Christmas is (finally) upon us. After months of red-and-green evergreen decorations in every store, and an increasingly unbroken stream of Santa-centric pop songs in every public place, the annual American onslaught reaches its peak this week.
Every year, those of us who don’t celebrate Christmas find ourselves having the same debates over and over again, starting well before Thanksgiving and continuing into the New Year. Well-meaning friends, neighbors, and colleagues insist to us that we should not be bothered by the giant Christmas trees in every building lobby, or the Christmas music supplanting our usual radio fare. Christmas, the argument goes, is secular; therefore, everyone should be comfortable participating in it, whether or not they identify as Christian.