Plenty of Christmas gifts have been suggested by our imaginative contributors for imaginative conservatives; some affordable, some posh, but always appropriate. But what do we give to our Leftist friends, assuming that we have any?

One should not suggest anything that mocks their obvious deficiencies, even if those are self-induced; after all, Christmas gifts ought to be given in a spirit of Christian generosity. It must bring the recipients some pleasure, so forget about the lifetime supply of Mike Church/King Dude t-shirts, coffee mugs and publications (no matter how much that might improve them up until their embolisms burst).

For Leftishly-inclined students and educators, nothing will be as welcome as the new talking e-book readers. Besides being another gadget, it offers one a chance to be seen using an ordinary and still trendy e-book reader, even if he or she is utterly illiterate and cannot even puzzle out the sell-by date on a pot of organic yoghurt. Basically no more than a clunkier iPod, it reads one the text aloud through a discrete earphone: no one ever need know that you had a state education! No wonder why members of the teachers union are buying ‘em up like hotcakes!

Throw in something to listen to on it, perhaps President Obama’s (now remaindered) autobiography read by George Clooney. Or if you have cash to spare before your taxes are increased, fork out for a pre-publication copy of the Prez’s forthcoming hit, “Yes We Still Can but Show Some Patience, Dammit!”

For Progressive law students, consider the app that lets them write their own US Constitution (good practice for later).

Progressive kiddies will welcome wedding dolls and (costly) accoutrements, in which Barbie marries her single-sex look-alike, or if one prefers, Ken and Ken. The bride and bride can be supplied with identical tuxedos, and the guys in white lace and veils, but you might draw the line at the doll-sized “Safe Sex Packets.”

Sony PlayStation 2 has a new offering, Final Fantasy XXII, but it deviates somewhat from their previous recipes for success. What age of child, one wonders, really wants to generate economic growth by inflating the money-supply? (That’s what happens when you ask Paul Krugman and Ben Bernanke to entertain youngsters or set national economic policy).

For the more traditionally-minded Leftist, board games provide a chance to bring the entire family together to pass along bad values. A modern take on the venerable vocabulary-building favourite is called Scrambble, but woe betide the player who spells a word correctly! The new board game ObamaCare is a version of Chutes and Ladders good for all ages (“You rolled a six! The State can’t afford to keep mom alive…”). Several new election games allow a contestant to win with only 47% (available too in Spanish).

For Leftist old-folks there are carbon-neutral, hand-woven, fair-trade, organic hemp colostomy bags. Or consider manual hand-crank generators to save them buying environmentally-harmful batteries for their Pacemakers; it keeps their eco-consciences ticking along with their (one hopes metaphorically) bleeding hearts!

For Leftist friends who are politically active and community-oriented consider gift certificates for live or online courses that will please them. ACORN, or here, may offer classes in organising voter registration fraud, or know where they are available.

If your Lefty friends or relations are global warming alarmists (and who aren’t?) this can present problems because almost every gift leaves a carbon-footprint however small. Even a Saul Alinsky first-edition killed trees.

This website offers supposedly carbon-neutral gifts, but all appear to have been made in mammoth factories owned by evil multi-national corporations and manned by Chinese political prisoners. The Offset Carbon Company sells gift vouchers, ostensibly supporting eco-friendly Third World development, commensurate with the “global damage” done by a long-haul holiday flight or driving to work: but if your favourite Leftist owns a few hundred head of flatulent cattle (the planet-killing swine!) you may need to do your own calculations.

You will have your own creative ideas for other gifts, and write them in below. But a sure-fire crowd-pleaser for a true Leftist Progressive is always the Christmas Nativity set with an empty manger!

Books on the people and topics discussed in this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore

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13 replies to this post
  1. I have an idea for conservatives! (or what passes for one these days) A DVD of Dickens' The Christmas Carol! I recommend the 1951 Alistair Sim version. (I have the video, don't know if a DVD exists; though it should)
    Todays "conservatives" (I'm especially thinking of the neo-, laissez faire variety) will love that line, "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"

  2. ephremgall, seems like something struck a nerve. The Christmas Carol would be a great gift for a libertarian proper, as conservatives are generally supportive of safety nets and private, neighborly, charitable actions of solidarity like the anecdote we find in Dicken's novel. 🙂 Have a Merry Christmas!

  3. Anon and ephremgall, do both of you have something against individually defined values? If one doesn't care for the "poor", then,is something wrong as to a person's values? There are numerous ways and means of meeting the different needs in our society (and these needs are not just about the material/economic, but also the emotional/social). The political elite do nothing for the poor, unless they are Democrat and then, they use government to confiscate monies to redistribute. Republicans allow for voluntary giving through a charity of choice….

    • I don’t know if they have a problem with it, but I certainly do. Just because someone values something, doesn’t mean that it is good, or beneficent. If I value human sacrifice, does that give me the right to perform it? After all, it’s my value. What if I find it a value to teach children about pornography? You may object, but by your reasoning, how could you, if values are justified simply by having been arrived at as an individual? If values are what justifies one’s actions, then we have moral anarchy. Anyone could simply value anything he wants and get away with it. A civilization like that would be impossible to live in.

  4. Libertarians do not believe it is necessary to promote charity because they believe that one earns their "keep" by producing for themselves….Liberty is the necessary environment to promote individual choice as to one's vocation. "The Poor" are only one segment of our society, which should not limit or define the whole of society's vision.

  5. Well, as I rest on the foundation of the Holy Scriptures as interpreted by such as St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory of Nazanzius, and St. John Chrysostom and their social theology, I would say that while they believed in free will, individually defined values are what has caused all the problems in the first place. (The fall, eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) We all derive our values from significant others anyhow. No, conservativism rests on the continuity of shared values, and for my Church, these bishops and their teachings summarize those values. And yes, they have said in no uncertain terms that not caring for the poor is very wrong, with a great deal more moral authority than Dickens even. I agree with you that human need transcends the material. As to government "confiscation," once upon a time, according to the shared values in America, most willingly accepted our government's efforts to prudently and sensibly give aid to those in need. But the shared values are not shared so much anymore, sadly. And so freedom has come to mean for many of the strong winning the king of the hill game, with the hill consisting of other human beings. Dickens "A Christmas Carol" speaks to this attitude, which is destroying our society.

  6. Stephen, you managed once again to pull up all this serious stuff. I propose a naked Nancy Pelosi doll. What a hit it would be among the open music night crowd at the Mark Hopkins lobby.

  7. Mr Gall, Neo-Conservatives (neither neo nor conservative really) would have liked The Christmas Carol better had The Ghost of Christmas Present been able to call in the 82nd Airborne (Tiny Tim was collateral damage from a malfunctioning drone). Cut-and -thrust marketeers and libertarians would prefer the movie if it was played backwards so that it had a happy ending. (US definition) liberals would have preferred that Bob Crachit's turkey was delivered by the TSA (Turkey Supply Administration). Hard to please anyone nowadays! Merry Christmas!

  8. John, I wonder if it's my aftershave?

    Meanwhile I went to see my banker to borrow money to market that naked Nancy Pelosi doll: he had his security guards escort me from the building. I'll have to keep trying!

  9. I take issue with "values". To paraphrase Harry Jaffa: George Washington said that our republic requires the maintenance of public and private morality. If you said to him "you mean your values?", he would say "what the hell are you talking about?".

    Angie: marriage is not an economic transaction. Mutuality, consent and common goals are nice for a corporate business partnership, they are not sufficient for marriage. Marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman made for the fulfillment of their happiness, the perpetuation of a happy species and the betterment of society. Same-sex couples cannot achieve any of these, ergo we can call them friendships, loving friendships, civil unions by law – but marriages? To call them that would mock the point of language.

    An excellent summation of why only male-female relationships bring happiness and homosexual ones do not (in the full sense) is Eric Fromm's Art of Love, whichbI highly recommend as one of the best modern (XXth century) text on the subject.

    In fact, I recomend Fromm's book for your liberal gay friends. Though I doubt (from personal experience) that they will care to read anything you recommend that might challenge rather than coddle their "lifestyle"

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