© Glendon Mellow, The Flying Trilobite

merry krismas to all

kris kringle

Oh, how completely I adore this.

I had an interview today with Rev. Welton Gaddy for the Air America program STATE OF BELIEF. Among the questions was the classic “How do nonreligious families celebrate Christmas?” My staple answer usually includes phrases like “Many different ways, there’s no need to all conform to a single expression,” “The winter solstice celebration is as old as humanity,” “Food, folks and fun,” and “Oh, there’s a religious version, too?”

Three hours too late, I learned from a comment on the PBB Discussion Forum that I don’t celebrate Christmas at all, and never have. I celebrate Krismas. As Jacob Walker, one of the namers of the holiday, put it:

Krismas is a secular holiday that celebrates the myth of Kris Kringle, commonly known as Santa Claus. It happens on December 25th of each year, and is also closely associated with Krismas Eve, which occurs December 24th… Krismas is about giving gifts, especially those “from the heart”; it is about the magic of childhood; it is about peace on earth; and it is about goodwill towards humankind, and anything else you wish it to mean that does not involve the Jesus as a savior bit.

Apparently this idea is three years old. Leave it to me to miss it. This is not merely cute; the more I think about it, the more genuine brilliance I see. Here’s more from Jacob:

I loved Christmas growing up. I treasure those memories buy amoxicillin. I treasure the mythology of Santa Claus, Rudolph, Elves, etc. I treasure the idea of giving gifts, the beauty of Christmas lights and the smell of Christmas trees. This is what Christmas was about to me. These are the secular mythologies and symbols that we have made Christmas about.

I really didn’t think much about the birth of Jesus while growing up; it was just another mythology surrounding the time, and I never believed in Jesus as a savior. As I have grown, I have come to believe that the notion of Jesus being a savior, and many of the ideas of fundamentalist Christian churches, and the Catholic church to be detrimental to peace, acceptance and love in our world. So I didn’t want to support them any longer. It also would not be true of me to celebrate Christmas when I really don’t follow what many people consider the MAJOR tenet of that holiday. So I decided to create a new holiday that would support the tenets that I believe are good and righteous.

In recent years there has been a movement by many fundamentalist Christian groups to “pull” Christmas back to being a religious holiday only. I think that is fine. We can have Krismas, they can have Christmas.

(Many thanks to BornAgainHeathen for the tip!)

More about Krismas.



This was written on Thursday, 20. December 2007 at 18:34 and was filed under belief and believers, holidays and celebrations, humor, myths, nonbelief and nonbelievers. You can keep up with the comments to this article by using the RSS-Feed.

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Comments »

  1. You have provided a great service by posting about this. I have a better idea how I will present the holiday to my daughter when she is old enough to create meaning about it. Thank you and Merry Krismas!

    Comment: kathryn – 20. December 2007 @ 8:34 pm

  2. Oh good! I’m not the only one who finds this a breakthrough concept. Merry Krismas to you too, Kathryn!

    Comment: Dale – 20. December 2007 @ 8:57 pm

  3. You’re so very welcome. It was neat to read about this and have a “why didn’t I think of this!!!” moment. Funny coincidence, I was reading Dennett’s take on the evolution of memes, and Krismas is such a shining example of this.

    Merry Krismas to all, and to all a good night!

    Comment: bornagainheathen – 20. December 2007 @ 9:52 pm

  4. Referring back to your recent post, I think we god-free folk can celebrate Christ-less ‘Christmas’ just as we can feel ‘blessed’ or regard something as ‘sacred’.

    Joyeux Noël a tous !

    Comment: sphagnum – 21. December 2007 @ 7:53 am

  5. I think we god-free folk can celebrate Christ-less ‘Christmas’ just as we can feel ‘blessed’ or regard something as ’sacred’.

    I quite agree. That’s the beauty of renaming it with a homophone. It is different, yet very much the same. Brilliant!

    Comment: Dale – 22. December 2007 @ 3:31 pm

  6. […] or I’ll never get back to the Can You Hear Me Now? series, which I swore I’d finish by Krismas. So here […]

    Pingback: The Meming of Life » There is too much. Let me sum up. Parenting Beyond Belief on secular parenting and other natural wonders – 02. December 2009 @ 10:19 am

  7. […] on Santa, which first appeared in Parenting Beyond Belief. This year is our first fully Santa-less Krismas, as Delaney declared her akringlism in February (described […]

    Pingback: The Meming of Life » Santa Claus — the ultimate dry run Parenting Beyond Belief on secular parenting and other natural wonders – 10. December 2010 @ 8:38 am

  8. […] Dale wrote about Krismas here (December […]

    Pingback: grrrl meets world » Blog Archive – 13. December 2010 @ 10:43 pm

  9. […] Dale wrote about Krismas here (December […]

    Pingback: December dilemma | Parents Beyond Belief – 17. December 2010 @ 1:14 pm

  10. […] birthdays celebrated.  New school years started.  New things broken and old things fixed.  This Krismas marked the second anniversary of my last cigarette. (Yay!) In response, I developed a painful case […]

    Pingback: 2010 Review… How are the Hellions doing? « Raising Hellions – 05. January 2011 @ 3:30 pm

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  19. […] So I read.  And read.  And read.  I learned about Saturnalia, a Roman festival which involved winter solstice feasting and merry-making.  I learned that the practice of bringing greenery into the home stems from pagan traditions, in which greenery symbolizes life returning to the earth after the darkness of the winter solstice.  I learned that far from being set in stone, no one really knew when Jesus was born, and that the Puritans eschewed the celebration altogether.  And as to giving presents? Oh, what a relief to find the website Parenting Beyond Belief and to realize we weren’t celebrating Christ’s Mass when we wrapped presents and set them under the tree; we were celebrating Krismas! […]

    Pingback: Why I Don’t Decorate (Much) for the Holidays – A Meandering List of Reasons | Green, Grey and Gezellig – 12. May 2017 @ 6:54 am

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