A Festivus for the Rest of Us

Frank: It’s made from aluminum. Very high strength-to-weight ratio.
Kruger: I find your belief system fascinating.

— Frank Costanza, discussing the Festivus “tree” in 1997 on Seinfeld.


“Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) tells People magazine in the issue out Friday that he and his wife, Michelle, do not give Christmas or birthday presents to their two young daughters.”

— The Politico, July 24, 2008

“When former social secretaries gave a luncheon to welcome Ms. Rogers earlier this year, one participant said, she surprised them by suggesting the Obamas were planning a ‘non-religious Christmas’ — hardly a surprising idea for an administration making a special effort to reach out to other faiths.”

— The New York Times’ profile of Desirée Rogers, the former Obama White House social secretary, December 4th, 2009.

“No Churchgoing Christmas for the First Family.”

Time magazine headline, December 23, 2009.

All of which bring us to today’s headline at the Daily Caller:

“GOP aims to gut Christmas, White House alleges.”

So from the president’s point of view, this is a bipartisan feature, right?

Though conversely, in its own way, it’s also a reminder of P.J. O’Rourke’s famous aphorism, “I have only one firm belief about the American political system, and that is this: God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat:”

God is an elderly or, at any rate, middle aged male, a stern fellow, patriarchal rather than paternal and a great believer in rules and regulations. He holds men accountable for their actions. He has little apparent concern for the material well being of the disadvantaged. He is politically connected, socially powerful and holds the mortgage on literally everything in the world. God is difficult. God is unsentimental. It is very hard to get into God’s heavenly country club.

Santa Claus is another matter. He’s cute. He’s nonthreatening. He’s always cheerful. And he loves animals. He may know who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, but he never does anything about it. He gives everyone everything they want without the thought of quid pro quo. He works hard for charities, and he’s famously generous to the poor. Santa Claus is preferable to God in every way but one: There is no such thing as Santa Claus.


Especially when all of your credit cards have been maxed out for years, and the bill collectors are pounding on your door.


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