I got on a plane Friday morning from Missouri to San Antonio, Texas, to spend Christmas with my daughter Syan, and her boyfriend, both of whom are in the Air Force. This is what Christmas is all about. I'm so enjoying the time with them and getting away from the day to day grind back at home.

I am an atheist who always saw Christmas as a time to spend with family and/or friends and truly enjoying the day. I'm so glad I don't have the baggage of religion to make this time anything more than a time to focus on family. My daughter usually comes to visit me and her sisters in Missouri around June, and this is the first holiday in about two years that we've spent together. I can't tell you how much it means to me. She spent the money to fly me here, as I just don't have any to spend. I am so proud of her and what she's accomplished, and know she will go far in the Air Force. She has a boyfriend who is constantly complimenting her, and who has a great sense of humor. She really is quite a young lady at the age of 22.

I do want to say just one thing that's been on my mind lately about the whole commercialization of Christmas. It struck me how often my Christian friends on Facebook have the need to post "Keep the Christ in Christmas" stuff during this time and how hypocritical I find this to be. Christmas is big business, and Christians will tell you they are the majority in this country, the good ole USA...yet they are the biggest consumers of Christmas gifts and decorations. I feel this way: If you really want to celebrate the TRUE meaning of your Christian Christmas, then ditch the tree and decorations, forget the presents. Instead, go to church or at least talk about Jesus and gather with your family...but keep all the pomp and circumstance out of Christmas. Yet, they don't want to give up the "fun" part of Christmas and then blame everyone else for the commercialization of Christmas. Hypocrisy at its best.

Okay, I'm done with that little rant. I just want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and the best coming year possible. I am so thankful for my family who doesn't carry the heavy baggage of religious belief to make this an uncomfortable time. I feel very fortunate. For all those closet atheists and agnostics out there, let me tell you that finally coming out and letting everyone know who you are is very freeing. I decided a couple of years ago to stop saying I'm agnostic and say what I truly am...atheist. And it feels great. So far I've not met with too much antagonism, and I still maintain many Christian Facebook friends even after many posts that would normally set them off. Maybe I'm getting through to them, who knows. I'm just much happier to show who I am, rather than keeping it to myself because I might "offend" someone. I'm tired of walking on egg shells. I try to be respectful in how I voice my views, but sometimes it's not easy.

Happy holidays to you all. I hope to get to know more of you better over the coming year. Please friend me on facebook, too, if you'd like. Finding Think Atheist has really helped me to see life differently and to be who I really am. Thank you.

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