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.
So sit back and enjoy the following tales by your favorite authors:
Rob Long’s "The Christmas Spirit: In Defense of Ebenezer Scrooge.”
P. J. O’Rourke’s “The Commercialization of Christmas: God Moves (The Merchandise) in a Mysterious Way.”
Andrew Ferguson’s “Jingle Bell Rock: Taking the Christ Out of Christmas Songs”
Matt Labash’s “Home for the Holidays: The Trials and Tribulations of Family.”
Stephen F. Hayes’ "here Comes Santa Claus: The Wonder of Christmas Morning."
Toby Young’s “The ghosts of Christmas: Holidays Past and Present”
Jonah Goldberg’s “The War on Christmas: It’s Real, and It’s Spectacular.”
Christopher Buckley’s “Saint Joseph: The Forgotten ‘Father Christmas.’”
Kirsten Powers’ “The first Noel: Christmas with Jesus.”
James Lileks' "Boxing Day and the Christmas Hangover."
An all-star team of eighteen conservative writers offers a hilarious, insightful, sanctimony-free remix of William Bennett’s The Book of Virtues—without parental controls. The Seven Deadly Virtues sits down next to readers at the bar, buys them a drink, and an hour or three later, ushers them into the revival tent without them even realizing it.
The book’s contributors include Sonny Bunch, Christopher Buckley, David “Iowahawk” Burge, Christopher Caldwell, Andrew Ferguson, Jonah Goldberg, Michael Graham, Mollie Hemingway, Rita Koganzon, Matt Labash, James Lileks, Rob Long, Larry Miller, P. J. O’Rourke, Joe Queenan, Christine Rosen, and Andrew Stiles. Jonathan V. Last, senior writer at the Weekly Standard, editor of the collection, is also a contributor. All eighteen essays in this book are appearing for the first time anywhere.
In the book’s opening essay, P. J. O’Rourke observes: “Virtue has by no means disappeared. It’s as much in public view as ever. But it’s been strung up by the heels. Virtue is upside down. Virtue is uncomfortable. Virtue looks ridiculous. All the change and the house keys are falling out of Virtue’s pants pockets.”
Here are the virtues everyone (including the book’s contributors) was taught in Sunday school but have totally forgotten about until this very moment. In this sanctimony-free zone:
• Joe Queenan observes: “In essence, thrift is a virtue that resembles being very good at Mahjong. You’ve heard about people who can do it, but you’ve never actually met any of them.”
• P. J. O’Rourke notes: “Fortitude is quaint. We praise the greatest generation for having it, but they had aluminum siding, church on Sunday, and jobs that required them to wear neckties or nylons (but never at the same time). We don’t want those either.”
• Christine Rosen writes: “A fellowship grounded in sociality means enjoying the company of those with whom you actually share physical space rather than those with whom you regularly and enthusiastically exchange cat videos.”
• Rob Long offers his version of modern day justice: if you sleep late on the weekend, you are forced to wait thirty minutes in line at Costco.
• Jonah Goldberg offers: “There was a time when this desire-to-do-good-in-all-things was considered the only kind of integrity: ‘Angels are better than mortals. They’re always certain about what is right because, by definition, they’re doing God’s will.’ Gabriel knew when it was okay to remove a mattress tag and Sandalphon always tipped the correct amount.”
• Sonny Bunch dissects forbearance, observing that the fictional Two Minutes Hate of George Orwell’s 1984 is now actually a reality directed at living, breathing people. Thanks, in part, to the Internet, “Its targets are designated by a spontaneously created mob—one that, due to its hive-mind nature—is virtually impossible to call off.”
By the time readers have completed The Seven Deadly Virtues, they won’t even realize that they’ve just been catechized into an entirely different—and better—moral universe.
Christopher Buckley Northwestern University Press, 2001 Library of Congress PS3552.U339S73 2001 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
A brilliant expression of philosophy and feeling, Christopher Buckley's latest poetry collection explores growing up in the America of the fifties and sixties and coming to terms with the aging process. In dazzling language, Star Apocrypha bears the beauty and weight of the big questions. The poet looks to nature--the interior and exterior landscapes--for his answers and with wit and high-pitched intelligence accepts his art and life in the twenty-first century.
Star Journal: Selected Poems
Christopher Buckley University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3552.U339A6 2016 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Star Journal is a selection of poems from Christopher Buckley's twenty previous collections, from 1980-2014.
Past praise from Philip Levine:
“The poems are modest, straight forward, intensely lyrical and totally accessible. . . . This is a humble poetry of great truths and profound emotions that never overstates its concerns for the events both in and above the world. It rewards countless readings and never betrays itself.” —Ploughshares