The Yule Blog

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Walter Russell Mead’s Yule Blog has been a Christmas tradition since The American Interest’s “Via Meadia” blog first published it for the 2009–10 Christmastide. This wonderful, if sometimes laid-aside, season in the Christian calendar runs from Christmas Eve to Epiphany (January 6). Mead’s “Twelvetide” reflections have shepherded many into remembering not just the history but the meaning of Christmas and the Yuletide season.

Providence is thrilled to host the Yule Blog for a third year. Such excitement is appropriate. As Walter writes, “Christianity is the living force behind American liberal ideology as well as American conservativism.”

Providence understands that as we let go of the meaning of Christmas, we deracinate ourselves from our collective memory of Christendom, and thereby such virtues as “humility, forbearance, honesty, and tolerance begin to fade from our common life.” The loss of such Christian memory bodes ill for our republic, and what bodes ill for our republic bodes ill for the world.

May these Yuletide reflections be a rock against such forgetfulness and a goad to the quickening of faith, hope, and love—both at home and far abroad. Merry Christmas!

Day 4: The Hinge of Fate - Yule Blog - Holy Innocents’ Day
Day 4: The Hinge of Fate

Everybody wants to reduce Christmas to a Christmas card: we’d like this to be a pretty and sentimental tale. But today, the third day after the orgiastic opening of the presents beneath the tree, is also the day that the traditional liturgical calendar tries to slap us into serious reflection on the meaning of the event, jolting us out of our turkey comas and eggnog overdoses with an unforgettably grim story.

Day 3: Born of a What??? Yule Blog Virgin Mary
Day 3: Born of a What???

Conventional manger scenes don’t show it, but besides the ox, the ass, the sheep, and the camels, there was another animal in the room at Christmas: an elephant. And the elephant in the room was the idea that Jesus’ mother was a virgin when He was born.

Day 2: Rolling the Credits - Yule Blog
Day 2: Rolling the Credits

As we start to look at this whole Christmas phenomenon, it makes sense to begin with the basics. The first questions any sensible person asks about Christmas are pretty straightforward: What event is this holiday supposed to commemorate, and do we know that it actually happened?

Day 1: Christmas Gift!
Day 1: Christmas Gift!

The manger scene these days really is the face of Christmas for most people and, perhaps not surprisingly, it is one of the aspects of the season that keeps causing trouble.

The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: 2020–21 Edition
The Thirteen Posts of Christmas: 2020–21 Edition

In the old days, people kept a Yule log burning during the holiday season. From now until January 6, I’ll be Yule-blogging: reflecting on Christmas in ways that I hope will make sense to Christians and non-Christians alike.

Ep. 59: Preview of the Yule Blog (Advent Special)

In this Advent Special of the Foreign Policy ProvCast, Mark Melton speaks with Walter Russell Mead about his annual Yule Blog series, which begins on Christmas Eve and runs through Epiphany on January 6.

Walter Mead Bio picture
Walter Russell Mead is the James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College, the Distinguished Scholar in American Strategy and Statesmanship for the Hudson Institute, and the Editor-at-Large for The American Interest. He previously served as the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy for the Council on Foreign Relations. His works include God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World (2008), and he also writes for the Wall Street Journal and Foreign Affairs.