Welcome to Align Family! You may know me from my Twitter account @keenanpeachy, or from my regular column at The American Mind. I also have a new book coming out (June 2023, Regnery Publishing) about how to reclaim our identities and our families from a depraved culture by becoming more domestic—literally. It’s called Domestic Extremist—get it?
I hope to use this space to try and present other ideas for making parenting in a world gone mad just a tiny bit easier.
Thanks for reading!
— Peachy Keenan
FAMILY: Going Nuclear
It’s hard out here for a parent. The mean streets of Main Street U.S.A. sure aren’t feeling quite as cozy as they were just a few years ago. Crime’s up, grocery prices are totally out of control, and kids are dying almost every day from accidental fentanyl poisonings at local high schools, when they’re not being indoctrinated to hate their parents and their country. How are we supposed to raise families in this blighted, benighted hellscape?
The real threat, of course, is a culture trying with all its might to wrest control of your children away from you. From the moment he or she is conceived, your child is up for grabs to the highest bidder: feminists who condition girls not to bother with marriage, purple-haired nonbinary teachers who tell them how fun and easy it is to switch genders, librarians who hand them books filled with graphic illustrations of oral sex between children, and government officials who eagerly sever legal custody to your kids if you dare to complain. You are their only defense against these dark arts!
I wrote my book, Domestic Extremist: A Practical Guide to Winning the Culture War, to help us navigate these shark-infested waters. It is a diagnosis of what happened, a guide out of the darkness, and a rallying cry to help us find the courage to reclaim what was taken from us. After all, we’re not actual domestic extremists, despite what our own government lovingly calls us—we’re just extremely domestic!
Here’s what Christopher Rufo said about it:
“Peachy Keenan cuts through the madness of modern feminism and provides a bold, funny, and radical plan for retaking domesticity in the 21st century. This book is a challenge to women—and men—to recapture their dignity and reestablish the possibility of family bliss. Essential reading.”
– Christopher Rufo
PARENTING: Get Tough on Tech
This Christmas, your kids may be getting new phones and computers. But maybe you’ve heard the scary statistics: by age 14, 70% of boys have watched pornography on their phones. Pornography in any amount, at any age frankly, will quickly consume your mind and soul and render you unfit for human intimacy, so I recommend doing everything within your power to keep this eye meth away from your family. I wrote about some new apps and gadgets that make this task a little easier. Read it here.
TRADITION: The Elf vs. Jesus — There Can Be Only One
The Halloween costumes finally got stuffed back into the dressups box, which means Christmas season is finally here! Or as Catholics call it, advent. I was raised as a secular heathen, so I never knew what advent was growing up. We always enjoyed a big Christmas with all the trimmings—except for one teensy detail.
Anyone remember the bootlegged pilot of South Park? In the late 90s, a friend in showbiz gave me a grainy VHS tape of Trey and Matt’s very first, very short cartoon—a Highlander parody called Jesus vs. Santa. It is profane and outrageous, but you can still watch it on YouTube if you dare. Like the South Park kids, I also rooted for Santa over Jesus, since he was the closest thing I had to Jesus at the time. There was no God but Santa and Rudolph was his messenger.
When I had little kids, the main activity we did to mark the countdown to Christmas involved the scourge of the shelf, The Elf. Do not say his name three times or he will curse your home and never leave! We still own an elf named Jolly, and at some point he acquired an elf wife named Mittens. I know they’re married because my children held a wedding ceremony for them one year. Our elves are devout Catholics, it turns out. And yet every night during Elf Season I pray to God that one of the dogs will rip their little felt bodies to shreds. So far, no luck.
To paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson, I have had it with these motherclucking elves on my motherclucking shelves.
When I finally became a Catholic, I made a homemade advent calendar. I am not a fancy sewer or much of a crafter, but that year I was truly inspired. Maybe because it was the year I had finally started RCIA, which is like boot camp for Catholic recruits. It’s not strictly Catholic, of course, but it’s a wonderful way to mark the countdown to C-Day. Our “calendar” is just a big felt Christmas tree covered with 25 buttons, and starting December 1st, the kids hang a little “ornament” from one of the buttons each day. If you’re not up for a big crafting project, Merry Stockings sells a variety of adorable kid-friendly hanging advent calendars, including one shaped like a tree that you decorate each day. You could even put a real Charlie Brown Christmas-sized tree on a side table and let the kids hang one little ornament on it each day until Christmas.
They even sell one that lets you watch Hans Gruber plummet from the top of Nakatomi Plaza. Yippee ki yay!
I finally graduated to the Catholic big leagues a couple of years ago when I learned about advent wreaths. This year’s advent started on November 27th and will last until Christmas Eve. Did you know: “The First Sunday of Advent is a reverent day in the Christian community and offers an opportunity for renewal and the beginning of the holy Advent season. The Advent season marks the ushering in of the liturgical year which is observed as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the nativity or birth of Christ and his return in the Second Coming.”
I know some trad families who still adhere to the old ways and don’t even decorate or put their tree up until Christmas Eve, since they are staying true to the reverential “waiting” period. I adore old traditions like that, but my Christmas Spirit animal has always been on the first floor of the old F.A.O. Schwartz on Fifth Avenue. To misquote Tony Soprano, I don’t like some Christmas—I like a lot of Christmas. Our Christmas lights go up as soon as the last Thanksgiving leftover has been devoured.
You can set up an advent wreath on a table or countertop using just greenery and four candles. You can buy a $12 advent wreath starter kit at Align favorite, Catholic All Year, or you can put together your own. Snip greenery from your door wreath, your Christmas tree, or even your neighbor’s rosemary bush and arrange the candles in a circle. You use purple candles for weeks 1, 2, and 4, and a pink one for the third week since that is something called Gaudate Sunday, which I hope someone will teach me about for next year. You light the first candle each night during the first week of Advent, the first and second candles the second week, three the third, and all four for the last week. It’s kind of like Catholic Hanukkah!
Because I’m trying to live the domestically extreme life, advent is now my favorite month for getting extremely domestic—and extremely cozy. What better way to keep kids close than to make your house a place of comfort and meaning, where traditions are renewed each year and they learn things they can do with their own children one day. I don’t always succeed, but to paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson one more time, I’m trying, you guys. I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd.
Happy Advent, everyone!