10 Anti-Christmas Christmas Cards if you’re not feeling holly and jolly (2014)

"Oy Vey!" card, photo by Kimberly Winston.

(RNS) It’s mid-December, about the time Holiday Hostility Syndrome clicks in. You know the symptoms – a freakish aversion to “Jingle Bells,” a refusal to attend yet another cookie decorating party and frequent expressions of “Is it January yet?”

Holiday greeting cards are expressing HHS with increasing frequency. Here is a selection that manages the line between naughty and nice.

READ: 2015’s crop of ‘anti-Christmas’ cards: greed, revenge and painted ponies

"It's all about me!!" card, photo by Kimberly Winston.

Card created by Kiss Me Kwik

“It’s all about me!!” card, photo by Kimberly Winston.

But we knew that already. Card by Kiss Me Kwik.

"Dear Mary" Christmas card, photo by Kimberly Winston.

Card created by Sapling Press

“Dear Mary” Christmas card, photo by Kimberly Winston.

Best. Atheist. Christmas card. EVER. Card by Sapling Press.


"Are we there yet?" card, photo by Kimberly Winston. Card created by Zeichen Press Design & Letterpress

“Are we there yet?” card, photo by Kimberly Winston. Card created by Zeichen Press Design & Letterpress

Three Wise Men, indeed. But did they stop to ask for directions? Card by Zeichen Press Design & Letterpress

"It would not take long for the madness of Winter to descend upon the little house." Photo by Kimberly Winston, card created by Zeichen Press Design & Letterpress

“It would not take long for the madness of Winter to descend upon the little house.” Photo by Kimberly Winston, card created by Zeichen Press Design & Letterpress

Remember “The Shining?” Merry Christmas! Card by Zeichen Press Design and Letterpress.

Monkey card, photo by Kimberly Winston.

Card created by Blue Barnhouse

Monkey card, photo by Kimberly Winston. Card by Blue Barnhouse.

Hey, it’s better than getting another ugly Christmas sweater. Card by Blue Barnhouse.


"Christmas AND his birthday" card, photo by Kimberly Winston.

Card created by McBitterson's

“Christmas AND his birthday” card, photo by Kimberly Winston. Card by McBitterson’s.

That  Jesus is one lucky guy. Card by McBitterson’s.

"Oy Vey!" card, photo by Kimberly Winston.

Card created by Lady Pilot Letterpress

“Oy Vey!” card, photo by Kimberly Winston. Card by Lady Pilot Letterpress.

You and me both, Santa! Card by Lady Pilot Letterpress.

Kitten card, photo by Kimberly Winston.

Card created by McBittersons

Kitten card, photo by Kimberly Winston.

You have your orders. Card by McBitterson’s.

"Merry Buckin' Christmas" card, photo by Kimberly Winston.

Card created by Dee & Lala

“Merry Buckin’ Christmas.” Photo by Kimberly Winston. Card by Dee & Lala

YOU HEARD ME. Card by Dee & Lala.

"Happy whatever Religious Holiday you celebrate in December" card, photo by Kimberly Winston.

Card created by Bald Guy Greetings

“Happy whatever Religious Holiday you celebrate in December” card, photo by Kimberly Winston.

Merry Christma-Hanu-Kwanza-Solsti-kkah from Religion News Service! Card by Bald Guy Greetings.


About the author

Kimberly Winston

Kimberly Winston is a freelance religion reporter based in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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  • I don’t celebrate Christmas at all because of its pagan origins and gross commercialism. It’s also based on a lie, called Santa Claus, who has nothing to do with Jesus’ birth (his exact birthdate is not even mentioned in the Bible).

    I rather study about Jesus, the son of God, from the Bible, and try to imitate him in his actions by preaching the “good news about God’s kingdom” or heavenly government, as the only hope for mankind (Matthew 4:17; Daniel 2:44).

    I won’t be sending any Christmas cards to anyone now or anytime in the future. I will continue to worship God, the Father of Christ Jesus, whose name is Jehovah. (Psalm 83:18); and continue to try to be a footstep follower of hi son, Jesus, instead of celebrating a pagan holiday known as Christmas.

  • Not particularly surprising, the sentiments expressed in the “cards”, in that they are associated with individuals who profess atheism.
    Foul language, abusive references, bodily functions, mockery. But, then, in keeping with the deviate, Richard Dawkins’, admitting that atheism has nothing to validate it when he recommended atheist followers to resort to ridicule of the acceptance of the presence of God. And the content representative of the general putrid make up of atheism followers. Arrested development misfits and malcontents, picking lice from themselves with one hand, stealing money from their mothers’ purses to buy drugs with the other, and all hateful of God because they are incapable of having anything like a normal relationship with anyone and God is one with whom we all have a relationship.

  • Julian,

    The cards above appeal to a broad range of people.

    The one where Jesus says “It’s all about me” can be read by a Christian as, “that’s true, it is all about Him”.

    Anyone preparing for the bustle of a big family Christmas (or children under the age of 7) would get a kick out of “Are we there yet?”

    And maybe the “Mary, just admit you slept with someone else” is exactly what Joseph was thinking at some point in the whole affair. It shows the human dynamic, the doubt, the frustration that often comes with taking a big risk or a leap of faith.

    The monkey is promising to turn over a new leaf and not throw his fecal material at his cohorts. He’s making an attempt at transcending his monkey-ness. It shows renewal…in a way that yes, appeals to potty-humor (which some don’t appreciate)…but it’s still a creative, less hum-drum way of expressing one of the principles of this season.

    It’s not just about what the card manufacturer or the sender intends, but what messages you want to take away from these cards.

    I’m shocked you think all atheists are “arrested development misfits and malcontents, picking lice from themselves with one hand, stealing money from their mother’s purses to buy drugs with the other”. Atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists, freethinkers and various degrees of the skeptical-yet-practicing-religion exist all around you. Perhaps you’ve had some bad experiences with a few clearly-atheist people…that does not excuse your slurring everyone who applies this label to themselves or privately dissents with your views.

    I try not to make grossly inaccurate and defamatory proclamations against religions or religious practitioners. Other atheists might benefit from doing the same. It would be great if you, as a believer, could apply this in the other direction. We could actually have a reasonable exchange of ideas and good-will, and maybe we’d see there’s real flesh and blood on both sides.

    Let’s treat each other as neighbors, even if we are floating in cyberspace.

    Merry Christmas

  • @ Fran

    Actually the Father’s name cannot be “J”ehovah given the fact there is no J in either Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek. which are the languages of the Bible.

  • Scott,

    Jehovah’s name comes from the Tetragrammaton in Hebrew characters (just Google it to see what it looks like) which read YHWH, Yahweh; or JHVH, Jehovah. It was used in both the Hebrew text and Greek Septuagint.

    Therefore, whether Jesus and his disciples read the Scriptures in either Hebrew or Greek, they would come across the divine name.

    In the synagogue at Nazareth, when Jesus rose and accepted the book of Isaiah and read 61:1,2, where the Tetragrammaton occurs twice, he pronounced the divine name. This was in accordance with his determination that Jehovah’s name be known, as expressed in prayer to his Father:

    “I have made your name manifest to the men you gave me out of the world… I have made your name known to them and will make it known.” (John 17:6,26)

    The divine name, represented by the 4 Hebrew consonants, appears nearly 7,000 times in the Old Testament. The divine name appears in Psalms some 700 times alone!

    Jehovah’s name is missing from many translations since some feel that Almighty God does not need a unique name to identify him; others are influenced by the Jewish tradition of avoiding the use of the name out of fear of desecrating it; others believe that since no one can be sure of the the exact pronunciation of God’s name, it is better to just call him by titles such as “Lord” or “God”.

    God directed that his name be included some 7,000 times in the Old Testament, so he obviously wants us to know and use his name. It also allows us to have a more personal relationship with God when we talk to him through prayer and read his Word, the Bible, regularly.

    Jehovah is even recognized by the Webster Dictionary as being the modern transliteration of the Tetragrammaton YHWH.

    There are times that Jehovah’s name is shortened in the Bible, to JAH. Psalm 68:4 of the King James Version acknowledges this as follows:

    “Sing unto God, sing praises to his name; extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.”

    Hallelujah actually means to praise God or Jah.

    Jehovah’s name appears 237 times in the New Testament. The only true God, known in the Old Testament as Jehovah, is the same God in the New Testament, Jehovah, who is Almighty God, the Father of Christ Jesus, his son, and He has the most important name in the universe!! (Psalm 83:18, King James Version)

  • Say what? What a bunch of vile and horrid prejudice!

    I’m atheist, I am married to a wonderfull wife, I have christian friends I care for and I refrain from mockery and so on. I do hold some views on religion that you might object to, but I am in no way a misfit, a thief or a drug addict.

    How are you capable of leading such a hate filled life? Wasn’t Jesus clear on the point of loving thy neighbour?

    I simply do not believe in any god, not yours, nor the god of any other religion. Just in the same way that you don’t believe in the 200 000 other gods that people have believed in throughout the years.

    Don’t think that christians are the only ones who claim that all people have a relationship with their particular deity. How can someone have a relationship with someone they don’t believe to exist? I am perfectly ok with the fact that you believe in your god, that’s your choice and you have the liberty to do so. But please respect my liberty to not believe, I find Santa more likely than any god, and I can’t seem to understand why I should believe in your God in favour of for example Osiris or Thor. We have norse pagan believers in Norway, their belief doesn’t seem more alien to me than yours.

    Live and let live.

  • Atheists don’t hate God. They can’t hate something they don’t believe exists. Do you hate the tooth Fairy? Sounds as though you hate atheists. How Christian is that?

  • Dear Fran,

    A couple things. First, as you say, there’s nothing wrong with transliterating the “yot” in YHWH with a J (or the “waw” with a “v”), though that’s either old English, or reflects the Germans and their one-time preeminence in biblical scholarship (we still call one of the sources of the Documentary Hypothesis [regarding the authorship of the Pentateuch/Torah] “J,” for the “Yahwist.” ). Second, as I’m sure you know, Hebrew has no vowels in the original (they were a poor nation – couldn’t afford to buy any). We simply don’t know for sure how things were pronounced. Third, as you note, observant Jews don’t pronounce the divine name because of its sanctity and to avoid using it in vain. So whenever they see YHWH in the Hebrew Bible, they read “Adonai,” the Hebrew for Lord. (Some English translations, like the NRSV, use “Lord” with small capital letters to reflect this.) “Jehovah” comes about by using the vowels from “Adonai” with the consonants “JHVH” (again with the frustratingly inconsistent transliteration). At least that’s what I learned in Sunday school :).

    I’m not sure where you get the idea that Jesus pronounced the divine name in Luke 4; the Greek says “The Spirit of the Lord [“kyrios” in Greek] is upon me” – and the Septuagint translates “JHVH” as “Lord” like this all the way through. If you’re simply inferring it, it’s a whale of an inference.

    None of this implies there’s anything wrong with “Jehovah,” of course – but that’s how we got it.

  • Kimberly,

    Is it fun to attack Mary on Christmas? Some of them were amusing and some were offensive. However, offending Christians seems to be quite acceptable. I look forward to some cards for Muslims on Eid that portray Muhammad in a “fun” way. Is the point understood?

  • Nope, we don’t hate god(s). What would be the point? It would be like hating Mickey Mouse as the head of an organisation that I disagree with.

    I for one, do my absolute best to hate as little as possible. What we do try to do though is speak out against religious overreach in the public sphere. And if you cherish fairness and equality, you should too.

    For what it’s worth, merry Christmas!

  • You should be proud of the fact that your religion doesn’t have a reputation for killing people who disagree with you. Would you prefer it the other way round?

  • I’m pretty sure your original intent was not to bring joy to someone who already revels in the holiday spirit, but I love the combination Christmas and Christ’s Birthday “YOU GUYS!” card. He does actually love us. Especially when we show our love for Him by bringing Him the gifts of our lives. It is why I now work so hard to be assured of my salvation. Because when my time has come, I would much rather hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” than “depart from Me, you who practices lawlessness.”… The reason for the season, y’all!