There is a central and fundamental reason people like Christmas, and that is the pleasant feelings induced by their parents’ bribery during early childhood. Everyone likes a candy. When a child receives gifts in this manner, he will understandably react like a prisoner who’s just been acquitted: it seems that finally his value, preferences and self-worth are recognised – suddenly and all at once!
But from the perspective of parents it is not so confusing; this is, after all, the purpose behind birthdays too. The idea is to concentrate reward around values that have nothing to do with the child as a person, in order to amplify the virtue of his owners, who drool at the sight of his ignorant joy – otherwise called “innocence” – and rejoice in the process [bells jingle]: his beautiful soul, overexcited with hopes of parental rescue and projected onto external substitutes, is becoming their junky. Christmas achieves “peace” thus, like an addict who gets an exceptional fix, or a convict on parole; only that this type of compensation is for stockholm-syndrome victims.
Christmas and similar cultural celebrations are like a more abstract version of force-feeding, in all their subtlety. They are another form of parent-led “happiness”. In force-feeding the parent – typically the mother – effectively communicates to the child that she decides what enters his body, regardless of his natural hunger impulse. Parents first withhold what the baby craves – as “bad for him” or “for her own good” – and then punish him for not wanting the “good” at the moment he is offered it. This way, gradually and consistently, small people are shaped to be fit for Christmas. Later in life, the biological need for food will be replaced by higher needs more related to his own sense of self, his play preferences… which makes the process equally continue in the form of prohibitions, duties and child-centered celebrations that alternate randomly in time.
This is why Christmas lives on, in spite of the death of the religious or cultural values that originate it, and the state of confusion new generations are in around values in general. Now you can have a gang-bang party as long as you keep the Santa hats on; end your punk-rock concert with “Merry Christmas”… where your parents could only keep up appearances and go home for Sunday dinner. So many decades after childhood, you are still thus psychologically owned by parents.
I wonder if people who are really into Christmas would also believe that drunk stranger who tells us, in all “honesty”, that he is our friend and loves us. Of course not. Christmas is about the unquestionable virtue of your oldies and telling other people that you are “with them in family”; just as saying goodbye in many cultures means you are “with them in God”. It is tribalism, and it is easy to see where priorities lie when it comes to actions – not words.
I mean, how does it really feel to say “merry christmas”? Does it take a spiritualist to realise the underlying emotions conveyed by that voice intonation? Does it really take a keen observer to see how folks are just bored to tears with all that crap, and that most of the time they’re labouring under the weight of peer pressure coming to them like a tombstone from the heavens?
Children who, all of a sudden, are granted their whims and are made feel special after they have been denied the most basic consideration – as people – understandably want to take it all and not thank anyone for it, let alone say “merry christmas”. They want to do exactly what you would like to be doing to please yourself – and rightly so – if only you could get away with it in the middle of so much “good will” in your life.
Your adult “good will” towards others is also your temporary giving up on those pre-adolescent fights about your daddy’s car being better, your mummy being a saint, the football team, the coolest clothes, etc. All this you have underneath, as you struggle to belong to that greater family of society, which so well mirrors your original one and its twisted definition of love. It is all easy to see for anyone with a thread of honesty toward himself, as it is conspicuous to the camera eye how the smiles and gestures are contrived, and passed on. It is that “sweet and sour” that never felt quite right. It is the fact that you were lied to as a child.
You will never meet your child – inner or real – and have a truly peaceful, joyous time if you do not allow the anger and sadness that you hold about Christmas, birthdays and other such charades to be released; to make your every day special in its own right, as it was when you were so young and full of virtue. You will also not be loved by your child if you bribe him or abuse your cognitive superiority over him; as you know, sooner or later he will find out about Santa Claus.