The Christmas Virtues

A Treasury of Conservative Tales for the Holidays

Edited by Jonathan V. Last

From the all-star cast that brought you The Seven Deadly Virtues and The Dadly Virtues comes the ultimate Christmas survival guide: The Christmas Virtues.

The Christmas season is a minefield of terrors: The family get-togethers with weird uncles, the sloppy office parties, the annoying 10-page Look-at-Us holiday letters—and we haven’t even mentioned the Black Friday mobs and that wretched Alvin and the Chipmunks song that plays every 90 minutes on Pandora, whether you like it or not. Rum-pah-pah-pum.

And don’t forget the PC police lurking around every corner looking to beat the last bits of joy and comradery out of our society. Merry Christmas? Really?

But it doesn’t have to be this way. ‘Tis the season to recapture the wonder of Christmas, in our hearts and in our homes and even out in the public square. The Christmas Virtues is a humorous companion for, and guide to, navigating the trials and tribulations of the holiday season. It’s a reminder of how we can embrace the joy, hope, and love of Christmas—of the real Christmas.

And a call for us to stand up for Christmas because America needs it now, more than ever.

Acknowledgments / xi

Introduction
The Miracle of Christmas / 3
Jonathan V. Last

Chapter 1: The Christmas Spirit
In Defense of Ebenezer Scrooge / 15

Rob Long

Chapter 2: The Commercialization of Christmas
God Moves (the Merchandise) in a Mysterious Way / 23
P. J. O’Rourke

Chapter 3: Season’s Greetings!
Ten Simple Rules for Sending Christmas Cards / 33
Joe Queenan

Chapter 4: Jingle Bell Rock
Taking the Christ Out of Christmas Songs / 45
Andrew Ferguson

Chapter 5: Oh, Tannenbaum
A Tradition Unlike Any Other / 54
Christopher Caldwell

Chapter 6: The Nativity Stories
The Best (and Worst) Christmas Movies Ever / 62
Sonny Bunch

Chapter 7: Home for the Holidays
The Trials and Tribulations of Family / 70
Matt Labash

Chapter 8: Saint Nicholas: Friend or Foe?
A Document Dump from Santa’s Secret Email Server / 83
David “Iowahawk” Burge

Chapter 9: All Good Gifts
Tickle Me Elmo and the Madness of Christmas Toys / 99
Heather Wilhelm

Chapter 10: Here Comes Santa Claus
The Wonder of Christmas Morning / 108
Stephen F. Hayes

Chapter 11: The Ghosts of Christmas
Holidays Past and Present / 117
Toby Young

Chapter 12: The War on Christmas
It’s Real, and It’s Spectacular / 125
Jonah Goldberg

Chapter 13: Jews Who Love Christmas
We All Love Christmas Magic / 135
Larry Miller

Chapter 14: I’m Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas
Celebrating a Day You Don’t Really Share / 146
Joseph Epstein

Chapter 15: The Greatest of These Is Hope
The Impossible Promises of Christmas / 155
Michael Graham

Chapter 16: Saint Joseph
The Forgotten “Father Christmas” / 163
Christopher Buckley

Chapter 17: Mary, Mother of All
The Real Miracles of the Virgin Birth Aren’t What You Think / 171
Mollie Hemingway

Chapter 18: The First Noel
Christmas with Jesus / 180
Kirsten Powers

Chapter 19: The Day After
The Illusion of Returning to Normal / 189
James Lileks

About the Contributors / 199