Christmas Letter

by Carl Nelson

…from St. Augustine. His Letter 211 (c. 424) contains the phrase Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which translates roughly to “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” The phrase has become more famous as “love the sinner but hate the sin” or “hate the sin and not the sinner”

Have you ever wondered, that as those storm clouds approached during those years before the establishment of the Third Reich, how this affected longtime friendships, fishing buddies, bar chatter? The Malicious Attacks law of 1933 which criminalized dissent surely would have made things touchy. Currently in the West, in England and Canada, more so than presently in the U S, one can get in legal, financial and job trouble for hate speech, misgendering, and protests. In England, it was recently reported that: According to the Register, a total of 2,500 Londoners have been arrested over the past five years for allegedly sending “offensive” messages via social media. In 2015, 857 people were detained, up 37 per cent since 2010. Free speech there? Perhaps not.

This might be due to “Dueling Realities” as it’s referenced in a recent NPR article:

“Another recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute shows that 8 in 10 Republicans believe the Democratic Party has been taken over by socialists, while 8 in 10 Democrats believe the Republican Party has been taken over by racists. The report is aptly named titled “Dueling Realities.”

Or… if you believe in only one Reality, as I do, the Duel would seem more like between the conflicting ‘realities’ of cops and robbers. The one person feels they are stealing the money for a better purpose (themselves); the other thinks it’s just stealing.

My difficulties with my Leftie friends have been stewing for well over forty years. (I’m in the arts world where they have been like an ever present cloud of gnats.) But in the past decade or so, the difficulties really began to heat up, as my footing became more established. Ironically, the more blatant the censorship and cancelling of Conservative opinion; the more it has sprouted up from original sources via links to substacks and the like. This has given me a much fuller armamentarium with which to wage my argument.

For many years it was as if my Leftie friends were offered brochures full of references, facts, figures and talking points, and constantly cheered on by the daily TV and prints news – while I had to ferret out the facts, background and opinion to bolster my own case through a thicket of oppositional search engines and media. When I finally had found myself some comrades in the world of available published materials, what I found was that my reports were dismissed, and my nature demonized. Once the debate was being waged on a more even ground, I found my Lefty ‘friends’ actually did believe in censorship, coercion, denial of basic rights, racism, criminality and law breaking – and most ironically that the government now, did know better. They just hadn’t had to own up to it yet. All of the years spent trying to debate with them, they had been playing with me as if I were a sport fish: tighten the line when I concede a point, give not an inch when I win one. These were not reasonable people who wanted to discover the path which was best taken.

This is the marker of where my interest in sustaining a friendship with them began to dissolve. We were obviously travelling two disparate routes. And rather than waving goodbye, I feel nowadays more like waving them off, like a disgusting odor. (Why won’t dead things like Karl Marx, die, rot and turn to dirt – but instead, continue to haunt us like the un-dead, trying to chew our brains?)

Probably this realization has most ruptured friendships with my relations. They say blood is thicker than water; but it is certainly not thicker than the possibility of joining the elite, or pious Wokisms.

Each year I have posted a Christmas Letter to friends and relations. I’ve seen it more as a way of keeping up with those close to us, of trading greetings, and of shoring up the Holidays with something more than dinners and gifts. But what was I to do now with these members of the mailing list who disgust me? My first impulse was to quit with the Christmas Letter. But then, my next impulse was to fight letting what I felt was an important Holiday Tradition be left to die, like some poor refusnik left to languish in an icy Gulag – like Rudolf, prior to red nose discovery. So, I thought I’d try for both.

I began with Christmas Greetings followed by snippets of pleasant description with photos of what the Nelson family, relations and friends had been up to. Then, midway through the second page, I cut away for an…


Since we are in the middle of the Christmas Letter, I think it’s best to address the elephant that is (and has) been sitting here for the past several years.

Politics have shattered our personal relationships. The Left insists that all of politics is personal, and so here we are. It began with the pink pussyhats. This sheared off most the nieces. But since our Thanksgiving dinner invite during Covid was rescinded, everything since has snowballed. (I refused to have our 22 year old son ‘vaccinated’ for Covid, since he had already recovered from the infection.) I was informed by my sister that everybody in the family considers me an oddball and not at all credible. (Though I do sport an MD degree.) Dare I suggest that perhaps it isn’t good medical advice to have your child inoculated with 74 doses of 53 injectable vaccines and 4 oral by the time they are eighteen (2016 CDC guidlines). Especially since studies have shown unvaccinated children are overall healthier than their vaccinated counterparts.

Oddball, perhaps. But since I have been proven right over time on everything from the Global Warming Hoax, to the George Floyd lie, to the Covid – 19 hysteria, Trump-Russia Hoax, Nuremburg Code violating vaccination mandates etc. to Jan 6th “insurrection” lie, and the stolen election, perhaps I should be granted more credibility.

Got your Brown Shirt pressed?

These aggravations have also been a large portion of the past several years. And since the task of a Christmas letter is to bring everyone up to date, accurate journalism demands it. Besides, increasingly, Christmas letters like these seem the last leaf… so best to leave on honest footing and full disclosure, if vanishing should occur. People have been stepping away from Warm Christmas Wishes anyway. First “Merry Christmas” was replaced by “Seasons Greetings.” Then the whole matter was shifted to a New Year’s greeting with a belated catch-up, until lastly being dropped altogether. In all likelihood, sending a Christmas card is now considered an extremist act, and flagged by Homeland Security. And if this is the case, your Social Credit Rating has probably just been adversely affected simply by receiving this one… and opening it. Your bad! (Perhaps think about re-scheduling your future travel plans to not exceed the 15 mile ‘suggested’ perimeter.)

(Turn Christmas back on.)

Then I turned Christmas Greetings back on for a final page or so of news from the latter portion of the year, wished them warm Seasonal Greetings, and made 50 copies for mailing.

And then I didn’t mail them.

Sending out a bitter Christmas Greeting didn’t feel right. It would be rather like the meme of those boxes of chocolate coated brussels sprouts you are sometimes offered on social media. Plus, I have no warm feelings to offer them. (A bit of false hokum isn’t a very good gift.)

So, finally, I suppose, as with most things, a person is forced to make a “separate peace.”

I valued these people who I had found friendship with – but I don’t speak with them any more than necessary. And I don’t send them unsolicited Christmas Greetings anymore. This seems to be the natural falling out.

Frankly, they should be pleased that I’m not trying to shoot them…

There. That’s my Christmas gift.

Now I just have to find the right card.


5 Responses

  1. C Nelson & Co “UP-URS” Social Info Cards vs Hallmark “Fuzzy-Wuzzy-Wokey” Greetings? I’m in, when can we expect IPO?

  2. I hope your family and friends understand that you don’t hate them, but you love them. Motivation makes a huge difference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New English Review Press is a priceless cultural institution.
                              — Bruce Bawer

The perfect gift for the history lover in your life. Order on Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK or wherever books are sold

Order at Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold. 

Order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Available at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Send this to a friend