the eBook explores the historical background of the holidays and suggests non-believers focus on the natural and secular underpinnings of holiday traditions
SACRAMENTO, CA (PRWEB) December 23, 2016
A new eBook proposes a secular framework for the non-religious to enjoy and gain meaning from the winter holidays. Titled “Wintermas: Toward a Secular Celebration of the Season,” the book explores the history of the holidays and suggests that non-believers focus on the natural and secular underpinnings of holiday traditions. It is available as a Kindle eBook on Amazon.com and can be read with Kindle devices or any PC or Smartphone with a free Kindle reader app.
The short eBook first discusses the need for a principled, secular version of the holidays for the growing community of atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, secularists, skeptics and other non-religious people throughout the world. It then briefly reviews the 4000-year history of the winter holidays with a focus on solstice celebrations beginning in ancient times. Then the book explains how Christians adapted and absorbed earlier winter solstice celebrations and traditions into what we now know as Christmas.
“Like myself, many non-believers love the winter holidays but feel conflicted about participating in a religious holiday,” said Michael Harold, the book’s author. “So instead of enjoying the holidays, some non-religious people ignore them while others join in despite the heavy religious overtones. Wintermas is meant to address the needs of this community.”
The eBook delves into why many Christmas traditions such as decorating with lights and evergreens can be relevant and meaningful for non-Christians. It explains that these traditions are essentially celebrations of the rebirth of the sun at the winter solstice and of the fortitude of plant life in the cold short days of winter.
Wintermas is not intended to be part of the so-called war on Christmas or to criticize Christmas for those who like it the way it is, said Mr. Harold. Rather, it is proposed as a separate holiday tradition for non-believers stripped of the religious trappings. Just as there is Chanukah for Jewish people, Kwanza for African Americans and Festivus for Seinfeld fans, Wintermas is proposed as a winter holiday specifically for the non-religious, one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the world.
Mr. Harold, 58, a former attorney and journalist, is a lifelong student of history, secularism and the winter holidays. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a law degree from American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC, and an MBA from the California State University, San Jose.
“Wintermas is offered as a way to help more people enjoy and gain meaning from the winter holidays, said Mr. Harold. “Most of the traditions are the similar; it’s just the focus on the solstice and nature rather than on the birth of Christ that’s different.”