commercialization of holidays

Biden vs. Bork, 1988: Democrats Smear a SCOTUS Nominee

Editor’s note: this article originally appeared in the May 1988 print edition of Crisis. It has been edited for brevity. Many people have asked me what it was like to live through the nomination and hearings of my husband, Robert Bork. I usually answer that it was like being besieged in a battle where the reinforcements [...]

Why Is There an Ugly Christmas Sweater Day?

So much that passes for culture these days is just entertainment. What people consider “culture” is an excuse to have fun. Everything must be full of novelty and excitement. It must be Facebookable and Instagram-friendly. While these fun activities may be popular, they do not constitute culture. They have no depth. For many, even Christmas need [...]

In Defense of Santa Claus

When I was attending Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas—the precise year and semester, I have forgotten—I met the first opposition to Santa Claus. I had known that there were people who did not believe in the “Christmas Man”; my parents had explained to me that such people did exist in the world. But the opposition [...]

Revisiting the War on Christmas

Like Leslie Nielsen’s famous advice as the building explodes behind him—“OK, move on, nothing to see here, please disperse”—so The New York Times assures us that there’s nothing to the war on Christmas except, perhaps, Republican partisanship. “From the beginning, the War on Christmas was a homegrown Fox News cause, introduced by the so-named 2005 [...]

Advent: A View from Down Under… Way Under

Over seventy years ago, C.S. Lewis disclosed a mysterious correspondence that became known as The Screwtape Letters, consisting of instructions to a novice demon from his netherworld mentor. What follows is a newly discovered document that bears eerie similarity: Dear Swillpit, It’s that time of year again! The weeks—no, months—of preparations for the Event reached [...]

The Fight Before Christmas

Black Friday, 6:15 AM. The checkout lane was already twenty persons deep, but worse—it hadn’t moved in five minutes. As I scanned the other seven lanes, they were no better. Resigned, I took my place in line clutching the electronic gadgetry I had snatched up in my bargain-hunting frenzy. As everyone knows, deep mark-downs await [...]

The Commercialization of Thanksgiving—and So Much Else

Thanksgiving is rapidly competing with Christmas as a candidate holiday for the next cultural war. We know, of course, that December 25 is the holiday that dare not speak its name, having been transmogrified into “winter holiday” lest delicate ears be offended by “C-h-r-i-s-t-m-a-s.” Thanksgiving, so far, has managed to retain its name of religious [...]

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