The Religion News Service spoke to our Leader Emerita Dr. Anne Klaeysen to examine how Humanists celebrate the holiday season:
Around this time of year, we have the winter solstice and winter festivals — winter celebrations that are intergenerational, that are open to all faiths. We do a lot of storytelling. We do a lot of singing and music making, bringing nature into the room. It’s always a celebration of what our values are, and those are the core values I think everyone celebrates. So that’s peace, love, joy, hope, giving, merrymaking, singing.
About what the holiday spirit means to us as Humanists:
“(The holiday spirit) is about celebrating the human story that we are here on this earth, that we have an opportunity and a responsibility to engage in ethical relationships. I think it’s a message of unity and how we can be more inclusive.”
And how to share the holiday with relatives in divisive times:
And so I have no easy answers for you. It’s going to be tough. Thanksgiving was a difficult holiday for many people, and these upcoming holidays are going to be quite the challenge. I hope that people would take the opportunity to say, what are values that we continue to share? If families who disagree could agree to have a conversation, that would be a miracle; the Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa miracle — to have a respectful, loving conversation. That’s what I would wish for everyone.