Brace Yourselves. The In-Laws are coming.

With that in mind, here are a few things from my archive that you might wish to discuss in between bouts of Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men this Christmas.

1. Christmas and Consumption (, 12/25/2007). I borrow from Steven Landsburg’s classic article (among other sources) and defend Ebenezer Scrooge.

2. How Economics Saved Christmas (, 12/9/2010). There’s a Coasean solution to the Whoville noise problem.

3. “Surplus Population”? Sorry, Mr. Scrooge, but You’re Mistaken (, 12/15/2010). The problem isn’t in the population numbers per se, but in the institutions. People bring mouths to feed, hands with which to work, and (most importantly) brains with which to come up with new ideas. There aren’t any “surplus” people.

4. Ruining Christmas: An Economist’s Guide (, 12/18/2011). It’s awfully presumptuous to think that you’re actually creating Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men with your Christmas canned food drive, don’t you think?

5. Are you feeling persecuted by the cashier who said “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”? I’m sure Dietrich Bonhoeffer feels sorry for you (Quickmeme, sometime last year).