....to revive a festive Chesterton passage that, back in September, I couldn't help quoting out of season. Chesterton wrote lots of good stuff about Christmas; it was a favourite topic with him. But I especially like this because it expresses wonderfully how salubrious Christmas is; a blast of fresh Winter air in a world, and an era, that is all too often sickly and fevered. Chesteton was never better than when he was bashing morbidity and championing simple and innocent joys.
There is nothing really wrong with the whole modern world except that it does not fit in with Christmas. The modern world will have to fit in with Christmas or die. Those who will not rejoice in the end of the year must be condemned to lament it. We must accept the New Year as a new fact; we must be born again. No kind of culture or literary experience can save him who entirely refuses this cold bath of winter ecstasy. No poetry can be appreciated by him who cannot appreciate the mottoes in the crackers. No log-rolling can rescue him who will not roll the Yule-log. Christmas is like death and child-birth—a test of our simple virtue; and there is no other such test left in our land to-day.
"The Wrong Books at Christmas", Illustrated London News, January 9, 1909