Piratemas – a very pirate Christmas

Piratemas - a very pirate Christmas

Piratemas is a way of celebrating all that is wonderful about Christmas but removing both the religious and materialist elements. For those to whom neither religion nor materialism appeal, celebrating Piratemas as the Partington household does might be the way forward.

Christmas at my house is a big deal. We always make sure we’re together for Christmas, we decorate the tree together, watch all of our favourite Christmas movies and play board games. We make it last all December too; Christmas isn’t limited to just one day at our house. We’re not religious or anything – far from it; I was raised atheist by two fairly open minded parents, but we love the whole festive season.

Christmas, to a lot of people, doesn’t necessarily mean Jesus’ birthday; it’s more about the giving and good-will-to-all-men Yuletide philosophy. But most of us celebrate it in the same way, which has a deeply religious background. I recently made a discovery about a family I’ve known for years, and how they celebrate Christmas. They are a family of hippies; vegan, atheist parents and hemp-wearing kids. They’re great. And this year, I think I’ll be going to visit them on Christmas day.

Every 25th of December, the Partington household celebrate Piratemas. Christmas Day, or Pirate Day, is similar to how the rest of us might celebrate. It’s still a decadent day with handmade gifts, food a plenty and lots of rum! They wake up, put on pirate costumes, or sometimes just a silly pirate hat and go downstairs to loot their booty from their ginormous inflatable pirate ship. Seriously. I’ve seen photos! They wrap their gifts and place them in the inflatable pirate ship, usually in secret so no one knows who has given the most gifts, and open them together in the morning.

Buying presents is allowed, but everyone prefers to make the gifts themselves – after all, real pirates don’t go shopping. Chocolate coins feature heavily on Piratemas, and that’s usually what they wake to find in their macaroni and gold spray paint decorated boots (as opposed to stockings.) Dinner is usually nutroast, with all the other usual Christmas dinner trimmings, purely because it’s food that’s in season and it tastes great – and pirates should always have the best of everything, even if it means looting someone else’s galleon.

Charades, match stick poker and a variety of parlour games are on the programme for the evening, unless it’s snowing, in which case there’s a boys vs. girls snowball fight which lasts until the rum gets the better of them and it’s time for bed.

They steer clear of any religion based Christmas activities. They don’t buy into the commercial side of Christmas by giving in to the pressure of spending lots of money on each other, and they just have a day of being together and having some good silly fun. Surely that’s the true spirit of Christmas? Or at least one of the true spirits?

If religion is something that’s big for you, then that’s great – there are more levels on which you can enjoy this time of year. More things for you to celebrate, bonus! But it could be something for everyone in this multicultural world we’re living in, so that everyone can appreciate the feeling of togetherness and peace that the season brings. So maybe we should extend Christmas out to the people who don’t usually celebrate it and share this great time of year with everyone. Maybe this year should be Universal Pirate Day! Maybe it’s time to consider the bounty of Piratemas! Yarr!