Sarah Palin has had a busy week. She has been taking shots at Chris Christie, a potential front-runner for the White House in 2016. She has called the pope "liberal". And as well as all that, she is promoting her new book, Good Tidings and Great Joy – Protecting the Heart of Christmas. She launched the book in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, wearing a bespoke sweatshirt that said: "It's OK to wish me a Merry Christmas!" Palin's book is a classic of the "interspersed with" genre. It is a polemic against those seeking to deprive Christians of the right to celebrate Christmas; interspersed with snapshots from the Palin family Christmas album, recipes from the Palin family Christmas recipe book and reminders about why its author would make a great president.
To spare you 256 pages of your life, here's how to "get your Christmas on" (she really says that) the Palin way.
A tree is best felled if you do it yourself, preferably from your neighbour's plot or your own. If you do have to buy a commercial tree, watch out for the ones sold as "holiday", "pine" or "fir" trees. These are not Christmas trees, and Christmas is all about Christmas! Keep the saw handy: after Christmas you can chop up the tree for your burner.
Todd Palin knows this: when all the girls in Alaska were receiving Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, Todd gave Sarah an Eskimo grass-woven basket. Subsequent years brought a beautiful red manual ice auger for ice fishing, a 30-06 rifle, a pair of hockey skates and some snowshoes. A gun is a great gift because it opens up a whole world of accessories. Take a leaf out of Todd's book and follow up next Christmas with a metal gun holder for the four-wheel drive. You can give children guns, too, but only air rifles.
"Thankfully, there's that 'religion stuff', which actually gives meaning to the season – and points us to the One who never fails." NB This is *not* Nancy Pelosi. Also, a bad present makes a good lesson, like the time Palin's parents got her a dictionary instead of a Sony Walkman. That was not funny. But it taught everyone: "Words matter."
Feel the snow. Look at the stars. See the dog bowl iced up, a moose wander past. And for all this, read: politically, she's a breath of fresh air.
Buy some felt. Collect some fur from whatever pelts you have about the house. For a really wild "frontier flair", ask a parent to saw buttons from antlers: any species will be fine. Hoohah! "You won't find that on Pinterest!"
They snap better if left to dry on a windowsill for a week.
If your nativity display offends people in your town, add a Christmas tree. Take a step back. Does it need a Rudolph? Add a Rudolph.
Every year buy the Guiness Book of Records and read aloud from it. One year, you might be in it (as, for example, 2008's most searched name on the internet).
All these ideas really are in the book.