Christmas after atheism

December 20, 2009 | 3 comments

Since I’m so often asked what it’s like to experience Christmas after a life of atheism (especially that I was an atheist even as a child), here is a quick roundup of posts I’ve done on the subject:

I hope everyone has a great week as we prepare for Christmas!


  1. Anonymous

    It’s fascinating to me to think of enjoying Christmas for the first time after believing in God. I think on some level the joy of a new believer must be, if not more intense, at least more surprising. Lifelong Christians get used to faith, hope and love to the point where we don’t always count our blessings.

    I can relate in one way though – I grew up attending a church (the “church of Christ”) that did not believe that Christians should celebrate Christmas since it was invented by “man,” not mentioned in the bible, and was just Catholicism’s way of pandering to pagans who didn’t want to stop their old rituals. I remember being told and time again that we didn’t really know what day Jesus was born and it was wrong to celebrate it as Jesus’ birthday since we didn’t really know.

    As a child we celebrated Santa on Christmas morning, but only heard about Jesus being born on Christmas from other kids at school. Even as a child, I think knew something was amiss. Now, as an adult, though I am not a Catholic, I firmly believe that Christmas is a Christian Holiday. I attend a church that hangs evergreens and other Christmas decorations throughout the building, we sing religious Christmas Songs and have special services dedicated to celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

    I cannot fully comprehend the dramatic switch from an atheistic Christmas, to a Catholic one, but I can relate to Santa-Christmas to a Jesus-Christmas, and I can wholeheartedly agree that the manger outweighs the sleigh any day.


    (Special Note: Some churches of Christ may celebrate Christmas nowadays. This denomination has no governing structure and therefore each congregation operates independently from the whole. In fact they prefer to be called non-denominational. I just thought I’d throw that in there as not to insult any Manger-loving Church of Christers who happen to be out there!

  2. Abbey

    Enjoyed reading about your first Christmas as a Christian. I converted to Catholicism at age 28, some 27 years ago. I am, in only the last few years, truly enjoying the fullness and true meaning of Christmas. For "Anonymous", the next best thing to not celebrating "because" WE REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT DAY HE WAS BORN is a fairly poor excuse for not celebrating.

    As an adult of middle age, I am drawn more to the meaning of Christmas. I believe it has to do with my overall "conversion", which was brought fully to fruition in the last 4 years.

    God bless you for your conversion and may you have a blessed Christmas.


  3. Stefanie

    Thanks, Jen, for the reminder. It was one of your Christmas after atheism posts that originally brought me to your blog doorstep. I have many more close atheist friends/companions than Christian ones. Your posts remind me that God is on the move always and that the silent yet meaningful movement of the heart towards Him is ever-present. Joyous Christmas, Jen!

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