Every year, commentators on right-wing news networks go on the warpath against the War on Christmas, epitomized in those horrible people who say “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas,” and especially the ones who write “Xmas” instead of “Christmas.” That never happened in the good old days. Commentators on left-wing news networks then go on the warpath against commentators on right-wing news networks who have gone on the warpath, and the season is just as jolly as can be.

Which brings us to a handwritten letter in the Internet Archive, where you can find anything as long as you’re not looking for it, from Nathaniel Parker Willis (who died in 1867) to his publisher.

Xmas day
New York

My dear sir

Will you be kind enough to send me six copies of “Prose Works” & two of “poems,” by Express, as soon as possible, directed to me at

19 Ludlow Place
Corner of Houston &
McDougal St’s.

I suppose you will put these to me low, will you not?

Happy holidays to you, & believe me

Yours very truly
N. P. Willis


  1. vonhindenburg says:

    Just judging by the number of comments from half the wits on my Twitter feed and the lack of rumbling discontent from my older relations on Facebook, we seem to have passed the tipping point last year where more people were complaining about people complaining about the WoC than there were actual Christmas Warriors. Maybe Covid moved the conservative memeiverse onto the next big thing more quickly than it otherwise would have, but (while there are still a few diehard guerillas out there), they seem to’ve disappeared as an organized force.

    There should be a word for this! (Either the tipping point at which the number of people with a modern social media grievance falls behind the number of people griping about them or the postbellum period where the victors do not realize their triumph.)

    Sincerely, a rider of the third wave: People complaining about people complaining about people complaining about something.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

  2. GP says:

    The only thing this shows is that the war has been going on longer than we thought

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