commercialization of holidays

Mayor Buttigieg’s God of Feelings

Mr. Peter Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a candidate for the presidency of the United States, has picked a theological quarrel with Mike Pence, the current vice president. The specific focus of the quarrel is not of peculiar interest beyond our times—our peculiar times. The general import is as vast as creation. Political people generally have an outsized [...]

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 [...]

MENU