If you don’t want to attend a traditional holiday party this year, have no fear! Many AHA chapters throughout the country are hosting HumanLight and Winter Solstice celebrations (learn more about HumanLight here). Party with fellow humanists at the events listed below or use them as inspiration in planning your local group’s December festivities.
The Humanist Fellowship of San Diego in California, Lehigh Valley Humanists in Pennsylvania, and Greater Richmond Humanists of Virginia are celebrating the Winter Solstice with family-friendly activities like interactive scientific presentations, dancing, and plenty of food. At the Humanist Fellowship of San Diego’s event, you can even have your photo taken with the Flying Spaghetti Monster! And the Omaha Metro Area Humanist Association in Nebraska is hosting their party with two other local groups: the Rationalists, Empiricists, and Skeptics of Nebraska and the Atheist Community of Omaha.
One can assume there will always be some form of song and dance at a Sunday Assembly, and Sunday Assembly LA’s Secular Solstice event in Los Angeles, CA, will be filled with song and dance—and more. Attendees will also gather around a campfire filling their tummies with potluck food and sharing stories, enjoying, as the organizers put it, the best of holiday traditions while remembering that these traditions “predate the holidays organized religions have layered on top of it.”
In addition to dancing, eating, and socializing, several groups are holding true to the American Humanist Association’s slogan by being “good without a god” and focusing on others this holiday season. In addition to having food, holiday movies, and a gift exchange at their winter solstice party, the Central Florida Freethought Community is asking attendees to consider bringing new, unwrapped science or math toys that will be given to kids at the Coalition for the Homeless or SafeHouse of Seminole. Another group, the Humanists of the Palouse (located in Moscow, Idaho), sponsored two families through Christmas for Kids this year and asked members to bring toys and outfits to donate to the families.
One chapter in Florida, the UU Humanists of Clearwater, held their fourth annual Winter Solstice Potluck on December 5 and had a great turnout. The highlight of the social was the presentation of the Annual Matt Cooper Memorial Service Award, given to recognize someone in the Tampa Bay area who has worked tirelessly on behalf of humanism. Judy Adkins, this year’s winner, was honored for helping to secure Richard Dawkins’s sold-out appearances in Clearwater in October. This year’s entertainment consisted of syncretized holiday carols. Following the lead of University of Tampa sociologist Ryan Cragun, who created a secular version of “Silent Night,” the UU Humanists of Clearwater adapted other holiday tunes with secular words. “Away in a Manger” became “Away in a Forest,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” became “We Wish you a Merry Solstice,” and “Joy to the World” became an ode to the giants of secularism and science, including Darwin, Dawkins, Sagan, Tyson, Dennett, Hawking, Harris, and Hitchens.
How do you plan to celebrate Winter Solstice and Human Light this year? Please feel free to share in the comment section below.