With the holidays well in our minds and on our agendas, I feel there is a side of the holidays many of us miss. We commonly think Christmas is about the birth of Jesus (hence all those carols and Nativity scenes), or family (hence the glut of awful family movies), or about giving for giving’s sake (hence those sappy holiday commercials), but honestly I don’t think it’s about that.
I feel it is all about joy for joy’s sake, joie-de-vivre in the midst of the cold and darkness of winter. As a Satanist and a pagan I celebrate Christmas as a time of indulgence and joy, even if as I’m older I get less gifts than when I was a kid. If there’s any joy or excitement that can be absorbed in the holiday season, I seize it and enjoy it. And materialism actually has a role to play in this joy. I think Christmas would be boring if we weren’t indulging in the pleasures of food or enjoying the material gifts we’re given because indulgence is a big part of the celebration to begin with. What good is Christmas if it’s just observance and lofty feelings of “peace and goodwill to all”?