It seems a little strange at first, but "The Road" couldn't have been released at a more appropriate time of the year. The holiday season is when most of us forget about our troubles, buy each other crap and ignorantly sings hymns about a God we don't believe in. So what does "The Road" have to do with Christmas? On the surface, not much, but just as the story's characters live in an America stripped of its materialism and economy, where only banal humanity and invisible intangibles remain, so also should the individuals in the audience look into themselves for the true meaning of "peace on earth, good will towards men."
The father who is trying to teach his son how to survive in the burning world is teaching him things he learned from the old world. But in the new world, the slate has been cleaned and readied for a child. It is not so much that the world is completely hopeless, but that hopeless humans have burned it to ash. There could be hope, hope for rebuilding. But not because of anything that could be taken or learned from the old world. The old world was one of selfishness, greed and foolishness.
Peace on earth is not an external manifestation, nor will it ever be. Good will towards men is not a natural phenomenon. But these are not idealistic fantasies either. We can look inside ourselves and still find a child, and we can live in hope, in faith, and in love. Even in the cold. Even in the darkness.