About a week ago (how time flies) I asked my followers on Twitter and others I know, on and off the Internet, quite a few of them fairly aware people usually standing by their convictions, why atheists or radicals or anti-consumers and similar celebrate Christmas. I did it for obvious reasons, since it most certainly flies in the face of everything they stand for, and because I was indeed curious, and I have always seen it as an irreconcilable contradiction.
I got quite a few replies and answers, all very polite. The reasons I was given were pretty much what I expected, family and tradition and habit, and a few prejudiced questions in return. There is no need to be specific, using names or aliases here. All and any response I got was pretty similar, except one, saying it appealed to his sense of irony, which was different, at least.
At least no one brought up Scrooge from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol this time. Thank the goddess for small favors. But there were people that insisted on claiming that I had had a bad experience of Christmas as a child, even if I repeatedly told them the opposite several times. Why should there necessarily be a bad childhood experience? There are plenty of reasons to loathe Christmas without it, on its own «merit».
One important factor was that my laidback, even polite question received far more replies and called far more attention to itself than my heart-wrenching story from Copenhagen, which says a lot about even the fairly radical and independent followers I keep on Twitter and friends I have on the Internet in general, and the world at large.
Is this a grave matter, you may ask. In my opinion it is. Sorry, guys, in my opinion celebrating Christmas, in any form, anything even resembling the Christian way or the consumer insanity or as a glue for society or encouragement for nationalism and an even longer list of additional negative factors is just plain wrong, a way of appeasing all the bad forces driving the «celebration». It is far more than an innocent get-together with family and friends. Some of you were clearly embarrassed, and you should be, and more. Christmas can never be reformed, can never be anything else, can never be justifiably defended. It’s just a bad thing.
The fact that most of you hadn't even been asked the question or didn't seem to have considered it before should tell a lot.
Habits are a thousand strands of a spider’s web later to become chains. Christmas is a dangerous and oppressive tradition that should be broken. It’s justifying so many bad things, and cementing both religion and consumerism in current society, and almost more important: It’s a part of the treacherous ongoing process pulling people back into an oppressive society they want little or no part of. It is training children, ruining them, if you like, to accept and even be excited about many things in life they should shun like a plague.
Say no to Christmas, now, and for all time, and crucially: to what it represents.