At this time of year the Yule-themed frenzy starts. Yule films, Yule songs, Yule books and stories. Not, of course, to forget presents, foods, decorations and traditions. This makes me uneasy. When everyone do the same thing, everywhere, in almost the same way, I get sort of a premonition of the Holocaust.
Now, you might this is over-reacting just a wee bit. I think not.
Almost everyone I meet feel some kind of pressure when December approaches – presents, foods, relatives; a pressure to conform, to live up to expectations. We once went to Thailand over Yule, to get away from it, but while we spent it at a smallish low-key place with small establishments hidden under the Casuarina trees, some of them with only sand for a floor, it was impossible to evade the Yule decorations. Given that the Thai don’t even celebrate it themselves we had expected else. This only imprinted the Holocaust-premonition even harder. What kind of culture are we that force ourselves so relentlessly on others?
We march in step to Jingle Bells, living the hegemony of archetypal western civilisation, while at the same time stressing out – almost imploding with the pressure to perform, not to mention all those not so well off people who can’t afford to shop all those expensive presents and all the traditional food.
Most people aren’t happy during the Holidays. Most people are the exact opposite – at the final fraying end of the madly dashing tether. Still we ache to be like everyone else, to not stray from the Middle Road. We are exactly soo close to genocide, in our behaviour, whatever we would like to think.
All of which goes through my mind every time someone mentions their list of Yule Themed Books/Films/whatever they go through every single Yule. And I don’t want to offend anyone so I just grumble-mumble and walk on. But I am really the only one who see Yule mainly as an exercise in mob thinking?