I am sure this is not a new issue to most. It was tough getting through December. It seems like everyone at work is Christian. I get along get with my co-workers, but feel if they knew I was Atheist, some would treat me differently. I am usually not afraid to speak my mind. But, since this is a new job, I have been avoiding discussing religion. When people would wish me "Merry Christmas", I would just say same to you and walk away. But this made me feel bad, because I felt I was not being true to myself, like I am an "in the closet Atheist". I don't feel a need to annouce to everyone my beliefs. Though if someone at work were to ask me what religion I am or if I go to church, I would tell them the truth. Do you think it is better to avoid situations? I don't like confrontation.
Work is not the place for religious battles. I think your approach is appropriate. Unless someone confronts you directly about your beliefs, I personally wouldn’t feel obligated to say anything. As for the “merry Christmas” thing… I usually respond “happy holidays.” If you think about it, it’s really not a big deal. Christmas has become rather secular. It’s just an excuse to be with family and to buy shit, and for kids it’s a break from school and a chance to get the latest shiny object. Even a lot of the Christmas songs are secular. Pick and choose your battles.
One short thing about x-mas.
This is just a small thing that might get x-mas a bit better and enjoyable. In Scandinavia we celebrated the Midwinter festival around the 22:nd of december before the christening of the north began. It was a celebration because och the midwinter solstice, the darkest day of the year. After this day the days would get longer and with that the nights shorter until the midsummer solstice... which also is a celebration. Its not religious, at least not anymore since it's celebrated because daylight is more appreciated when you live a bit higher in the northern hemisphere. An occasion to gather with family and friends to eat well and drink to the future.
When the christians came they saw this as great threat to their reign... they then changed the date for christs birth to todays date so that we would celebrate him instead... which in its own way proves them even more hokey... it stuck... but only a few percent celebrate christmas because of the carpenter here. Sure we give gifts to the kids... but mostly we gather family and friends to eat well and drink to the future.
Things have become tradition here in a perhaps odd way.. we took what was nice about x-mas, eating, drinking, getting together and enjoying ourselves and rid ourselves of the christ-thing... we have pictures of the folklore-gnomish-santas and the christmas-goat which has pagan roots. And we believe in none of that either... but they are nice pictures and makes it festive.
Use this or something similar and times like x-mas might go smoother.
Btw. we still celebrate Midsummer festival ;)