Why My Non-Christian Family Still Celebrates Christmas


For the longest time, my husband and I stayed true to our Christian roots and values. We woke our girls up early on Sunday morning, dressed them in overpriced dresses – which they all hated – and carted everyone off to church. Every Sunday, but especially during Christmas and Easter, we endured long and drawn out services filled with the stories of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection.

My family and I haven’t stepped foot into a church in a long time, unless we were attending a funeral or a wedding. We no longer practice any form of Christianity or other organized religions, for that matter. Yet, we find ourselves pulling out the Christmas tree and decorations as soon as we return home from Thanksgiving dinner with my mom.

Here’s my confession … for the life of me, I can’t figure out exactly why we still go through the pomp and circumstances of Christmas traditions when none of my family practices Christianity.

This year as we pulled all of the Christmas things from our attic, it all felt a little … off. I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong; I simply felt the wrongness of what we were doing. Maybe not the what as much as the why. That’s where I was having trouble. Why were we putting up Christmas decorations, singing Christmas songs, hanging stockings over the fireplace, and preparing to celebrate a Christian holiday with pagan roots?

Then, like an anvil in a Looney Tunes cartoon, the reason hit me over the head.

Magic. There is truly something about Christmas that is magic. 

What is Christmas magic? I would venture to say that for every person who’s asked this question, there are as many different answers. I’ll attempt to answer it for myself because I need to understand how it plays into my family’s commitment to celebrating a holiday with no relative significance to our lives.

What is Christmas magic?

Christmas magic is an active, living, tangible manifestation of the limitless capacity of humanity to create and experience bliss.

I know, this sounds like some kind of new-age-mumbo-jumbo but stay with me. Trust me when I say this is going to make so much sense once you’re done reading this article. 

An Active Manifestation…

During the Christmas season, my family is more inclined to be actively engaged in each others’ lives. We actually take time to listen to and talk with one another, when usually we can’t find two minutes to say hello. Not only are we more actively engaged with each other, but we’re also more actively engaged with our community at large. We are more active in our giving. More active in our compassion. More active in our willingness to forgive. More active in our ability to accept people and things as they are instead of how we want them to be. 

A Living Manifestation… 

Christmas is the only time of year that I’m able to see a drastic shift in the behavior of my family. Don’t get me wrong, we’re pretty good to each other all the time, but during Christmas, our behavior is … more vulnerable?

We are more willing to be open with each other. There seems to be a greater desire to create new and strengthen old familial bonds. We’re definitely more honest with each other, and more importantly, with ourselves. We move with more intention. This time of year is the time of foundation building for the year to come; therefore, we become reflectors to and for each other. In this way, we are able to see our own blind spots.

A Tangible Manifestation… 

I’ll be 100% honest with you, I’m a big hugger. My family? Not so much. My girls don’t like giving or receiving hugs. it makes me so sad when I’m feeling touch-deprived. They’re that way because their father, my HEA, isn’t a hugger either. But during the Christmas holiday season, everyone becomes so touchy-feely, they fill up my touch bucket for most of the next year!

We’re spending so much time together, playing games, baking cookies, singing, and dancing that we can’t help but make contact with one another. That feeling when we all find a spot on our sofa with our favorite blankets and settle in for a Netflix Christmas baking show binge is priceless. Or when we’re all around the dining room table making gingerbread houses and stealing each others’ toppers. The air is filled with shouts and laughter that ultimately brings us into physical contact with each other. 

A Capacity to Create and Experience BLISS.

I may be wrong, but I doubt it when I say the sole reason we are on this rock, hurtling through time and space is to create and experience BLISS. My youngest daughter once asked me if a person could be in a state of perpetual state of BLISS and not be insane. 

I was so proud of her for asking this question; she was only twelve when this thought crossed her mind. I was also happy to tell her that yes, a person can be in a perpetual state of BLISS and not be insane. I shared with her what I’m going to share with each of you now.

BLISS is our natural state of being. This isn’t something we have to work for. It’s not a privilege afforded only to some and kept from others. No, ma’am. We are created in BLISS and are capable of creating and experiencing BLISS every moment of our lives.

Each breath is a moment of BLISS. Each thought, spoken word, act, and emotion is a moment of BLISS. It’s easy to return to this state during Christmas. We shed our neurotic behaviors and remember there’s no need to worry about anything. We allow ourselves to be charmed by the simplest things, like a baby’s toothless smile on Christmas morning. We take time to appreciate the wonder of sitting in our favorite chair in front of the fireplace in a quiet house, while our fluffy kitty sleeps under the Christmas tree. Christmas reminds us to make room for pleasurable experiences. Make time to create pleasurable experiences for ourselves and others. 

Imagine if all of humanity tapped into Christmas Magic 365 days of the year. Imagine if all of us spent our lives intentionally creating and experiencing the beauty in all things with love for ourselves and others because we remember that we are spiritual beings with sacred purposes.

Wouldn’t that be BLISS?

Christmas magic is the reset button. Even though my family and I no longer practice Christianity, and Christmas no longer holds the same meaning as it did before, we will always celebrate Christmas because it’s the one time of year where our capacity to create and experience BLISS with and for each other is at its greatest. We will celebrate because it’s the one time of year when we remember that BLISS is our natural state of being. It’s the one time of year when we get to lay a blissful foundation for the coming year.

Happy Chrisma-Chanah-Kwanzaca and Happy New Year to you and yours! Enjoy whatever magic comes your way this season of BLISS. 

What does Christmas Magic mean to you and your family? 

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Ella Shawn
Ella Shawn is a contemporary women's fiction writer with a fondness for complex characters and happily-ever-afters. She also produces a podcast aptly named, Enchanted BEAST Podcast where she elevates, encourages, and empowers women to connect with their higher self and live the enchanted lifestyle they deserve to live. And because she's a mommy of three beautiful daughters, she writes for a mommy blog once a month. If she's not writing, podcasting, or blogging; then you can probably find her sitting in her favorite chair with a ball of yarn, her wooden crochet hooks making something bohemian-inspired for her Etsy shop, Browns-n-Barnacles PCD. Ella married the boy she fell in love with during her senior year of high school. They started dating in 1992 and either they both were too lazy to look for other options or were lucky enough to find their happily-ever-after at the age of seventeen. Ella says it the enduring love she shares with her husband that allows her to write romance novels with hard-won HEAs. After developing systemic lupus erythematosus and narcolepsy w/cataplexy, she and her husband decided it was time for her to come home and learn how to live as healthy as possible with the new reality their family was now facing. It turned out to be a blessing, because a few years later, her youngest daughter developed two of the rarest neurological sleeping disorders in the world (Klein Levins Syndrome- a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty Disease and Sighted Non-24). Not only is Vickey able to be at home with her daughter while she attends South Carolina Virtual Charter School and when she goes into KLS episodes, she is also free to pursue her passion as a romance writer, podcaster, and blogger under the pen name; Ella Shawn. Her enchanted platform is an extension of her philosophy of living, loving, and evolving. She writes to gain understanding of the hard choices women often have to make. She endeavors to create enchanted spaces in which to disrobe and see the whole of who she is, and who she isn’t. Vickey shares her journey of self-discovery through writing romance novels, on her podcast, and in her blog. She loves connecting with women who enjoy seeing glimpses of their truth wrapped in sexy happily-ever-after’s. Vickey uses her platform to encourage women to reconnect with their true and essential selves. To cultivate and nurture spaces where they cease being simply women of flesh and bone and become Enchanted Beasts. When she’s not being Ella Shawn, or learning coach, or caregiver, or being taken care of… You may find her painting, crocheting, meditating, or sweating it out in a hot yoga class. But she’s a wild and free spirit who would be just as happy living in a converted van and tooling around the country—sleeping where she runs out of gas. Landing wherever she lands and meeting whoever she meets. However; she’s pretty sure her husband and children wouldn’t be willing to pack up and hit the road with her and, anyway—where would all the piggies go? So, she indulges her nomadic, bohemian spirit with planned travel, mother-cation weekends, and her ever-growing imagination.


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