The devil doesn’t really compete with God. It’s not like if God ran McDonalds, he’d start Burger King. Satan doesn’t create alternatives. He corrupts what’s already there.
If God were behind McDonalds (He’s not, but work with me here) then Satan would just busy himself ruining McDonalds, sabotaging the big macs.
And so I guess we ought to expect that Satan wouldn’t try to diminish our interest in Chistmas. He wouldn’t create a counter-holiday, or convince the world that Christmas isn’t worth it.
Instead, he’d try to pervert our very understanding of what the whole thing means.
If I were Satan, I might begin by making it all about materialism. And I’d put the emphasis on us, not Jesus. Because we are so inconsistent, if I were Satan, I wouldn’t worry that it’d be a problem, if at exactly the same time, I created all these expecations of peace and joy around Christmas. We goofy little humans would hardly notice if Christmas was simultaneously an orgy of materialism and a “promise” of divine tranquility and peace.
Instead of trying to de-emphasize Christmas, I’d try to make it important in people’s brains for all the wrong reasons. I’d nurture an endless parade of things that must be done before Christmas: Shopping, decorating, special outfits, cards. I’d laugh as the human’s scurrying increased to a frantic pace, as the space between them and their God widened because they’d be so lost in a parade of dead-end actions.
Then, in the aftermath of Christmas, people would feel hung over by the fact that all the material goods that didn’t deliver, they’d feel ashamed at the human focus, they’d feel betrayed that their own lives weren’t perfect on December 25th.
If I were the devil, I’d use the fact that New Years Eve is only a week after Christmas. I’d encourage people to drink and party to drown their sorrows. I’d emphasize the making of empty resolutions with out plans on how to get there, so that the hopelessness increased when people tried to change and the change didn’t stick.
Man, I am so glad that Satan isn’t busy doing these exact things…