Feel Free to Have a Christ-Free Christmas
Amanda Marcotte thinks the Christmas story isn't relevant anymore
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2012 11:10 AM CST
The Nativity Scene set up in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican is seen Dec. 21, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

(Newser) – Suppose you're a basically non-religious parent. Do you have a responsibility to tell your kids the story of Jesus this holiday season? Andre Park at Salon tried, and soon found himself awash in questions he couldn't answer: "Where's Galilee? Who's Herod? What's Myrrh?" He ultimately gave up, but he's glad he made an effort. "The main byproduct of these holidays' religious roots—an emphasis on expressing our love and caring for others—is a good thing," he argues. But Amanda Marcotte at Slate thinks he shouldn't have bothered.

The truth, Marcotte argues, is that "the myths and legends of a desert-dwelling people from 2,000 years ago don't have much symbolic or cultural relationship to the Christmas of our imagining," which is essentially a secular holiday, filled with snowmen, gift-giving elves, and mistletoe. Heck, you'd be better off raising your kids on Dickens' A Christmas Carol, "which emphasizes the importance of love and generosity," as opposed to "how virgins are better than non-virgins," and how newborns can be "superior to everyone else by accident of birth." Click for Park's full column, or Marcotte's full column.