A Reason Holiday Sampler: Joe Biden, Christopher Hitchens, Electric Football, & Peace, Love & Misunderstanding


We're off til Monday morning bright and early, so blogging, tweeting, and all other activity in these parts will be minimal to the maximum.

We wanted to leave you with some holiday cheer, however, so here's a sampling of Reason offerings over the years that relate to the Christmas season.

On behalf of the Reason staff, here's wishing you a great holiday.

And now, on with the show.

First up is our 2010 Christmas video, "A Joe Biden (War on) Christmas," which many early viewers took seriously (really, read the comments at our YouTube channel and then be very, very afraid for the future of your country).

Last year, we rolled out "Be Happy! Why this is the best holiday season ever," which didn't perplex viewers, though it enraged more than its fair share with its upbeat celebration of continuous toy improvement (CTI). Those of us who remember shock-tastic electric football games (clearly, the origin of today's over-the-top touchdown celebrations stem from the St. Vitus Dance-like gyrations of players too close to the corner of the field with the vibrator in it!) will beg to differ.

For some reason no one can quite remember, we skipped an actual Christmas video in 2008, though we did feature Christopher Hitchens at our Very Special, Very Secular Christmas Party in 2007, where the author of, most recently, Hitch-22, led the crowd in a dramatic reading and dolorous sing-along of Tom Lehrer's "Christmas Carol." Mr. Potter never treated George Bailey as tough as Hitchens' treats Santa Claus below.

Then there are the stories, the good old-fashioned writings we've produced over the years that are like carols not set to music or sung by roving bands of annoying, well, carolers.

Highlights include:

2008's "Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding: What's so funny about Christmas as a secular holiday," by Jacob Sullum.

2008's "Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa is Over," by Michael C. Moynihan.

2008's "The Fight Before Christmas: Why the War on Christmas is even less winnable than the War on Drugs," by Greg Beato.

2006's "Oy, Tannebaum: You've got your Christmas in my Chanukah," by Jacob Sullum.

2005's "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: The War on Christmas is over. Guess who won," by Jesse Walker.

2004's "The True Spirit of Xmas: How 4/5 of the country became an oppressed minority," by Julian Sanchez.

And for a holiday-themed buzz-kill that remains as relevant as it did when it first ran in 2005, check out "Who Grew Your Tree?: If you like Christmas, thank an immigrant," by Jesse James DeConto and me, which calls attention to the hard-hearted and misguided immigration laws of these United States.

For readers employed by the TSA and other jobs with lots of down-time where concentration and attention really aren't required, check out every mention of Christmas at by going here.

And as the year's end approacheth, two things to remember:

1. Reason's first-ever cruise sails from Florida January 30-February 6. It's chock full of Reason staffers (Welch, Sullum, Bailey, and myself), Reason contributors (Dalmia and de Rugy), and scintillating guest stars (Matt Ridley, Patri Friedman, and Ben Rast), and exotic ports of call (Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Lost City of Atlantis). It's also suprisingly affordable, with cabins that include meals and all Reason fees starting at around $1,500. Cheaper than a hotel, plus Matt Welch playing shuffleboard!

2. This is a great time to make a tax-deductible donation to Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website, Reason magazine, and If you've got unexpected or unspent stimulus burning a hole in your pocket, consider giving a gift to us. Your donations—have I mentioned they are tax-deductible—help us fight for "Free Minds and Free Markets" in our own publications as well as in the nation's leading newspapers, opinion journals, and talk shows. Go here for more info on that.

Our top shovel-ready project for 2011 is to make more politicians cry. Click below for details.