Letter VII

Dear Slugmulch,

We are in an important season of the year. Winter is here, and with it comes great opportunities for temptation and deception. The enemy works hard to be a part of the humans' winter, but we have done much work to minimize his presence. You often hear people wishing each other a Merry Xmas, as they shove past each other in toy stores with carts full of things they don't need. Well let me assure you, it was not always this way. People used to associate the holiday season with the enemy, but we created several distinct distractions to garner most of the attention now. In fact, Xmas used to be considered the birthday of the enemy, but many children now believe it is our dear Santa's birthday. The demons that make up the Anti-Christmas Committee have out done themselves with that one. However, creating the idea of Santa is not all that has been done to make the holidays the way we want them, and there are some things you should be aware of so that you may instill them in your patient.

The most important thing you must remember is that the holidays are a time for receiving rather than giving. Everyone will be purchasing presents for the people close to them, and this is a breeding ground for generosity (a character trait that belongs entirely to the enemy). However, convince your patient that he deserves the presents he is going to receive, and you will without a doubt breed thanklessness. Now, it is easy to distract children from the enemy by convincing them to worship Santa Claus and what he will bring them, but this jolly fat man can lose his hold on more "mature" humans. Take care to remember that while toys and trinkets may no longer tempt your patient, dissatisfaction and a desire for more works against humans of all ages. Greed is our greatest tool during the holiday season. Use it wisely. 

You will also find that your patient will spend a lot of time with family during this season. Families, as they were designed by the enemy, are dangerous to our cause, but it is easy to create small rifts and trifling arguments between even the most closely knit family unit. Do your best to put too many people under too small a roof with too many things for the adults to disagree on and too few things for the children to play with. You will then find your patient to be the exact sort of person you've always wanted him to be. There is something unique about a family's ability to have the most extreme love for one another, as well as the most extreme contempt. Avoid the first and encourage the second.  

Something that may be specifically useful in frustrating your patient is by surrounding him with people who care a lot about him. Encourage those who spend time with to him to ask about his future, his job, his love life, and anything else that you think he may be insecure about. Even if they mean well your patient will most have a hard time realizing their intent in the moment. Frustrate your patient with substantive questions, and he will recede into small talk. Remind him that it is easier to talk about the weather and popular culture than it is to talk about the things that weigh heavily on his heart. This concept holds true for all human interactions, but I find that it comes especially useful during the holiday season.

If your patient is the same person that he was at this time last year, I must say you have done excellent work. As the years pass, do your best to keep him stagnate. I have much to say regarding the start of the New Year, but it will have to wait until my next letter. Some of the senior devils are getting together to visit Christmas Eve services, and I must prepare some things to whisper to those who will be in attendance. 

Have a Merry Xmas and Harmful Holidays,

Wormwood