I’ve never really celebrated Christmas, and it’s not even because I’m an atheist because my life is still cumulatively Christian at the moment. My family just never did, I didn’t have any godparents to visit and never that many presents to open on Christmas morning. But that never really bothered me, I guess that has something to do with why my family didn’t celebrate Christmas in the first place. Because when I asked my parents and grandparents why we never celebrated Christmas, they would always tell me, we just don’t have the money. And to me, that made perfect sense. Coming from a lower middle class family, I knew that we had no means to be extravagant. We couldn’t afford to have a generous noche buena or excessive gifts that way out of the family budget and that never really upset me in any way. I mean seeing my cousins getting gifts and even money for Christmas when I didn’t have any was a non-issue to me. And with that in mind, Christmas wasn’t really much of a big deal.
This tradition on non-celebration is carried out until present, but now, despite the fact that we can afford to buy hamon and keso de bola on our table, my mom would always choose to give it to charity. I mean it’s nothing huge like a large sum or anything, it’s sometimes just rice or clothes but I get the point. Most of my friends also practice this and a lot of people I know really make a big deal of charity when the Christmas season comes. They really “give back”, as they put it, to the less fortunate which is probably the best thing about Christmas. I may not be able to understand why people celebrate the birth of Christ, but I go comprehend the idea of giving back to the less fortunate.
This accepted and glorified idea of giving back on Christmas is probably the reason why I chose to ask a donation as my gift this Christmas. I thought people would be delighted that I didn’t ask any weird book. But somehow, my wish wasn’t as accepted as I wanted it to be. Being an atheist, I thought Christians would understand this idea of gift giving better but it really struck a cord in me that they would rather buy me something than give someone who has nothing. Why was that so hard to do? Or they just thought the idea was too cheeky? I mean it only takes less than 10 minutes to sign up and another 10 minutes to deposit the money in the bank. Was that really harder than spending 30 minutes shopping?
I didn’t ask anything for myself because for one, I didn’t want anything this Christmas. I have a steady job and a healthy family so I didn’t care for anything else. Second, I wanted somebody else to get something this Christmas, why would I ask for a gift that I don’t want if I can give it to somebody else? Lastly, I got through college through a foundation and I wanted to share the idea of giving less fortunate people a chance to start. Why was this idea not accepted? Why can’t it be just what it is?
Humanity in general is really disappointing. Everybody’s too busy spending their time in malls rather than looking at humanity’s problems at hand. And they say celebrating Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ through giving but somehow, when I look around, I really don’t see this. Christians should live as Christ did, which was supposed to be the main thought of Christianity. Kind, giving and doesn’t complain. But now when you try to evaluate people, it doesn’t really match up. People pride themselves in being Christians that have nothing to do with how Christ lived, it’s embarrassing. When will people ever own up to what they call themselves? When will people prove Nietzsche wrong when he said Christ was the only Christian. I wish people would live up to who they’re supposed to be.