What’s an atheist to do?
When people say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” to me, I know they mean well, and I don’t want to be rude. Many atheists simply reply with the same greeting. It’s no big deal, they say. Well, it is to me. It violates my principles to use any religious phrase other than “God damn,” “Jesus Christ!” and that sort of thing.
So I decided to make up a holiday and an associated greeting that I can use to reply to the Merry Christmases, etc.
Of course, all holidays are made up, whether they celebrate mythical events—e.g., Passover, Christmas, Easter—or historical events that have been utterly distorted in the retelling and have had a religious gloss laid upon a bloody event—e.g., Hanukkah. Either way, the religious elements in all of them make them objectionable to me.
Then there’s Festivus, a tongue-in-cheek holiday invented for a TV comedy series. The problem with that one is that it’s taken on real attributes. It has a symbol associated with it, the Festivus Pole, that people are actually erecting. It has rituals and even miracles. (The miracles are also tongue–in–cheek, but nonetheless they’re there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if, in time, some people start to take them, and the rest of the holiday, seriously.)
Those problems don’t apply to Fendik.
Fendik doesn’t celebrate anything real, but it can if you want it to: your birthday, your marriage, your divorce, the death of your greatest enemy, or nothing at all. It has no religious element. It can fall on any date and last for as many days as you like. It can occur numerous times in one year. It can even occur numerous times in one day, lasting, say, for 15 minutes at a time. It might never occur at all, as will be the case for most people, probably all people.
There are no prescribed rituals or modes of observance. Any decorations are acceptable, as is the absence of all decorations. No one can accuse you of celebrating Fendik incorrectly, or of using the wrong decorations, or of putting them up or taking them down too early or too late.
Send cards or don’t send cards. Put anything on the cards that takes your fancy. Just be sure to include “Fulsome Fendik” somewhere.
The only rules are the name, which cannot be changed; the greeting, “Fulsome Fendik,” which likewise cannot be changed; and the lack of any religious element, which must never be added.
Other than that, you’re free to make Fendik your own.
And a Fulsome Fendik to you!