Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Book Review:The Christmas Virtues: A Treasury of Conservative Tales for the Holidays by Jonathan V. Last,, ed

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from Templeton Press, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

It's that time of year...

Are you feeling 'bah humbug yet?'


From conservatism’s best writers and humorists comes a must-read survival guide for the holiday season

In the midst of low-budget holiday movies, fruit cake, mandatory in-law time, and PC police confiscating your nearest manger and baby Jesus, the only “Christmas spirit” on most people’s minds is the kind that comes in a flask.

Enter THE CHRISTMAS VIRTUES. Harried humbug or Santa sensationalist, you’ll enjoy this collection of the good, bad, and ugly of the holidays. Twenty writers—many from the all-star casts of The Seven Deadly Virtues and The Dadly Virtues—have convened to deliver a reason to celebrate the season.  

Part survival guide, part spiritual reflection, part anthropological study of the traditions of Yuletide, THE CHRISTMAS VIRTUES is a collection of thought-provoking and snort-in-your-eggnog funny essays from an all-star lineup of essayists and humorists edited by The Weekly Standard’s Jonathan V. Last.

In THE CHRISTMAS VIRTUESyou will find the following all-new essays from your favorite authors:

·       P.J O’Rourke on the commercialization of Christmas, or, how to embrace the spirit of Christmas with open arms and open wallets.  

·       Matt Labash on the trials and tribulation of family, extended or otherwise, during Christmas.
·       Kirsten Powers on how different Christmas is with Jesus.
·       Jonah Goldberg on the very real—and very spectacular—War on Christmas.

·       Sonny Bunch on the age-old question—is Die Hard a Christmas movie?—and his thoughts on the best and worst Christmas movies of all time.

David “Iowahawk” Burge discovers an amazing document dump from Santa’s secret email server.
·       Larry Miller on Jews who love Christmas.

·       Mollie Hemingway on why the real miracles of the virgin birth aren’t what you think.

Santa’s perfect gift for the conservative in your life, THE CHRISTMAS VIRTUES is a celebration of everything we love and loathe about the holiday season: from Christmas music that has nothing to do with Christmas, to family fights over turkey, to stockings and childhood grievances.


If you're feeling like the true meaning of Christmas is being lost in all the commercialization of the holiday (Christmas trees in OCTOBER?), then this IS the book for you! I laughed my way through every tale. There are so many valid topics and moments that I want to share! Literally every tale would have been highlighted most of the way through, as there were such nuggets of wisdom in each! And it's hard to explain to the ER tech why you're laughing so hard about Santa texting one of his head elves from the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, when a kid steals a USB drive with all his pass codes on it! These are perfect for reading in spurts, one or two at a time, and induce a lot of nodding, laughing and head shaking. 

And maybe, just maybe, it will make you pause and take stock at how many traditions your family has, that might also be commercialization based, and what ones you might want to change, or add. I know even Miss Grace has caught on to that theme, as she was watching TV yesterday and turned to me and said "Mom, there's ANOTHER commercial, trying to make me want a toy that I don't need, and that I know won't work like it does on TV". Yup, perfectly said. Which is why in all honesty she hasn't written a Letter to Santa this year. She already knows what 2 gifts she is getting from me (and they aren't cheap, and will require monthly charges). While there are some small items she wants, there is nothing she REALLY wants, you know what I mean, with unequitable longing. And sometimes that is a good thing!

This book is a true diamond in the literal tons of holiday books, that you need to give to everybody on your gift giving list this year! 

About the Editor

Jonathan V. Last is a senior writer at the Weekly Standard,  a Washington-based political magazine, author of What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster (Encounter Books, 2013) and editor of The Seven Deadly Virtues, and The Dadly Virtues (Templeton Press, 2014, 2015). His writings have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New York Postt, the Claremont Review of BooksFirst Things, and elsewhere.

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