my family and I are really going for it this year regarding the holidays and to be honest, I hope we're doing the right thing.
My husband and son (age 17) are atheists. My daughter (16) calls herself agnostic. I go by atheist too, but recently read some literature on naturalistic pantheism and felt like the label fit me pretty well. I don't believe in a supernatural god, goddesses or an afterlife. anyway-
for all our years as a married couple, dh and I have spent Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve running between his family get together (boring as hell) and my family get together (loud, obnoxious, but sort of fun). We were never happy with it, but figured it was out of our control. Well, last year both of my parents passed away. Last year's holidays were awful for me...I went out anyway to celebrate-tried to put on a happy face for the kids, but they were depressed too. We got through it.
fast forward to this year. We've decided to blow the family get togethers off. I'm not on good terms with my sisters after all that happened last year (and I'm right to be avoiding them now, they are toxic and the older one is verbally abusive) so even if they are doing somethign we won't be invited.
My husband's family gets together on Christmas Eve at his sister's house one hour away from here. They are all big time Xtians and they know we are not. The gatherings are SO.BORING. We sit around, looking at each other, no one talks except to make fun of each other-that is their sense of humor. Gift giving is gift cards to stores-literally a bunch of envelopes being passed around....I'm not ungrateful, it's kind of nice to get something, but it all seems so forced and meaningless. Last year, my MIL made a big deal out of my parents dying and how hard it had to be for me to be there...I wish she woudln't have gone on and on...I spent an hour in the bathroom crying (my mom died in Nov, so it was incredibly fresh) and when I finally came out everyone acted like nothing happened. I had giant red eyes and splotches all over my face, and the place was dead silent. It was awful. anyway....
We've decided to stay home on Thanksgiving and Xmas Eve, make a big special dinner and relax, just the 4 of us. This sounds like perfection to me...starting our own traditions as a family so when the kids are married and have kids (if they do that!) they can come home if they like to our holidays. If not, okay, but you know what I mean
It just feels like it's time to start our own thing-finally-after all these years. I wonder if my kids will miss the hubby's side of the family party, since they are family-- and if we should go, even though they themselves have said it is the most boring gathering of people on the planet. I know my kids and I are still mourning my parents (me more than they) so it's still going to be hard. I'm in a "take care of me and them" phase, ya know?
I do invite hubby's mom and dad and grandma to our house for Yule dinner, which I always make special....I don't call it that since I know it would freak them out..but they never come.
anyway, this is a lot of rambling...thanks for reading. I'm glad you're all here. I only know 1 other atheist IRL and he's in the closet still. It can be lonely not having other like-minded people to discuss stuff with...