Report from the Christmas Battlefield
By Eric Jayne
A couple battles that took place during last year’s War on Christmas happened in St. Paul. The first one came the Saturday after Thanksgiving at the Family Place shelter. Fourteen atheists cooked up sloppy joes, beans, and homemade cookies for about 25 shelter guests. In addition to the kitchen cooking and cleaning, we also sanitized toys in the children’s play area, cleaned some of the common areas, and wiped down additional dining tables and chairs. This was immediately followed up with social time and drinks at a nearby spot in Lowertown.
The second battle happened ten days before Christmas at the Green Mill restaurant where a group of 20 atheists, armed with gifts, tape, stickers, and markers convened to wrap up requested gift items for the Children’s Hospital of Minnesota.
The designated gift table at the restaurant was piled high with dolls, Matchbox cars, Play-Doh, makeup kits, Legos, board games, books, and many other items. Before the wrapping began we joined together for a godless feast ordered from the Green Mill menu.
After lunch we got right to work and bagged up about $500 worth of brand new toys, games, and books. Each bag was tagged with festive ribbon and a greeting from the Minnesota Atheists. The tags depicted the Minnesota Atheists logo with the message “Happy Holidays from Your Friends at Minnesota Atheists”.
The packages were then delivered by Jack Caravela and me the following Monday (17 December) to Children’s Hospital in St. Paul. The staff person at the hospital was excited to receive the gifts and told us that they will immediately start to distribute them. We will likely have a similar response if the War on Christmas continues next holiday season.