Christmas is awful. Christmas is the worst. Christmas is evil in calendrical form. If the Devil were real, he’d look upon all that is Christmas, smile, and say, “Nice.” There is nothing good about Christmas.
Why is Christmas so terrible? Well, its badness probably cannot be adequately described in human language, but let’s try. For one, Christmas combines two of the worst things in the world: religion and consumerism. At Christmas, people are encouraged to buy a bunch of stuff they don’t need in order to celebrate the birth of a god that doesn’t exist.
But Christmas does something special: Religion and commerce, such potent forces for evil when considered separately, combine with such insidious synergy that they produce a holiday far more nefarious than the sum of its parts. It’s not merely that people spend money and believe in God during the “Christmas season”—which now apparently begins shortly before Halloween—since people do these things all year long. It’s that each of these things brings out the worst in the other.
Every year, you are confronted with an onslaught of advertising exhorting you to “reward yourself” and “remember others” in a way that can only be done with a commercial transaction.* The command to buy, buy, buy comes with the force of a religious holiday, meaning it has both tradition and God on its side. It is not optional.
*Let’s not even get STARTED on Black Friday.
At the same time, because Christmas is such a mass-marketed holiday, any hint of a religious message is denuded or deemphasized. For all the cries to “Keep Christ in Christmas!” you are spoon-fed cloying clichés about the value of family and generosity in lieu of any real religious message. Anything that might be controversial or nuanced would dampen that precious “holiday spirit.”
And God forbid anything stand in the way of “holiday spirit”! The most disturbing aspect of Christmas—the defining feature of its horror—is that it’s everywhere. It is omnipresent, controlling, and one-dimensional in a way totalitarian dictators could only dream. When I turn on the TV in the morning, a little logo in the corner reminds me that it’s Christmas (even though it’s not; it’s December 11th); when I open my computer, Google’s logo reminds me it’s Christmas. Every TV show must do a Christmas episode. Christmas music—which, with few exceptions, is the worst music ever created by humans—plays everywhere for a month. It affects the way movies are released and the way stores keep hours. And the ads… oh, the ads…
Even things that have nothing to do with Christmas become Christmas-related: The holiday has co-opted snow, the colors red and green, white beards, and the emotion of happiness. Hell, even Chanukah has been co-opted by Christmas—when someone wishes you “Happy Holidays,” you know what they really mean. After all, the whole reason Chanukah exists in its current form is to offer the Christmas experience to Jewish children. This is why comparisons between Christmas and Chanukah miss the point: Chanukah is essentially a subsidiary of Christmas.
Christmas is an unstoppable force with powers nobody could have anticipated—it’s like Frankenstein’s monster or the atom bomb. Everything that happens during Christmas becomes about Christmas. Even ignoring it is somehow a political act, part of a “War on Christmas” (an idea as hopeless and unpopular as declaring war on the sun). This is why Christmas cannot just be politely tolerated. As Orwell said, one cannot be neutral on the subject of totalitarianism. You are either for Christmas, or you are against it.
The temptations to love Christmas are obvious—the tyrant always sets out to look like your friend. Celebrate Christmas and you will receive bountiful gifts, vacations, “good deals” on both, and cards from all your friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. Ignore Christmas and you are a Grinch, a Scrooge, a stick in the mud—nobody will like you.
But it is exactly this monolithic goodwill that makes Christmas so evil. By ensnaring everything positive, Christmas makes all good things bland and meaningless. A Christmas gift is not given as reward or validation—it is given out of duty. We become entitled to gifts and make lists of our demands. We turn our feelings for friends and loved ones into “Christmas shopping” and they become a chore.
This is true of everything Christmas touches, and Christmas touches everything. Everything you buy, everything you do, every meal you have with your family, even every emotion you experience—it all becomes an extension of the holiday season and not a natural or personal experience. Any positive emotion becomes the default, and any negative emotion becomes unacceptable…
Almost a year ago, on December 14, 2012, twenty children and six adults were shot and killed in Connecticut. Even in our time of frequent mass shootings, this one stood out, the victims being children. And yet what did I hear playing on the radio, mere minutes after the news broke? “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
Because Christmas never stops. It pauses for nothing and nobody. It is cold, impersonal, inhuman. Its relentless cheer does not stop for the realities of life.
Christmas takes everything specific or personal and makes it commercial and homogeneous. It takes everything good, pleasant, or fun and makes it ordinary, irritating, and boring. This is the very definition of evil. It may seem harmless and uplifting, but that is how all totalitarian regimes operate: They appeal to our basest instincts to make us happier in the short-term, while ultimately undermining the values we hold dear and making all opposition seem misguided.
The only remedy is the forcible overthrow of all existing Christmas conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at an anti-Christmas revolution! We have nothing to lose but our chains. We have a world to win… and a Happy New Year!