A Primer for Atheists at Christmas

Carl Winderl

© Copyright 2023 by Carl Winderl

Image by Mike Singleton from Pixabay
Image by Mike Singleton from Pixabay

As yet another Christmas season advents, I am reminded of my annual embarrassment and guilt for atheists and their attempts to remove vestiges of Christ from Christmas. Surely, someone must help them, and since no one else has yet stepped forward, I modestly propose myself for this long overdue task.

I first felt my heart strangely warmed to assist them when my daughter was in elementary school. Right after Thanksgiving some years ago, as I entered her school to car-pool her and two of her friends, their principal hurried over to me and said, “Oh, Dr. Winderl, I wanted to explain to you personally what we’re doing with the Holiday Season this year, to better help the students clearly understand what Christ- . . . I mean what the Holiday Season is truly all about.”

I see, Mrs. DelVal,” as I appeared to be admiring the decorations inside the foyer leading my eyes to the festooned hallways radiating from it. At the time I lived near Boston and taught at a small denominational college in the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities.

I looked at the usual hand-made Christmas trees, holly wreaths, wrapped presents, candy canes, glistering stars, candles, gingerbread men, snowmen, numerous jolly old St. Nick’s, reindeer, sleighs, etc., gaily adorning the doors, walls, and even the ceilings.

Principal DelVal’s eyes followed mine, I could sense, as she further explained, “We’re not allowed to reference in any way ‘Christmas’ and Jesus, the wise men, certainly not God, or any other religious references – Christian references, I mean. I hope you understand. . . . I – I – I mean I certainly don’t want to offend you, either . . . but . . . Well, you do understand, don’t you?”

Oh, yes, -- Mrs. DelVal. I completely understand,” smiling as I continued to gaze especially at the Christmas trees, candy canes, gingerbread men, stars -- no longer seasonal decorations but “un-timely” ones.

For a number of years I filed that all away, but currently with university students in San Diego now at a similar denominational institution within the CCCU, I re-visited with them how ironic are the well-intentioned efforts of today’s atheists. In fact, the atheists’ annual attempts appear yearly more futile, puerile, now even infantile.

I’m actually embarrassed for them, because they obviously know not what they do not.

But what’s recently spurred and guilted me into action was hearing Steve Martin’s “Atheists Ain’t Got No Song!” Almost immediately I thought, if someone like Steve Martin is trying to help atheists then so should I.

What follows then is “A Primer for Atheists at Christmas,” to aid them in their sweeping efforts to spiritually cleanse our culture and our nation of any vestiges of the Christmas story, Christianity, and Christ Himself from this widely accepted but inappropriately based commercial celebration of the almighty dollar.

I start with the commonest symbols of Christ at Christmas which they’ve egregiously overlooked, given most atheists’ innocent upbringing and apparent untutored ignorant unawareness.

Probably I should clarify something: my intent in this proposal, or “Primer,” is not to further embarrass them but to reduce their embarrassment. For example, in using the term “ignorant” above, I employ it denotatively, by the word’s root meaning: “to ignore.” Clearly, they have been ill-equipped and deprived of comprehending even the most rudimentary cultural artifacts, if they only had eyes to see. I am eager to spare them further embarrassment, laughed at behind their backs because they know not what all they should ban. What I advocate should be all Christians’ duty, for we would not have them laughing at us nor making fun of our ignorance.

Even if they don’t adhere to the Golden Rule, and variations upon it, we must.

I’m only trying to help their unbelief and misunderstanding, and to be consistent: afterall, that seems to be what they expect of us.

For instance, I call upon Ralph Waldo Emerson for support, who said, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” Not to be ‘foolishly consistent’ myself, but after years of reflection and research into that quote and much of Emerson’s writings, I am certain he intended “a foolish in-consistency.” (No doubt a later editor dropped the offending prefix which I would arightly restore.)

In the spirit of emendations, the atheists were right in the beginning to ban all references to Christ, initially with the word Christmas (first “X”-ing out His name), then eliminating ‘Merry Christmas,’ expanding the ban to include the Christ child, images of a babe in a manger, nativity scenes displayed on tax-payer supported civic property, etc.

And in our nation’s race and fervor to achieve complete and entire multi-cultural diversity, it is past time to reverse merging religious and cultural celebration in the marketplace and public square of our diverse and diverging society; therefore, I would urge well-intentioned atheists to call for a reversal and revision of e pluribus unum to ab uno pluribi.

To what end? To assist and aid the atheists, of course, to make more efficacious their spiritual cleansing, so that no not one person might be offended: neither consciously nor sub-consciously by any whit or whiff of overt or covert Christian Dogma. How else might their campaign to completely and entirely take Christ out of Christmas be brought about. If not banned entirely, Christendom may be perpetuated unto eternity, even until Jesus Himself comes again. Christmas will continue to abound, according to atheists, in even more Christ myths, as generation after generation of children seasonally sing-song all they want for Christmas are their two front teeth.

Without such spiritual cleansing, the connotative, covert, and subliminal references and messages will increase not just incrementally but exponentially; therefore, I wish to call to our atheist brothers’ and sisters’ attention the Christian symbols, images, and allusions they’ve overlooked. If they are to be consistent in their eradication of all that is Holy to Christians at this Natal Time of the Year, they must grossly expand their “Banned List.”

For example, substituting “Happy Holidays” is a start, but it too should be verboten along with “Merry Christmas,” because ‘Holiday’ is a portmanteau for ‘Holy Day.’ I would suggest instead “Pleasant Winter Time of The Year Salutations!” for a more sanitized and much less offensive phrase.

As just illustrated, some efforts have been made to ‘dance around’ revealing any duplicitous phraseology, but other more palatable alternatives might be “Winter Gift-Giving Days!” and “Shop Early & Save on End-of-the-Year Gift Discounts!” Actually though, any noun or verb use of “gift” and “giving” should be strictly avoided. For John 3:16 (“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”) and Acts 20:35 (“it is more blesséd to give than to receive” [an insidious double whammy referencing both ‘blesséd’ and ‘give’]) should cause all card-carrying atheists to shudder. Not to mention, “the gift that keeps on giving”: Who else could the referent of that slogan possibly be. Atheists of the world must unite and strike it also from contemporary usage.

Furthermore, even the clever Peterson-esque paraphrase “it’s better to give than to receive” should likewise be banned.

Oh, if they only truly knew. . . . Well, now they will.

Quite naturally, actions themselves are far more thunderous than words, so that the very act of ‘gift-giving’ should be equally suspect, for the Magi themselves brought gifts to the Christ child, and St. Nicholas adapted (n.b., for atheists: “St.” stands for “Saint” not “Street,” so that abbreviation and word too should be added to their banned list) the early prototype of course for today’s Santa Claus. Note too: “Santa” is Spanish for Saint, although it could make a particularly useful anagram if used as ‘Satan,’ serving their purposes well, especially if they connect it to ‘Claus,’ perhaps as a homonym for Claws: i. e., Satan’s Claws.

Even more helpful might be the following bon mot.

If the atheists really did their homework on the tradition of “bans” throughout history they could cite as precedent-worthy the late Oliver Cromwell for his well-intentioned efforts to ban Christmas celebrations throughout Great Britain. To legitimize his banishment he pushed through an Act of Parliament in 1644 forbidding Christmas celebrations, mandating shops remain open on December 25th, and condemning mince pies, plum puddings, and the Christmas roast goose. So effective, popular, and efficient were those edicts that Connecticut and Massachusetts enacted similar bans in “New” England.

But, alas, as atheists are too aware and too eager to remind us, we as Christians have fallen by the wayside of our Puritanical, witch-hunting forefathers and returned to the One True Way at Christmas. So again it is long past overdue that we should stop further backsliding into our wicked worshipful and celebrative ways.

To enforce their statutes, the Cromwellians even came up with a catchy slogan to popularize their actions: “Yuletide is Fooltide!” Mccann-Erickson would be so proud if atheists would today capitalize upon such knowledge. And now they can.

And so, for each of the following words’ similar etymologies could be performed. For brevity’s sake, I’ll simply compile a “Starter List” for my atheist friends to follow up on, because they must remain ever-vigilant if they are to truly stamp out Christmas once and for all.

They truth-fully need to expand their “Banned Words List.” In addition to banning Christmas, Christ, Jesus, Holy, etc., they need to ban God, of course, Lord, King, Son (because of the oft-repeated “Son of God”), and son; also Spirit (as in Holy Spirit, so no tolerance whatsoever of “in the Spirit of the Giving Season” [another obvious double whammy]); virgin, birth, infant, babe, baby, child, innocent, slaughter, or massacre (see Herod’s “slaughter of the Holy Innocents”); nativity, natal, newborn, flesh (because of “now in flesh appearing”); manger, crèche, cradle, crib, grotto, cave, room, inn (in fact, “Holiday Inn,” because of its own double whammy, should not be allowed to do business between Thanksgiving [no, make that Halloween, since retailers then jump the gun and begin promoting “End-of-the-Year Winter-Time Specials!”] until Epiphany Sunday [no, Valentine’s Day {wait, until Easter, no – no . . . Pentecost Sunday – actually, Holiday Inn should be permitted to advertise only the week before July 4th through the week after; probably they should just take themselves out of business altogether; or simply change their name}]).

Also added to the List should be angel, herald, shepherd; star, light (because Jesus is oft cited as “The Light of the World”), world, earth, twinkle, upon, midnight, clear; wisemen, wise, men, man, magi (and its multiple and various cognates: magic, magicians, magical, subsequently any and all references to Harry Potter [perhaps those offenders could be replaced with other derivatives, like sorcerer and sorcery, surely much more suitable and embraceable to atheists]); advent, adventure, journey, way, Way, visitation, appearance, arrival, long-expected, etc.

Certainly the Grand-Abba of all words to top the List of Banned Words is “Christmas” Itself, and the atheists were right to start with It. For even the most cursory etymological study reveals the word dating back to the 11th Century, in Middle English as “Cristes Maesse”: a “Christ Mass” celebrating the birth of Christ. So, they were indeed ‘right on’ to begin there and should always hold it high as the Standard Bearer for what further etymological searches could reveal for each word or phrase on the Banned List.

Atheists should equally be aware of how Christians have transfigured objects of the natural world to illustrate Christ and His Mission to return His Father’s world to its natural state; therefore, they should turn their attention to objects revealing Christ’s heralded birth on earth.

Most obviously: the Christmas Tree itself.

Actually, any tree triangular in shape (including all deciduous trees, because if viewed at enough distance they can be envisioned as green triangles), but evergreens or firs are especially affiliated and associated with Christmas: hence their name, Christmas Trees.

Their triangular shape calls to mind the Trinity, that is, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (already banned, in fact, rightfully so near the tippity-top of the Banned Word List). So, even as this one word stands alone, it reverberates with a triple whammy which threefold qualifies it for immediate banning. If I were an atheist, I would stand very far away from this heavy-laden concept.

And yet, atheists should at the same time be considerate of Christmas Tree salespersons and their vital participation in the annual year-end winter celebration of the almighty dollar. Perhaps then in the true spirit of reversal, the tradition of the Christmas Tree could be turned topsy-turvy. That is, suspend Christmas Trees upside down, so that their triangulated tips, instead of pointing up, and directing the eye thither, would point down, toward hell not heaven. And rather than an angel or star placed on the pointy end, perhaps a grinning red demon could perch upon the upturned stump, clutching it as with a death grip with its feet, thus illustrating the aforementioned Satan’s Claws.

But for those super-sensitive atheists perhaps they could instead simply substitute a symbol for hell, like a flame on the stump. No -- then they’d eventually have to change that for its obvious references to Pentecost and the Holy Spirit; better just to put a butane lighter there, or a match. But the truly zealous atheist could festoon it with a box of matches.

I would further suggest that if trees formerly known as Christmas Trees are utilized, even upside down, then nothing should depend from their branches.

Again dating back to the 11th Century, Christmas Trees were decorated with apples and bread, logical symbols of the tree “of life,” “of the knowledge of good and evil,” and numerous Eucharistic connotations Even by extension, Christians occasionally string their trees with garlands of cranberries and popcorn, reminiscent of those other Life-giving symbols. I would recommend that consistent atheists hang instead ornaments replicating and reinforcing the devil, e.g., horns, pitchforks, beady little black eyes, trident tails, snakes, fangs, forked tongues, manifestations of the 7 Deadly Sins, etc. They’re a creative lot; they could no doubt outwit me on this point with their far more suitable and subtle machinations.

Closely related to the branches of the Christmas Tree are wreaths, hung on doors or more popularly today in windows. These circled boughs of evergreen feature a candle (real or plastic), which on Sundays in church is either purple or pink and is ceremonially lit to indicate the coming King Who will be the Light of the World. In windows the candle of choice is white, symbolizing the purity of the Son and the Mother.

So, the words, objects, and colors: wreath, candle, light, pink, purple, and white all ought to be banned.

Similar is holly, also sometimes a wreath but often just a sprig or a spray; the pointed leaves indicate Christ’s crown of thorns, the red berries foreshadow His blood to be shed in drops, and here too the evergreen color symbolizes eternal life.

The poinsettia, or Christmas Flower, must also be banned, for its very blossom suggests the star of Bethlehem, the red colored leaves the blood of Christ, and the whiteness of the flowers Christ’s purity. In addition, the white sap is a remedy for fevers, fits, and convulsions, for which the adult Christ as the Great Physician was widely sought to cure and heal those very same maladies.

Mistletoe, which promotes kissing, is itself a form of giving, especially if perceived as a ‘holy kiss.’ However, originally it functioned as a symbol on a church doorway indicating all who entered would be forgiven and pardoned of sins, again, what Christ Himself came to do. Since being adapted to doorways in homes, the kissing, holy or otherwise, often leads to gift-giving and receiving, in turn perpetuating the notion of how much better it is to give . . . and get something in return.

Since the reversal of the Cromwellian edicts, it’s high time to in turn reverse today’s merging of Church and State, and by extension religion and culture, as any red-blooded atheist should advocate. Atheists, faithful to their creed and on the que vie, must boldly go forth poised and better armed to re-double their efforts to spiritually cleanse the world, which this Primer aims to aid.

For example, I would direct them to Jeremiah 10:3 - 4 where they would find God’s own injunction for His followers through one of His most esteemed prophets warning them NOT to make symbols and objects d’art: “For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not” (KJV). It could not be clearer that God Himself forbids Christmas Trees.

This passage could so fortify the atheists’ attempts to declaim not only Christians’ use of nature’s symbols and images to celebrate Christmas but also their desire to create man-made objects and symbols to enhance their worship of the King’s December birth.

As cited above, candles have long been a logical emulation of artificial light to combat the dark of night, a truly Manichean expression. Therefore, atheists would do well to ban the use of all candles (including on birthday cakes) from Halloween until Valentine’s Day, and beyond.

And candy canes should appear near the top of the banned list. They just might be the most subversive symbol of all with manifold subliminal messages heralding the ongoing role of the Saviour Son.

The shape itself indicates a cane, used to help the lame, the halt, and the crippled to walk, all of whom Christ healed repeatedly during His time on earth; plus, it’s in the shape of a shepherd’s staff, a calling Christ Himself used to refer to Himself; and upside-downing the candy cane turns it into the letter “J”: the first initial of God’s only begotten Son.

As if that weren’t enough, the rock hard white candy symbolizes Christ’s purity and the stainless robes of His followers washed in His blood; it also reinforces His permanence as the Rock on which all His believers stand.

The cane’s bold red stripe reminds believers that His shed blood washes them whiter than snow, while the three thinner stripes stand for the Trinity.

Truly, this simple child-like Christmas artifact appears to have evaded ignorant detection. Now atheists can ban it with zeal.

Also easily overlooked is ginger, the primary ingredient in the wildly perfidious gingerbread man, and in cleverly disguised forms as houses, cookies, and cakes. Crusaders brought ginger back from the Holy Land, along with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. These historical facts should alone be enough to condemn any concoction remotely suggestive of these spices .

Which includes eggnog. And mulled cider, yule wassail, and Tom & Jerry. Ban them all, atheists.

Advent calendars must also be eliminated if atheists are to take their task seriously. Again, see above the connotations of “advent,” and serious consideration should be made for banning any and all calendars at this time of year so that youngsters, their families, retailers, and advertisers not be tempted to count down the days to what may soon be some outdated celebration event.

However, concerned and sensitive atheists should once again keep in mind the livelihood of advertisers and salespeople who rely on those accustomed to worshipping at this time of year, so they should allow those card-carrying customers an opportunity to shift their allegiance to the almighty dollar. Perhaps, a campaign directed toward purchasing items by the 31st of December, a true “End-of-the-Year Sale” could be promoted, with items bought so as to qualify as tax deductions, construed as charitable donations. Yes! No. That would be another double whammy: first, donation is a “gift”; and secondly, charitable derives from “charity,” a ‘threesome’ attribute from I Corinthians 13:13. As can be seen, I am trying my best to be thorough, complete, and exhaustive in helping my atheist brethren, but as Mark Twain would say, “It’s just too many for me.” I’m sure some atheist could solve this particular thorny problem, possibly by using something from Mark Twain’s pen dipped in ink heated in hell.

Oh, these too: Christmas cards. They started out innocently enough but at their peak clearly emblazoned “Peace on Earth, Good Will to All Men, Women, and Children,” hearkening of course from the Prince of Peace. But slowly and surely the messages on the cards have become less and less offensive and more and more general; however, even more homogenizing needs to be done, but it would just be simplest to ban this outmoded practice altogether.

Because they were invented and first circulated in Boston in the 1870’s, these cards should be officially banned first in that very same city, given its history and tradition for banning the inflammatory, the contradictory, and the unnecessary.

A most recent Christmas phenomenon atheists immediately need to squelch is the whole Christmon Movement (another portmanteau, for the Latin Christus Monogramma); barely a fifty-year tradition in the U.S. this cottage industry is a veritable Polar Express! Atheists would be wise men indeed to derail this ever-burgeoning Christmas Symbol Proliferation.

Lastly and chiefest of all among Christmas kitsch would have to be the supposed Religious Art produced by Christians and non-Christians alike for mass consumption and crass commercialization to an eager, fawning, naïve public at this most sentimental time of the Christian calendar. I offer atheists a mere cursory list of artists, illustrators, painters, and graphic designers who have capitalized on this growing trend. Where and whom and what atheists choose to ban beyond this initial list is up to them; really, I can’t do all their work for them. I’m just to be a model.

To wit, they should begin with artwork crafted by and attributed to Clement Moore, Currier & Ives, Norman Rockwell, Theodore Geisel (a.k.a., Dr. Seuss), Thomas Kincaide, et al. . . .

As I’ve evidenced, atheists must immediately enact a wholesale and sweeping plan if they’re to bring about the Death of Christmas.

And yet, the most pervasive, insidious, and pernicious purveyors of conscious and subliminal versions and variations of the Christmas story would have to be the media. Their slickness, professionalism, and immediacy make them the kings of the King of kings advent narratives. In particular, television programming, movies, and music, especially rock ‘n’ roll, lead the way in heralding the Christmas Season. Their dispersion of the facts surrounding the telling of Christ’s birth on earth know no demographic boundaries.

For these phenomena I will once again provide only a Starter List; atheists will just have to take it from here.

Most readily accessible, television programming easily reaches across more ages in more families with unstinting instantaneity. Starting with cartoons, such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and original and updated versions of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” before children can process the written word, they are indoctrinated through images; as they grow up, programming becomes more sophisticated in storytelling with “A Christmas Story,” “Shrek the Halls,” and “Home Alone [Parts 1 & 2],” etc.; teens and young adults become enamored and entertained by “Elf,” “The Santa Clause,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “The Simpsons Christmas,” and “Christmas with the Cranks,” etc.; and all adults are seasonably charmed with sentimental sweetness by old and new Hallmark productions, such as “November Christmas,” “Fallen Angel,” “The Christmas Card,” “A Grandpa for Christmas,” and six full-length Hallmark features for the 2012 Christmas Season, and so beyond, perhaps unto eternity, if not checked.

Of course, for all ages are the annual Christmas re-run chestnuts “Miracle on 34th Street,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “A Christmas Carol,” et al.

Moviemakers have long been at the forefront of cashing in on Christmas films not just through subject matter but especially through carefully coordinated and timely release dates. Even Steve Martin has contributed to this treasure trove genre with his film “Mixed Nuts.” Truly his sympathies have been enlarged toward those unfortunates standing on the outside looking in, as with his “Atheists Ain’t Got No Song!” Again, all Christians can assist in their own way the atheists’ crusade, if believers will just follow my lead, as I have tried to follow Martin’s.

But Christmas music can be much more insidious, because it blatantly pervades the airwaves in elevators, department stores, shopping malls, airports, and city sidewalks, so much so that it reaches the body of unbelievers in a way that secondhand smoke no longer can.

Christmas music dates back to the church fathers in 4th Century Europe and Asia Minor but today is heard more outside of churches than inside. And it’s become far less churchy and classical, much more street smart and contemporary, and far more Top-40.

First popularized mid-20th Century by Bing Crosby (“White Christmas”), Doris Day (“Silver Bells”), Perry Como (“I’ll be Home for Christmas”), and Andy Williams (“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”); then capitalized upon by Elvis Presley (“Blue Christmas,” “Merry Xmas, Baby,” “Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees,” and “It Won’t Seem like Xmas Without You”) [truly the king of Christmas songs with 4 solid-gold Christmas albums to his credit]; and fully embraced by subsequent rock ‘n’ roll icons as the Beatles (“Christmas Time is Here Again”), John Lennon (“Happy Xmas”), Paul McCartney (“Wonderful Christmas Time”), the Beach Boys (“Christmas Day”), Bruce Springsteen (“Santa Claus is Comin’ ta Town”), Jose Feliciano (“Feliz Navidad”), Stevie Wonder (“Someday at Christmas”), and even Jackson Browne (“The Birth of the Rebel Jesus”). In fact, all rock ‘n’ rollers worth their salt have at least one Christmas song to their credit (and those whose salt has lost its savor cover one or more of the tried & true Christmas chestnuts) so as to be added to the vast array of FM and AM radio stations, MP3, Spotify, and Cirrus Networks non-stop, commercial-free, Christmas rock-around-the-clock playlists during the days leading up to December 25th.

I implore and adjure all atheists to fully cultivate their ears to hear the Story and references to Christ in these songs.

Rather than attempt to be any more exhaustive here, I advise atheists to: sit down with pen and paper in hand and listen to the plethora of Christmas music this coming Christmas Season; no matter which format they tune in to – Top-40, Classical, Country, Pop, Rock, R & B, Smooth Jazz, Hits of the Eighties, Classic Rock – hard-core atheists should be infuriated at the pervasive, insidious, and pernicious nature of this child-friendly all-encompassing, give-no- quarter, take-no-prisoners audio assault.

I’ll cite one final song to stress the gravity of this dire strait: “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Atheists, listen up: do not simply insist upon a title change, to something innocuous like “The 12 Coldest Days at the End-of-the-Year” or “Counting Down the 12 Days of the Winter Solstice.” No. Flat out, bottom-line, strenuously mandate this song be eliminated once and for all. Atheists could save themselves a world of hurt, torment, and heartache if no ear on earth ever heard this song again. It worthily compares to the Song of Solomon; for the inherent love and passion of Christ & His Bride are ever reminiscent in the words “My True Love Gave to Me”: atheists should know this One Thing – it is code for Jesus and the listener.

To be sure, this song merits a line-by-line translation comparable to Don McLean’s “American Pie.”

To wit, “The 12 Days of Christmas” is a veritable Bible of religious instruction in word and song through its symbols and images. For example, the “partridge in a pear tree: is Jesus (see Luke 13:34 and Matthew 23:35); the “two turtledoves” are the Old and New Testaments; the “three French hens” are the virtues of faith, hope, and charity (see I Corinthians 13:13).

The “four calling birds” are the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the “five gold rings” are the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy (also known as the Torah or the Pentateuch); the “six geese a-laying” are the six days of Creation (see Genesis 1).

The “seven swans a-swimming” are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, and compassion (see Romans 12:6-8 and I Corinthians 12:8-11); the “eight maids a-milking” are the Eight Beattitudes: those poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those persecuted for Christ’s sake (see Matthew 5:3-10); the “nine ladies dancing” are the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (see Galatians 5:22).

And the “ten lords a-leaping” are the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:1-17); the “eleven pipers piping” are the eleven faithful disciples: Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the brother of James (see Luke 6:14-6); and the “twelve drummers drumming” are the twelve tenets of the Apostles’ Creed.

Of course, the “12 Days” themselves refer to the twelve days between December 25th and January 6th, known world-wide as Christmas and Epiphany. What could be simpler than this song; what could be more complicated. No Christmas song conceals more subterfuge and counter-revolutionary cant.

And what child walking on God’s green earth cannot sing this song. I’d wager any amount of money that 90 – no 95 – out of 100 children born to atheists could sing this song today. They might not be able to carry the tune, but they doubtless could recite the words. In fact I’d advocate, on behalf of all atheists everywhere, that to combat the pervasive influence of this contagion in schools and public byways and highways in the U.S. of A. that they embark on a program to educate their children at home, so that they’re not exposed to the incendiary aspects of this song with its covert salvation agenda.

This song in infinite varieties plays on each and every muzac loop throughout America the Beautiful; so I would strongly suggest atheists ban this song first and foremostly and forever, and ever: it has to be the most subversively “coded” song in the history of music. It hits the streets running, as if produced by the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide with the rubber stamp of the Magisterium emblazoned on every lyric sheet.

Again, how can atheists expect to succeed if they have not ears to hear.

Finally, or nearly so, I have long endeavored that atheists have a suitable, proper, and fitting name for their campaign to fully ban all Christmas references in our world as we know it; and here it is: the Anti-Christmas Movement. I know; some dyed-in-the-wool atheists might think the very term they seek to ban used in their campaign title itself could be counter-productive at best and hypocritical at worst. But all I have done is adapt the atheists’ very own self-chosen strategy for describing themselves: a - theists. It seems to me a sort of shorthand for: anti - theists.

Therefore I think it altogether appropriate as I propose (again based upon their own preferential self-designation) to call their campaign: the Achristmas Movement. For it does have a nice ring to it.

In conclusion, the atheists do have their work cut out for them. But they must be decisive: they need a plan for their cause; they need a handbook to explain their campaign; they must have a creed to believe in; and they must have the courage of their convictions to faithfully and consistently live what they believe. If they do all of the above, they can change the world. It’s been done before. However, as my friend Bill Zildjian says, “What doesn’t happen overnight . . . doesn’t go away overnight.”

Therefore, if atheists would be so very wise and prudent as to embrace, adopt, and implement the specifics of this “Primer,” they might truly cleanse, eradicate, even stamp out from our world today any the least vestige of Christ and Christianity at Christmas, and eventually throughout the remainder of the calendar year: once and for all, henceforth unto Judgment Day.

To that end then, I can lend a hand because during a subsequent Lenten season I’d penned the first draft of the “Christmas Primer,” I contacted Principal Del Val offering my services to her in advance of the soon-to-arrive Easter Season. As a lifetime insider to Easter festivities, parades, and seasonal commercialism I would coach her aplenty on the inherent pitfalls to avoid during those religious rites of passage.

I’d be her eager and willing consultant before she lets her halls and classrooms be inappropriately and offensively decorated.

My aim, again and always, then’s only to spare atheists undue public shame and embarrassment. Afterall that is the Christian thing to do for our brothers and sisters.

In the meantime, until “A Primer for Atheists at Easter” is published and available, I would recommend to all my readers Howard Nemerov’s poetic paean to Christmas, “Santa Claus,” wherein at the end of this poem he admonishes all advocates to beware being “just one of the crowd lunching on Calvary.”

Of course, to avoid that fate, they’ll next need to read my “A Primer for Atheists at Easter,” soon to be released before the next Easter Holiday Celebrations.

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