How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
The ChangingMinds Blog!
Christmas is partly about changing minds, but much is about keeping minds just as they are, thank you.
For Christians, it is about the hope and the promise of salvation, born in events over 2000 years ago. The Church knows well that reminders and rituals sustain commitment.
Parents also use present-giving rituals, in an echo of gold, frankincense and myrrh, to encourage family cohesion and compliance. How many parents over the years have threatened 'If you're not good, Father Christmas won't bring you any presents'. Santa, in a curiously pagan way, is imbued with mystical powers of omniscience, let alone fitting down millions of chimneys in one night.
And how many of us drag ourselves along to the office Christmas bash when we'd actually rather be curled up in front of the fire with a good book. Pluralistic ignorance leads whole swathes of people to conform just because they think that others want something to happen.
Nevertheless, we can still enjoy ourselves. The consistency principle leads us to change our beliefs and feelings to match our actions. We give presents and go to parties against our better judgment and then feel good about it after all.
So perhaps Christmas is good for us after all. If you follow the rituals and comply with the rules, then there's a good chance you will be happy.
Yes, I do like this article, living here in Istanbul (Non Christian
society) as a person who celebrates Christmas but bears in mind its true
significance that being the worship of the winter season and nothing Christian.
Therefore, a necessary thing to celebrate. So hereby the paradox lies:
celebrating in a place where you are told no to celebrate...
Isn't the celebration of winter solstice Yule, not Christmas? Not
trying to start a debate, but that's how it is in the west.