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No. I didn't attend the CRT Solstice Celebration -- again. You see, though I'm an atheist, I celebrate Christmas. Well, one day is as good as another, to me. But the family members who still get along travel to the Bay Area every year to be with each other. Christmas seems to be when everyone can swing extra time off, so that's when we get together. That's it.
The flight was interesting because the plane was empty, so I had two stewardesses to myself. They were fascinated with my lapel button which says, "The last time we mixed politics with religion, people got burned at the stake."
I mentioned that I am an atheist and they asked, "What do atheists do for Christmas?" I started talking about dinner and the family gathering and all the presents and my collection of almost 150 different versions of "The Little Drummer Boy."
When I started to say that I'd stopped enjoying Christmas for a long, long time, I paused to collect my thoughts for a minute. Then I asked, "Well, er, what do Christians do during Christmas? I mean, what does Christmas mean, anyway?"
We agreed that sometimes people attach way too much meaning to things. I said that to me, the main point is that the sun is coming back soon, and my only hope is that everybody will be here next time around. But unfortunately, some of us won't make it. Then, all we will have are the memories we left behind for others to cherish.
And you know? I didn't see a single Darwin Fish the entire time I was in California!
See also: 'Tis The Season a Forum with Carey, Cliff, and the Year 2000 Gang
Copyright ©1996 Cliff Walker; Portland, Oregon