Monday, December 19, 2011

Confession of an Atheist Camel: Hump’s house looks like Santa Land

Yes, Virginia... Hump’s house is decorated for Xmas. There, I admit it. It’s out in the open. But in my defense let me remind you, dear reader, that Mrs. Hump is quasi-pseudo-Episcopal Lite-going on Freethinker. That is to say, while she eschews supernaturalism she’s never quite been able to leave her childhood enthusiasm for Xmas and all its traditional secular trappings behind. And why should she?

There is something about the greenery on the porch rail, set with dignified small white lights; the ribbon tied wreaths on the doors; the miniature trees on the mantle and sills; the string of lights on the wreath that’s carefully hung over the moose antlers on great room’s log wall; the pixie elves perched on the window casement with their varied (and somewhat creepy) facial expressions; the Victorian soldier nut cracker, tiny sleigh, antique Santa, holiday candles, and tacky bubbling snowman in the kitchen that brings back a more innocent time and the comfort of childhood. Not necessarily my childhood but my wife’s. I’m comforted by the fact that absolutely nothing says fictional virgin of questionable morals, deluded not-so-wise men, baby Jebus man-god in training, or anything else that can’t be traced back to its pagan or purely commercial roots.

Bottom line - Hump’s house looks as though a flash mob of meth crazed elves ran amok turning it into a bad imitation of “Little House on the Prairie meets Santa’s Work Shop.” It makes Mrs. Hump happy. It’s her only fault.

Soon the sons and their better halves will make the pilgrimage north, bearing gifts and offerings of Xmas cookies and pastries from New York City’s finest Italian bakery. We’ll drink spiked eggnog around the wood stove, listen to classic carols, maybe observe the ancient and little known Xmas tradition of shooting machine gun at the range (weather permitting), chow down on honey smoked spiral cut ham, and retire late on Xmas eve with visions of whatever the Jack Daniels, vodka martinis, and appletinis cause to dance in our heads..

Bright and early (hangover permitting), we’ll gather together to dive into the mountain of gift wrapped treasures, evidence that Mrs. Hump considers it her personal mission to single handedly stimulate the economy. The charge card bills will be enough to make the baby Jebus cry. But that’s not till January, so for now family fun,food, and conspicuous consumption is the order of the day and the reason for the season.

At some point invariably one of my heathen sons will chide me and ask where the Lamb of God is. Without missing a beat I’ll reply with one of my two favorite retorts, either:
“The Lamb of God is where it belongs, glazed with mint sauce and cooking slowly in the oven at 400 degrees where it can’t harm anyone.” or “He’s in the loft getting a hummer from the Sugar Plum Fairy.” And we’ll all laugh ... well, not so much the girls. But we're used to their disapproving looks.

Ah, Xmas! I’m good with it.

Wishing you and yours a happy holiday, no matter what you call it.


NewEnglandBob said...

I've never lived in a holiday decorated house. Growing up Jewish, we did not do decorating, just a menorah in the window during Channukah and a real candle one in the kitchen for 45 minutes each night until they burned out.

During my adult life most Jewish people (of which I still consider myself culturally) would go to the movies Xmas day and eat at a Chinese restaurant if we chose not to cook.

My wife still lights the candles. Being godless, I barely am aware of when the holiday takes place.

Dromedary Hump said...

ditto growing up Jewish, menorah, 8 nights of gifts, etc. we also did secular xmas, no tree, or decore..just a shit load of presents.

David said...

We always celebrated a secular xmas. I can't really work my parents out. Religion has never played a part in our family - I was never indoctrinated or baptised and have never been to church but now that I actually label myself as an atheist I cop flack from my mum about not believing in xmas. For the last couple of years I have become quite bah-humbug about all the xmas decorations, and walking into a shopping centre to be greeted with nativity scenes and xmas carols where every second word is a reference to jebus just pisses me off. I've been an atheist all my life but it is only the last couple of years that I have developed a strong anti-theist position.

Dromedary Hump said...

Likely your parents enjoy the holiday much like my wife does, and I do, and hate to see your atheism get in the way of a family secular happy time.

No one is more anti-theist than I, dare I say, and xmas means as much about jebus to my wife and I and sons as Halloween means "All Saints Day".

Cut your folks some slack... wish 'em a merry Xmas ;)

tiNstAg said...

Nice post Hump. I'm with you all the way. My family tends to go totally overboard with the decorations too. Multiple trees covered in lights and tat. I have to spend a few hours outside untangling last years lights and then put up the tacky reindeer, snowman and, a favorite of mine, the "traditional?" Xmas pig! Yep, we have a nice bright pink pig with twinkling lights and a Santa hat that sits in pride of place on the front lawn. I think it brightens up the neighborhood and nicely offsets the few half size nativity scenes that some neighbors insist upon.
Happy Holidays, Sol Invictus, Saturnalia, or just plain merriment to all!

Dromedary Hump said...

Nothing says birthday of the saviour like a Xmas pig, I always say ;).
Have a great one.

Sue said...

Tell Mrs. Hump I'm with her. A little ceremony, with pretty lights and colors, is fun and harmless. I put a wreath on the door with red bows, a hearth rug with reindeer on it, and a silly St. Nick in red velvet holding an impossibly small bag of toys. Usually I decorate my spindly Norfolk pine with a few ornaments but I got lazy this year. Looking forward to going home to celebrate with family, and hoping the eggnog and wine doesn't cause any of us to erupt in arguments about the "true meaning of Xmas." I must try to remember that leaving religion was a long, hard journey for me, longer and harder for others. Happy holidays!

Gerard26 said...

Hump, when you began with 'yes virgina'my immediate reaction was uncontrolled laughter I knew this was going to be good. Machine gun's and xmas?...
I never would have made the connection. Bah humbug. I am going to have a restoreative in salute to you and Misses Hump, cheers.

Dromedary Hump said...

Sue..Mrs Hump has been officially informed. She advises you to avoid the "reason for the season" argument at all costs. I on the other hand invite you to remind them they are all pagans at heart :)

Gerard.. what? Not familiar with Xmas machine gun shooting? Hey, if Jesus had access to a 1928A1 Thompson submachine gun, circa 1941...WWJD? ;)

Kyle Nicholas said...

I've got my own little "gay" pagan holiday tree up and lights strung around my apartment balcony and stocking hung with great carelessness that I might have to pay for nail damage to the front door. The really hilarious thing is that I'm the biggest, fattest, loudest, most militant outspoken dipshit atheist in the building, yet I'm the one with the most Christmas decorations! Yes, times have been tough lately, but even I can cut loose, drop a few dollars for a few lights, and make with the festive! Wishing everyone a Happy Decemberween, a Merry Giftmas, and the "bestest" and most "drunkest" New Year's!

Dromedary Hump said...

Kyle..Heheh.. hey, who decorates better than "gay" :)
Have a wonderful one..easy on the booze.

Shaw Kenawe said...

It's nice to welcome the winter solstice with a decorated tree and pretty lights. That helps me slog through an otherwise dreary month of diminishing light and increasing cold.

The biggest surprise I had this year was finding out that my maiden surname is of Jewish origin. Both parents came from Sicily and were raised Catholic, but a nephew of mine, researching our family name, discovered, on a Jewish geneology website, that our name is a Jewish-Sicilian name.

Further research disclosed the fact that my parents, and their parents, and their parents, were born in a province of Sicily that was a strong Jewish enclave. Jews were in Sicily for 1400+ years--brought to that Mediterranean island by the Romans as slaves and who lived on the island until Spanish Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand implemented the hated Edict of Expulsion in 1492.

The Sicilian Jews were given three choices: convert, leave, or be killed.

An encounter with a Jewish-Sicilian-born gentleman in the Italian community where I live in Boston added to this fascinating information when he told me my maiden surname was indeed Jewish, and was originally spelled with a "K" (the first letter) and not a "C" as it is now. He knew of Jewish families with this name.

Our family is doing further research and enjoying learning about this interesting aspect of our family's name.

[BTW, "Shaw Kenawe" is my blognym, not my real name.]

Dromedary Hump said...


Well, shalom and L'Chaim! don't LOOK Jewish ;)

Interesting discovery, thanks for sharing. Now don't be getting all jewish on us and start lighting a menorah - Channukah starts to night ;)

Have a nice holiday.

Anonymous said...

A few hours after sending my mom the usual email letting her know her Christmas gifts were on the way, she wrote me back to tell me to cancel the order if there was still time because she wasn't comfortable accepting Christmas gifts "from an atheist."

Out. Of. The. Blue.

My mother, one the least religiously observant people I know.

Oh well.

My house is tricked out too. Even have a teeny manger scene made up of cartoon bears in the Bedford Falls village.

Dromedary Hump said...

blue..ouch, that's unfortunate. I'd come back with a witty retort for her, but it's your mom.

religion does wierd things to folks.

have a good one.

Momma Moonbat said...

I can relate to Mrs. Hump. I'm a one-woman stimulus package for the local economy. The house isn't totally tricked out simply because I just didn't feel like messing with the jumble of lights this year; but the tree is up, the Santa village is up, the stockings are hung by the fake chimney with care, and the house smells of goodies I only bake this time of year. I love Christmas, and it has nothing to do with Jebus. It has to do with being together with those I love (and admittedly, the stress of avoiding those I don't), showering my loved ones with gifts and baked goodies, and ooohing and aaahing at shiny things.

Dromedary Hump said...

Yup.... we're in the same club.