No Faith, No Fun?

The holiday season is from November to January, during which many different holidays are celebrated. Christmas and Hanukkah are commonly known due to the mainstream media, while other celebrations like Yule and Kwanzaa are often less discussed. Christians predominantly celebrate Christmas Day as they believe it’s the date of the birth of Jesus, the day God sent his son into the world. While in the Jewish religion, they celebrate Hanukkah, which is an 8-day celebration commemorating the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The holiday season is where many communities come together to celebrate their beliefs. For the population who is not religious, Atheists, how is their holiday spent? 

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LJHS students were asked how they spent their time during the holidays. Many were found to be more than eager to share their traditions. Freshman, Jonah Landsberg, had much to share about his own Atheism experience during the holidays. “I celebrate Christmas with my family, we open presents, decorate our house, but I don’t go to Church or anything as I don’t believe in Christianity.” Continuing the conversation, a friend Sofia Rose, an Atheist at La Jolla High, added, “I just open presents but I don’t go to Church. I don’t believe in any higher power. But I love the holiday season, it’s the best time of the year. ” Another student, Sophia Ramirez, a sophomore, went on to say, “My family is Christian, and they believe in it all, so I just partake in the fun aspects but I don’t believe in it as I am Atheist.”

In all of our La Jolla High classrooms, there is an array of students from different religious backgrounds. For example, Mr. Schmitz’s freshman English class has many people from all different practices. Adam Grushkevich celebrates Hanukkah with his family; he loves it and loves spending time with his family saying, “I believe in this religion so I don’t feel as if I am missing out on anything as I love everything about the celebration.” Zoey Hagan, who is Christian, spends her Christmas Eve at Church with her family recalling, “At times it can get boring but overall it’s fun.” Gabe Malterallo, on the other hand, is an Atheist and doesn’t practice any religion stating,  “I celebrate ‘societies’ Christmas with my family, we hang out, eat food, and open gifts. Yet nobody in my family is very religious and I personally just don’t believe in any religion.” 

All things considered, the holidays are a wonderful time for many different people to celebrate their own religion and culture. La Jolla High has a plethora of students who aren’t religious and are atheists. Yet these students still are partaking in different festivities throughout this time of year, celebrating life through listening to cheerful holiday music, making a list, matching warm winter pajamas, decorating their houses, and mailing holiday cards. From decorating gingerbread houses to sipping hot cider, there are many different things people can do during the holiday season. Being inclusive to all… It’s the most wonderful time of the year for everyone!