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Christmas on Other Planets?

It depends

Christmas is a week away and amidst the hustle and bustle I stopped to think about this question. In the science fiction world, is there Christmas on other planets? The answer is, it depends. It depends what you mean by Christmas, and it depends on the species living on the planet.

Nativity adoration of the shepherdsAs a Christian, the most important part of Christmas to me is the birth of Jesus. The presents and party atmosphere are nice, but not really what it’s all about. As can be seen across our own world, even countries which are not Christian have adopted the secular aspect of the Christmas season. It’s the religious side which is not so easily adopted, because of the challenge of faith.

The same would apply to different species, who would probably have their own religion and their own faith. In some science fiction books, the universe is populated by human colonisation, so the people are from Earth originally and would presumably take their religious views with them. In other scenarios, when humans venture out into space they encounter aliens, who have their own culture.

Religion in Science FictionIt reminds me of a lovely episode in Babylon 5, where each species was to do a presentation of their religion. This was fine for the alien species, who each had a single faith, but what to do about Earth? The Commander solved it by introducing a long line of people, each representing a different faith, because humans are so diverse.
In my seriesĀ Flight of the Kestrel, the second scenario applies. I find it fascinating to look at the cultural differences (including religion) and possible conflicts this can create. Alien species would not have Christianity, so unless Earth sends missionaries to convert them, why would the Christian Christmas be important to another species? On the other hand, who wouldn’t like a party and presents?

Head shot Ann Marie ThomasAnn Marie Thomas is the author of five medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel, Intruders, Alien Secrets & Crisis of Conscience are out now Follow her at