The anti-Christmas propaganda campaign in Poland’s liberal media is strengthening from year to year. One of the causes behind this phenomenon is the increasingly prevalent Christo-phobia of those with a liberal-left ideology while others say that crises within the Church is responsible for the development. Still, another theory points to the cynicism of those in the media who are aware that controversial and shocking topics generate the most “clicks”. Therefore, it isn’t news that people happily spend Christmas together, but it is when someone hates or hurts another during Christmas, or when someone feels the worst at home during this period. Finally, ever since liberal media prematurely decided that the Church in Poland is basically the same as Law and Justice (PiS) in politics, they are attacking Polish Catholicism. They do this even to the surprise and consternation of some of their supporters, who even if they are critical towards the Church, they see it as important institution for many reasons, including its importance in their own lives and that of Polish society. Strong consternation has caught Civic Platform (PO) politicians by surprise, especially since the party was once labeled as conservative-liberal. They must now pretend that they do not understand why there is an increasing number of opinions that their party is becoming leftist.
All in all, the situation creates quite a sad image. Just in the last few days, we could find articles on ultra-liberal Gazeta Wyborcza’s website, that “Christmas Eve is a festival of body shaming”. Another article in context of Christmas: “My parents live on the planet of state-owned television TVP while I’m hanging a rainbow flag out of the window”. This one speaks about how difficult it is for young, educated and “big city people” to survive Christmas with their family, especially since it is associated with a return to rural areas and hometowns. There are a few things are worth considering in this context. One is that it is an empirical fact that Poles travel to their family homes during Christmas, Easter and All Saints’ Day. This is evident not only in statistics concerning holiday travels but also from data from social media. If anyone is living in an alternative world, it is those who are trying to instil disgust for Christmas in their readers each year. Polish families not only like to meet up during Christmas, they also like to share positive Christmas messages on social media. Just take a look at how popular memes are remembering Christmas from the eighties and nineties. They usually show crowded family celebrations and the household traditions associated with them. Comments under these memes are usually nostalgic, as this Twitter post with the picture from the 80s shows with the caption: “Is the Christmas tree already decorated?” Even if many of these messages are idealized, they still show a general feeling of longing for Christmas and the positive sentiments associatd with it.
This national mood is very far from the agenda of ruining Christmas organized by liberal-left media outlets, who are trying to force the idea into the minds of their readers that Christmas is all trauma, stress and problems. This strategy is new version of the shame pedagogy. Liberals are proposing to their audience that they should look themselves over in the distorted mirror of their own phobias. They are unambiguously suggesting that Polish society is disgusting and its Christmas and traditions are nothing but a trauma and a falsehood. In general though, Polish society is ignoring this fearmongering. We are celebrating, meeting with families and happy that we have that. We are not angels but that does not mean that we are buying any of these anti-Christmas articles.