“Why are all Christmas tales sad?”, that was the question I randomly read on that printed page. It was a link to some other piece, so I couldn’t read it. But I quickly made up a theory of my own.
One day, about 2,000 years ago, the most precious gift was sent to humankind, in the shape of a baby boy. This baby grew up to be the most exceptional form of existence that has ever been known or will ever be; a portentous giant of kindness, love, faith, humanity, nobility, selflessness, and empathy. It matters little to nothing whether you believe that he was God incarnate, or not (I believe He is). What matters is what people did with this gift that had been given to them.
We all know what they did. They took this shining diamond and they muddied it, kicked it, cracked it and shattered it. Yes, they took this man and they mocked him, humiliated him, beat him, tortured him and finally gave him an agonic, horrendous death for everyone to witness.
He knew this well enough before he came to us. He knew that he was coming to a world full of brutish, arrogant, stupid, violent, egotistic people who wouldn’t know kindness, truth, beauty and purity if they hit them with a sandbag in the face.
Christmas is a happysad time for this reason. Because we are celebrating the birth and the very existence of kindness, truth, beauty and purity, but we also know that they have no chance to thrive in a world that has not changed one bit. We are laughing and dancing because God loves us and has given us a testament of his undying, immense love; but our laughter is hiding the tears from the pain of watching all of that die, crushed by the world. We know that that pain will ensue and that it echoes the same pain that dwells in our heart: that there is no hope for the world to save itself; that if we are to be saved, it will only be because God will forgive us, not because we know any better. The stories written by authors of all times echo this feeling. Those authors, or the people who formed those tales, knew, on perhaps some unconscious level, that Christmas is the reminder of our great failure as a race: our inability to see, and to embrace love.
Come the progress that may -humans producing humans in laboratories, DNA sequences being read and rewritten to perfect the races, men living for centuries-, it is all in vain, and men will be no more than empty shells, biological dolls doomed with self-conscience unless and until they are able to know love. Love for one another, love for all that is good and beautiful, unconditional love for themselves and their kin. Without love, human life is devoid of meaning. Without embracing love and becoming love, humans will always remain the naked monkey trying to make sense of an intrincate, yet simple mystery.