Even meerkats love presents.

Photographer: HOLGER HOLLEMANN/AFP/Getty Images

In Defense of Secret Santa (and the Not-So-Secret Kind)

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Gift-Giving Is More Rational Than Economists Think

Sure, it’s not exactly efficient, but Megan McArdle says that exchanging presents with loved ones creates a very real kind of economy — just not the sort where equations apply.

Santa Is Worth Defending. Sign Me Up.

Is it wrong to mislead kids about St. Nick? Was “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” nothing but fake news? Ramesh Ponnuru isn’t buying it: Myths aren’t the same thing as lies, and this one teaches lessons that are important and true.

Merry Christmas. Don’t Be Stupid. 

Interpreting the more inclusive “Happy holidays” as part of a “war on Christmas” isn’t just rude -- it shows ignorance of Christianity. Virginia Postrel urges holiday greeters of all faiths to let the Golden Rule be their guide.   

Mr. Potter and Mr. Trump: Yes, It’s a Wonderful Life

If you’re spending the holiday season worried about the future of the country, Francis Barry suggests listening to that archetype of American decency, George Bailey, who amid panic tells his neighbors: “Now, we can get through this thing all right. ... We’ve got to have faith in each other.”

Ritholtz’s Reads

  • The long-term jobs killer isn’t China. It’s automation. (The Upshot)
  • Skull and Crossbones Alert: Don’t mix politics and trading (WSJ)
  • Investing when it doesn’t make any sense (A Wealth of Common Sense)

(Read Barry Ritholtz’s full daily news roundup.)

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