence on most other subjects, but, when left alone we both quite often have some gaping holes in our general knowledge. This is just one example:
Question: Who is supposed to have written this: “Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them”.
My suggestion: This sounds like something Jokke could have said to one of the amazingly ugly women he dated before he somehow managed to snag Camilla, or Günther could have said to Else before he had to spend the night in the bathroom zink instead of having really weird sex. (Jokke and Günther are both from the really popular Norwegian cartoon Pondus)
I wondered why Kristin had trouble swallowing her bit of taco, but understood more when she finally managed to splurt out that the quote was from Song of Solomon. (Just to clarify: I was reading the questions, she actually knew this.)
But, if this is a typical example of biblical poetry I think I’ll continue reading The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas, at least it’s funny.