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!
The flawed human race, trapped in a cycle of cascading pain and wrong, is what and who God is bound and determined to love; the question is, How can He do it?
Walter Russell MeadJanuary 2, 2022
The Christmas story suggests that we can somehow try to be loyal members of our nations, our families, our tribes—and to reach out to the broader human community of which we are also a part.
Walter Russell MeadJanuary 1, 2022
It is a terrible scandal, but there is no way to separate the Trinity from Christmas.
Walter Russell MeadDecember 31, 2021
For believers, the question isn’t why there are presents under the tree. It is whether the love around the family circle speaks of a larger reality and in some way reflects the meaning inherent in the universe as a whole, or whether that happy Christmas morning feeling is nothing more than the biologically conditioned response of a collection of primates in a kinship setting.
Walter Russell MeadDecember 30, 2021
Why do Christians and so many other people believe in an invisible Ruler and Creator of the universe—and then how does the Christian idea of God differ from the others?
Walter Russell MeadDecember 29, 2021
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.
Walter Russell MeadDecember 28, 2021
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. A Yuletide blog that didn’t talk about the elephant wouldn’t be doing its job.
Walter Russell MeadDecember 27, 2021
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?
Walter Russell MeadDecember 26, 2021
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.
Walter Russell MeadDecember 25, 2021