Merry Christmas!

What does Christmas mean to me? It's a time for family and presents, Santa Claus, twinkling lights and evergreens, delicious meals and some decadent sweets. There are family traditions and time for rest and relaxation. There may not be a nativity set or an advent wreath, but there are plenty of traditions that hold a special place in my heart.

Some nonbelievers celebrate Christmas and others skip it completely. Of those who celebrate, there are some who only celebrate the secular aspects of the season (Santa Claus, gifts, tree trimming, etc.), and others who quietly go along with their family's or friends' Christian celebrations.

Personally, I am happy to wish everyone well on Christmas--believers and nonbelievers alike. Though the name of the holiday traces back to the birth of Christ, many of the seasonal traditions do not. In America, Christmas is a federal holiday, which, to me, means that the holiday is recognized as being open to all Americans, regardless of faith.

In my family, we have a wonderful time during the winter holidays. We celebrate Winter Solstice, then a few days later have our Christmas festivities. Which include the traditional decorated holiday tree, exchanging presents, a "visit from Santa," decorating cookies and enjoying a Christmas dinner with friends.

Last night, after a delicious family dinner (steak and fries--yum!), we opened our gift-wrapped pajamas, changed into them, then settled in for a monopoly tournament. (Star Wars monopoly, of course!) The game lasted about three hours, which were filled with fun and lots and lots of laughter.

This morning, we spent an hour exchanging presents--not that we have that many to open, but we take turns watching each other and exclaiming over each gift. Then we relaxed for a bit, called and emailed friends and family, and are now preparing for our dinner guests.

It has been a lovely holiday and I hope everyone--regardless of belief or nonbelief--can have an equally enjoyable day with their own family and friends.

Merry Christmas!

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