Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Palin pens defence of Xmas

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I understand that at this point commenting on anything Sarah Palin does is like socking a punching bag that has been slowly deflating since 2008, but I can't help myself. Palin announced last Monday that she is coming out with a Christmas book. Well, more specifically, a book about the 'War on Christmas.' This is the moment I most feared when I gave her up cold-turkey months ago. My sponsor is going to have some stern words for me. Still...

Titled A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas, this book seems destined to go the same route as most books with CAPITAL LETTERS in their TITLES for EMPHASIS. As The Associated Press reports:

"Amidst the fragility of this politically correct era, it is imperative that we stand up for our beliefs before the element of faith in a glorious and traditional holiday like Christmas is marginalized and ignored," Palin said in a statement released through her publisher. "This will be a fun, festive, thought-provoking book, which will encourage all to see what is possible when we unite in defence of our faith and ignore the politically correct Scrooges who would rather take Christ out of Christmas."

Christmas books are like Christmas albums: They are not things you make and announce in March when your career is going anywhere good. This isn't to say that successful artists don't release Christmas material, but they release them in, say, November, and they have -- well, other projects to talk about.

But a War-on-Christmas book?

I know that it's March and that the War on Christmas seems far away, but I just took down my War on Christmas Tree a week ago, so I think we can shoehorn it in.

The War on Christmas is like alien spacecraft and true love -- one of those things that seems to be visible only to people who already believe in it. The rest of us are baffled. Who are these people who think there's a war on Christmas and Christmas isn't winning? Have they ever visited a Starbucks?

I also take issue with the title. A happy holiday isn't necessarily a merry Christmas. Sometimes, you just wish someone a pleasant Hanukkah!

I was hoping the book would be aimed at children and would be some sort of variation on "How the Secular Grinches Stole 'Christ' Out of Christmas." But, alas, it apparently isn't.

"Why are you taking my Christmas tree, why?" Cindy Lou Palin-Who? would ask, looking sad, and the Grinch would reply that it was because Harry Reid had given him specific instructions to do so and that later he was going to come back with first lady Michelle Obama, take away Cindy Lou's candy canes and force her to do jumping jacks. The one bright spot in an otherwise bleak story would be Cindy Lou's discovery of clean coal in her stocking. Everything would end with the Whos holding hands and feeling benevolent toward all men (except the Whos outside the circle who did not celebrate Christmas and found this whole thing kind of awkward). I could picture it being very heartwarming. I would read all the copies of it you put in front of me. Heck, if Palin doesn't use this idea, I might pitch it myself. Or, at the very least, rework it for my Put Thor Back in Thursday campaign.

Still, what an odd reminder of how much has changed since 2008. Sarah Palin is gone and Tina Fey is still here, active, beloved, hosting the Golden Globes. It turned out she had one vital advantage over Sarah Palin, career-wise -- she could stop being Sarah Palin whenever she wanted to.

(Oh, who am I kidding, it'll probably sell.)

Alexandra Petri is a humour

columnist for the Washington Post.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 20, 2013 A11

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