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Meet The Friendly Atheists Next Door

03/23/2015 11:42 am ET | Updated Mar 23, 2015

It's two weeks before Christmas, which means the Shaughnessys are deep into their December rituals.

Cookies have been baked and sprinkled with enough sugar to give a gingerbread man diabetes. A Christmas tree, sparkling with colored lights and surrounded by a small troop of Santa Clauses, stands in the corner of the living room, waiting.

Harry and Charlotte Shaughnessy watch their children dip into a stash of ornaments: a Welsh flag from Grace's semester abroad; a bauble from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, where Todd is a freshman; a trinket embroidered with Brennen's name and 1998, the year the youngest Shaughnessy was born.

Harry, nursing a rum and Coke, smiles at the sight of an even older ornament: a stocking that says "Charlotte and Harry, 1988," their first Christmas as a couple.

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