Skip to main content

The John Adams Society

John P. Augustine


William G. Carpenter


Sandy Nelson

Chief Whip

Marina Wolff



December 15, 2021

Location: Burger Moe’s, Saint Paul

“Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy…”
                                                                                                                                      —Francis Pharcellus Church, New York Sun, Sept. 21, 1897

HE’S LAUGHING OUT LOUD, HE’S SLAPPING HIMSELF, HE’S DOING SOMERSAULTS. Who? The Grinch, of course. Never has his annual plan to Steal Christmas looked so promising. The mighty Supply Chain, bringer of All Good Things, is ill of COVID. Asian factories are not meeting elevated demand for toys, and transport is jammed. Shippers are adding ports and chartering aircraft at double or triple the normal rates. Manufacturers are paying ten times normal for containers. Container ships are backed up at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, with too few trucks, as a result of regulatory burdens, to pick up the goodies. Saith the president of Flexport: “Transit times have fallen off a cliff. Prices have gone through the roof. Service levels have gone down.” It’s looking good for the Grinch. This year, CHRISTMAS WILL BE CANCELED!

But wait, dear folk of Whoville. Do toys define Christmas? Isn’t the true Supply Chain seventeen centuries of celebrating Christ’s incarnation and birth, in family gatherings, in the larger family gatherings of His Church, and in the still larger ecumenical/secular/global Season of Generosity? Mass-marketed, mass-produced toys and gadgets are only a recently-revealed medium for expressing love and gratitude for God’s plenty. Rejoice: the Grinch is giving us a chance to do better. Cultivate and express the spirit of the season in more straightforward, and traditional, shared celebrations, with gifts of music, food, drink, and recognition.

ON THE OTHER HAND, many of the things that furnish our lives – books, pictures, articles of clothing, items of crockery or silverware – are not just things but memories of loved ones and moments with them. Christmas gifts, over the years – the traditional rocking horse, the wagon, the sled, the bicycle, the skates, the football, the toy six-gun, the toy repeating rifle, the toy submachinegun, the real .410, the real 12-gauge – make up a history of loving relationships. Let’s not hurry to escape the era of things which embody the most generous intentions.

The Chairman, a traditionalist in all things Christmas, has summoned a caucus of the Society to debate the following proposition:

RESOLVED: Yes, Virginia, there is a supply chain.

The Debate will be held on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, at Burger Moe’s, 242 West 7th Street, St. Paul, MN 55102. (Please note: Dec. 15 is the deadline to RSVP for the Society’s Dec. 18 shooting/caroling party.)

The Chancellor and Chairman encourage participants to arrive prior to 7 o’clock p.m. and to thank our host venue by spending money while partaking of food and drink. The debate will begin at precisely half past seven.

There is no dress code, but gentlemen who wish to speak must wear a tie, and ladies are asked to uphold a similar standard. For gentlemen arriving sans tie yet wishing to discourse on the resolution, the Purveyor of Ties will have on hand several from his remarkable collection. Questions regarding debate caucus procedures or about the John Adams Society itself may be directed to the Chairman at (651) 398-9316 or the Secretary at (612) 703-6021.