“I have only one firm belief about the American political system, and that is this: God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat.” —P. J. O’Rourke

Christmas is a time for hope, a time for joy and laughter, a time for giving, and a time for peace.

Christmas, in other words, is a time for Republicans.

With all due respect to the talented Mr. O’Rourke, Christmas is fundamentally a Republican holiday. It’s not just because Santa is an overweight, white businessman from northern Europe (think Dick Cheney with toys and a Scandinavian accent).

And Christmas isn’t Republican because it’s overtly Christian, either. Jewish atheists who have converted to Buddhism are always welcome at our modernized Druid tree worship festivities each Christmas morning.

What makes Christmas a Republican holiday isn’t the theology but the ideology.

Take giving, for example. Yes, liberals are exceptionally generous with money … as long as it belongs to other people. But as Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks writes in his new book Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism, when it comes to digging into their own wallets to make someone else’s season bright, liberals are solidly in the Scrooge category.

On average, American households headed by liberals have slightly higher incomes than their conservative counterparts. But these limousine liberals actually give about 30 percent less to charity. And it’s not all money in the church offering plate, either. Even excluding church giving, liberals are still a bunch of cheapskates compared to conservatives. In fact, religious conservatives (or “mean-spirited, Bible-thumping bigots,” as they’re known at the Democratic National Committee) give more to nonreligious charities each year than their secular liberal neighbors.

Democrats: We love the poor so much, we want to keep them that way.

But Christmas is more than just giving unto others. There’s also the important “What’s In It For Me” aspect to the holidays. And if you’re lucky enough to have a Christmas office party this year, be sure to thank a Republican.

First of all, liberals don’t have Christmas parties. They have “Solstice Convergence Meet-Ups” hosted by MoveOn.org. Getting a liberal activist to say “Merry Christmas” is like getting him to admit we’re in the midst of an economic boom, or that Reagan was right about the Cold War. He might say it, but he won’t mean it.

In fact, the Left seems to have moved past merely objecting to “Christmas” and become overtly anti-“party” as well. When was the last time you saw a true liberal actually having a good time that did not involve fictional portrayals of the assassination of President Bush?

At the office Christmas party, it’s the conservatives who are spiking the eggnog, while liberals are worrying whether the ‘nog will offend their vegan coworkers.

After all, partying might lead to smoking, or a .09 blood alcohol level or (dare I say it?) — TRANS FATS! And how can you even think about parties while a terrorist mass murderer is in the White House illegally spying on your holiday e-cards! It’s an outrage!

Merry Christmas to you, too, Ms. Pelosi…

P. J. O’Rourke argues that Christmas must be a liberal’s holiday because Santa is obviously a Democrat. Once again, I disagree. Why, at this very moment Santa is exploiting Third-World elf labor (Is Antarctica even a member of the UN?), running a pseudo-sweat shop operation that would make Kathy Lee Gifford blush.

And as every child knows, Santa’s is a merit-based economy. He knows who’s naughty and who’s nice and, unlike the government-run schools, there will be consequences.

Speaking of which, where do you Democrats think St. Nick gets all that valuable intelligence in the first place?

At the NSA, the “S” stands for Santa…

Plus, when he isn’t giving good little children the latest electronic devices designed to drive mom and dad’s electric bill through the roof, he’s giving the bad ones coal! Santa might as well be selling sponsorships to Halliburton.

But what of Christmas’s greatest wish, “Peace On Earth?” This is truly the profound question of our Christmas season.

Conservatives have come to understand that peace is not the same thing as order. Dictators and their brutality can always bring order for a time. Peace is something that free people embrace. It is something they create, both from their desire for peace and their belief that peace is the just desire of their neighbors.

Today, many conservatives are still willing to fight to give peace a chance in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are still willing to hope that, if we fight hard enough and smart enough, we can help create a peace in the Middle East today that will prevent the bloody, inevitable battles that will otherwise come tomorrow.

Fighting for hope, and for the peace it can bring. This is the spirit of Christmas.

Why can’t it be the spirit of bipartisanship, too?