I pretty much tune-out the holidays. I don't buy a tree, string lights or send cards. I don't wish anyone Merry Christmas, though I hope everyone finds lots of reasons sound or otherwise to be as merry as possible everyday. If invited to a party, I leave quietly before the caroling begins, if it’s that kind of party. I don’t mind the civic and private decorations and displays, as long as there are no nativity scenes or other religious intrusions in public spaces. I realize that holidays can be off-putting for secular minded folks, but I make a good effort not to be flummoxed by it all in any way.
One thing I would never do is traffic in Christmas cards - or any other cards, for that matter. Not birthday cards, mother/father's day cards, get well cards and so on ad nauseam. I consider greeting cards unimaginative, a waste of resources (mine and nature’s), time wasters, insincere, a nuisance and a retro tradition.
I don’t suppose those employed in the greeting card industry or shopkeepers would agree, but that’s how I view it. So, no xmas card buying and sending for me.
Until now. Something has come along to change my mind. It occurred to me that you might find this new development of interest, too. Particularly if, like me, you have an inordinate fondess for the words and sentiments of the great 19th century freethinker orator Robert Green Ingersoll.
The game changer is a xmas card of sorts produced by The Center for Inquiry (CFI). It's very attractive, inexpensive and it delivers a marvelous REAL wellness message suited to the season from a speech by Robert Green Ingersoll:
Let us all hope for the triumph of light, of right and reason, for the victory of fact over falsehood, of science over superstition, and so hoping let us celebrate!
This Ingersoll quote comes from his 1892 address, The Agnostic Christmas. The speech can be found in a booklet published by the American Atheist Press in 1988, available at CFI and other freethinker sources. It is entitled, A Christmas Sermon and the Controversy It Aroused. I read this booklet every xmas season - it’s truly delightful. Period newspapers published Ingersoll's witty responses to charges of irreverence and blasphemy concerning the Great Agnostic's address from the Pat Robertsons, Billy Grahams and Jerry Falwells of the day.
The ten Ingersoll cards might be just the thing if you know people likely to enjoy a seasonal greeting that’s meaningful and does not succumb to holiday homilees.
You can obtain a pack of ten cards (with mailing envelopes) for twelve bucks from CFI. The size of each card is “5.25" x 7.75" - inside each is the message, Wishing you peace, hope, and enlightenment in the New Year! There is a brief description of Ingersoll, and the listing of his most famous epigram, The time to be happy is now; The place to be happy is here; The way to be happy is to make others so. The price includes shipping and handling. Try getting a deal like that from Hallmark. Purchasing such a card set from CFI is a nice way to express your values while supporting one of the best organizations that protects them.
I am a big admirer and a member of CFI but, in case you wondered, I have not been offered a large (or even small) sum of money to promote this card and will in no way whatsoever benefit from sales. Except, perhaps, feeling good about doing something, however modest, to promote a secular way to enjoy a bit of xmas spirit.