Christmas and karma

Streets have been dressed up with lights for some weeks now, everybody is happy and nice because Christmas is coming and that’s how it’s supposed to be and choosing the best presents is the only thing that worries them.

Christmas is a weird season. Goodness and love fill the air and nothing that happened before matters anymore. Those who see the glass half full argue that we’re nice at least once a year; opponents criticise the agreed hypocrisy as an oasis of goodness doesn’t mean a thing after a year of evil.

This leads to the question: Why do Spanish people regard Christmas as an essential celebration and keep receiving gifts from the Three Wise Men if religion seems to be out of date? There’s no lack of alternatives; they can celebrate winter solstice — which was the original celebration — and receive gifts from their non-religious traditional characters. Christian tradition has undeniably taken roots in our society.

Karma is bad.

Were mystical excuses needed, we could look for something more neutral, less fantastic or lyrical, something such as karma. Reincarnations aside, karma is just a cause-effect concept according to which what you give if what you get. Fair as it sounds, many won’t like being forced to be nice all the time to be able to live in peace.

No wonder it’s perceived as normal to be nice for two weeks and forget about a whole year of wickedness in a religious context that forgives sins such as murder by just a secret confession. A philosophy that means a broken nail after acting badly is no match for that.

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