How The Atheist Christmas Album Came to Be.
Musician/composer TyLean Tuijl had "Christmas Album" on her to-do list for many years. Being an avant-garde artist, a Christmas album was something she could create that wouldn't leave her family and friends - and in particular, her mother - at a loss for words. However, being someone who spent most of her life as a Pagan or Atheist (in alternating fashion) and anti-consumer, the subject of most Christmas songs was wholly unpalatable.
The anti-consumer, traditional-values message of the album was the controversy. No one cared that it was Atheistic!
In 2016, TyLean knew that the time to make this Christmas album was running out. She knew her mother didn't have many Christmases left. Furthermore, she had her own children whose influences were being carefully curated in the face of a dearth of acceptable cultural replacements. A de-Christened album was made with some quibble over whether to call it The Secular Christmas Album or The Atheist Christmas Album. It was released under both titles, but only The Atheist Christmas Album was pressed as CDs.
The promotional phase of The Atheist Christmas Album was a spiritual journey unto itself. TyLean expected attacks and resistance from Christians and Conservatives, but these groups became overwhelmingly the fanbase and supporters of The Atheist Christmas Album! The hatred, resistance and attacks came from "her own" Left Wing people and Atheists. Although there was some support from these groups, it was also where the attacks and hate came from, as though there was resentment that she dared to create a traditional album with family values. In subsequent years, it has become noticeable that the anti-consumer, traditional-values message of the album was the controversy. No one cared that it was Atheistic and secular!
Everyone of any creed or culture is welcome to enjoy this album.
"The Atheist Christmas Album has been an eye-opening experience that challenged my own beliefs about cultural identity. There have been times I have wanted to abandon it completely, but my belief that you cannot disavow something you dislike in your culture without replacing it kept me going. The ideological drive behind this project has morphed over time to the point where I question the validity of any ideology. One thing has remained constant however: Everyone of any creed or culture is welcome to enjoy this album." TyLean Tuijl