We’re not deeply into religious festivals like Christmas. The spirit is there, but the overtones of Christianity… not so much.

Since the seventies, I’ve been a bit reticent, in both senses of the definition, to participate in religion. Everyone can mostly do what they want: as long as they don’t bother me, I won’t bother them. Christmas is one of those times when Christianity intrudes on everyone, and I don’t complain.

Christmas is especially stressful for some people. You can feel it in the air. People are travelling which puts them outside their comfort zone. Small children expect gifts from Santa, so parents, grandparents and other relations have additional responsibilities. Entertainment and year end parties put a lot of stress on organizers and attendees. Many charities use the season to try to increase donations - because it coincides with the tax year. Christians will say that Easter is the big event, but church attendance soars over the Christmas holidays, and they must acknowledge it. So I try to smile at everyone a lot, and wish everyone the best, because they’re going through trying times. If you’re one of those people, you have my sympathy.

What we don’t do - or at least try very hard not to - is make purchases as Christmas gifts. Usually, gifts bought for Christmas giving are more about appeasing the giver’s concience, and are rarely more than dust-collectors to the recipient. For us, a large purchase, where the item is really needed and will be appreciated, in the time-range of Christmas plus-or-minus three months, is called a Christmas gift. But that’s really just an excuse, it can sometimes be called a birthday present with the same rationale.

So, this holiday season, just chill.

Don’t let the Christians get you down, You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to - aside from show up at your mom’s for lunch and your step-mom’s for dinner, and your sister’s church for midnight mass, and your brothers on Christmas morning to open presents with the kids…

See what they’re doing?

Just don’t.

They’ll love you anyway if they’re true Christians.



A Canadian electrical engineer living in Switzerland, developing software for over 40 years, e.g. big data for electric distribution utilities and the cloud security space, but now retired.

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