For Dawkins’ sake, leave Christmas to the Christians

Have you enjoyed Christmas? Or was it just too stressful and expensive, you’re pleased to see the back of it, and you wonder why you buy into it year after year?

If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool secularist and are determined not to celebrate it next year, then why not follow the courage of your convictions and pack it in once and for all.

Surely any right-minded, card-carrying secularist should have the guts to totally ignore the Christian calendar, keep working till New Year, and only then break for a long summer holiday.

After all, we live in a country which is overwhelmingly secular, reflected in moves to remove all public symbols of Christianity lest they might cause offence.

In the current climate, where Christianity is seen as an affront to most secularists, why does the whole country slavishly shut down on Christmas Eve day and Christmas Day to celebrate the birth of Christ?

What a bunch of hypocrites. Stop putting a star on top of the Christmas tree, get rid of any evidence of angels, and quit singing religious carols. They don’t belong to you and your faith, or lack of it, so stop appropriating them. If you don’t believe in Christ or a Christian God, it’s time to refrain from all Christian rituals and indulgent sentimental attachments to the trappings of Christmas.

What’s that? You like your Christmas tree because of the smell? If we stopped growing pine trees specifically for Christmas, we would lessen the spread of wilding pines and fires.

If secularists had any sense of honour, they would give Christmas a miss and move the celebrations to Matariki.

Matariki, celebrated at the end of June or early July, is a much better time for a mid-winter festival.
Jane Bowron: ”Time for secularists to swap baby Jesus for baby cheeses.’’

Jane Bowron: ''Time for secularists to swap baby Jesus for baby cheeses.’’
Jane Bowron: ”Time for secularists to swap baby Jesus for baby cheeses.’’

The dominant public holidays in New Zealand are Christmas and Easter, but few attend church on these dates sacred to Christians. Why not move the two days awarded to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and the two either side of the Easter weekend, to Matariki so that Kiwis could have a decent mid-year break and return to the workforce refreshed?

Remember those long weeks between Queen’s Birthday and Labour Day that go on and on without a public holiday to come to the rescue? That’s another good reason why Matariki should be awarded more days.

And moving the digestion of heavy tucker – the eating of hams, meats, roast potatoes, gut-stonkering puddings, mince pies and heavy fruit cakes – to the middle of winter is easier on the stomach and would make a wonderful celebratory Matariki repast.

Why do we persist in eating Victorian English fare at the height of summer when we pride ourselves on salads and the cornucopia of seasonal fruits and vegetables? Time for secularists to swap baby Jesus for baby cheeses.

Why do we persist in eating Victorian English fare at the height of a Kiwi summer?

How many times have you heard people say they hate Christmas but go along with it for their children and grandchildren? Matariki is a time for family and friends, so why couldn’t children receive presents then?

This would relieve some of the financial burden from the Christmas/New Year holidays by splitting the bill in two, with money saved for the summer holidays, and money put aside for the mid-year Matariki exchange of gifts.

So there you have it. A radical rearrangement of the calendar, with a decent chunk of public holidays awarded to Matariki.

And if secularists want to celebrate their own special day, then they should begin campaigning now for a Dawkins Day to celebrate the birth on March 26 of the ethologist, evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins, who wrote The God Delusion.