Fox News Personalities Share Personal Childhood & Recent Remembrances of Christian Holiday
By: Jeff Walker, Book Review & Interview
Just in time for Christmas, Fox News personality Rachel Campos Duffy and her husband, former Wisconsin congressman and current Fox News contributor Sean Duffy present ‘All American Christmas‘, a compilation of 21 holiday memories from fellow Fox News notables. Whether those profiled over the 250 plus pages revisit childhood traditions, or more recent Christmas stories, ‘All American Christmas’ is a gift of love from the Fox News family.
According to Rachel, the reasons were twofold for compiling ‘All American Christmas’. “This country has been through a lot on many levels, especially with COVID and with culture wars. There’s a concerted effort to over secularize Christmas and remove all elements of Christianity out of the holiday all together. It’s our hope that the book will in some way bring people together. Christmas is all about faith and family, and in the end it’s all about God and the birth of Jesus. Christmas is a Christian holiday, and we don’t want people to lose sight of that.”
Sean agrees. “We love Christmas. It’s a time to celebrate our Lord and Saviour. Christianity has been under attack during the pandemic and in our modern culture. In today’s fast paced society, we’re being pulled in so many different directions, and often Christmas is becoming less and less significant. We’re hoping the book might help spread the message of Christ and bring joy to people who read it. More than anything we want to remind people that Christmas is important.”
The remembrances are touching and heartfelt, with almost everyone in the book paying tribute to family members, our armed forces, first responders, medical personnel, and more importantly the reason for the season, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Complete with recipes, family photos, and playlists, ‘All American Christmas’ is an honest and poignant portrayal of how members of Fox News, view one of the most important Christian celebrations.
Dana Perino recalls spending Christmases tobogganing, and baking cookies on the family ranch in Wyoming. She has fond memories of her time in George Bush’ White House and giving the ideal gift to her Five co-host Jesse Watters. A big kid himself, Watters reflects affectionately how his parents taught him early on about over-materialism during Christmas. Fast forwarding thirty years, Watters is equally proud to be able to build on holiday memories with his twin daughters, like taking in all the sights and sounds NYC has to offer over the holidays.
Although Brit Hume and Lawrence Jones grew up in different eras, their childhood recollections paint a Norman Rockwell type of Christmas, with Hume’s parents scolding him, adding he would be added to Santa’s naughty list for 1953, ultimately dashing his hopes of receiving his much-coveted Christmas present. But his father must have forgotten young Brit’s misdeed when a shiny new Rudge bike appeared on Christmas morning.
Growing up in Garland Texas sounds like Christmas year-round. The Jones family may not of had everything their hearts desired, but they never lacked anything, especially the Christmas spirit. Jones dotes on his parents, more so his mother who developed lupus when Jones was a young teenager, instilling in a young man a sense of taking charge,
helping in the kitchen, creating holiday ornaments, and appreciating Christian values
Jones’ piece is moving, as are the pages from Bret Baier whose now 14-year-old son suffers from a congenital heart condition, and on several occasions spent Christmas in the hospital. However, that did not deter his sons outlook on life or giving, in turn deepening Bret’s own faith. Funnier recollections have to deal with Bret literally being on fire for the Lord during Catholic midnight mass, and cherished memories of visiting our troops in ‘the Stans’, ie Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.
Two of America’s favorite morning ladies share their own personal stories of when they were young. Ainsley Earhardt dotes on her mom and her grandmother ‘Mimi’. Earhardt recalls how her grandparents over-indulged on the grandkids, and pinned cash filled envelopes for adults on the tree. Her special memory is one regarding a certain ‘got to have’ doll that magically appeared on Christmas day. Growing up with friends and family in North and South Carolina are equally eventful.
Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean is a ray of sunshine and her addition to ‘All American Christmas’ is delightful especially since she grew up in neighboring Canada. Dean shares fond remembrances of Stella her mom loving Christmas sweaters, baking Nanaimo Bars (Canadian sweet treat), sampling fresh maple syrup, and enjoying traditional holiday songs from the likes of Bing Crosby and The Eagles. Perhaps her greatest joy is passing traditions on to her own children and remembering when she and her husband visited the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center for the first time.
‘All American Christmas’ is full of similar stories, with the chapter from father and son Steve and Peter Doucy delivering an ‘aah moment’. Steve decided early on he wanted to have keepsakes for his children, deciding he would record them coming down the staircase each and every Christmas morning. That along provides cherished memories, as well as holiday movies, decorating mishaps, and Peter’s sister Sally playing the part of the Christmas dog in an annual Catholic Church pageant. Steve doesn’t remember Fido being mentioned in the gospels but embraces how important the birth of our savior is.
Shannon Bream joyfully mentions how her husband’s Aunt Dink decorated the house and chose a family member to play Santa for the kids. Bream also shares Aunt Joan’s Secret Non-Alcoholic Holiday Punch, as well as her favorite Christmas songs whether she and her husband are spending the holiday in Pennsylvania or Florida. Martha MacCallum adds that her favorite memories center around the true meaning of Christmas, and how she decorates her home to reflect the birth of Christ, lessons she learned as a child, and has passed down to her children. MacCallum’s Christmas candle apron helps keep her mom’s memory alive during the holiday season.
While the Duffy’s have collected all the stories, the couple with nine children have contributed several of their own. They wax poetic on the Advent season, assembling nativity scenes, the smell of cookies, competitive family ice skating episodes, bonfires, and passing down Christian traditions to their own kids. Among their more treasured tales revolve around singing ‘Away in a Manger’ which brings their recollections all back to the baby Jesus, and God’s greatest gift to mankind.
With so many Fox personalities to choose from, Rachel admits it was tough to decide who would make the final cut. “Sean and I had a list we worked off of. Everyone we spoke to wanted to be in the book. And then we had people come up to us asking, ‘why wasn’t I in the book’. So, who knows, maybe we’ll do another next year. Our first outing was on the New York Times best seller list and is currently the bestselling Christmas book.”
Sean hopes the book will allow readers to regard Fox personalities from a different angle. “Sometimes viewers might see them for an hour or two on television, and it’s all about topical news and politics. With the book we wanted to pull back the curtain and shed a little light on the personalities off camera. How they celebrate the Christmas season. A lot of the stories center around faith, but several are more personal which leads to them being funny. I was moved by all their stories and discovered things I never knew about them.”
A couple of pieces that tugged at Sean’s heart were from John Roberts and Emily Compagno. “Emily’s mother was diagnosed with cancer when Emily was very young. It happened near Christmas and her father had no time to get a tree. The family had always gotten a real tree for Christmas. Apparently, the neighbors came to the rescue, but with an artificial tree. Miraculously Emily’s mother beat cancer. That generosity meant so much to her family, that they continue to put up the tree every year.”
Regarding Robert’s addition to ‘All American Christmas’, “John’s story is rather sad as well. He lost his father at a young age, but his mother made Christmas special for him, and he continues to do that for his kids as well. I also appreciate the way Geraldo (Rivera) was able to meld his own story of being raised in both Jewish and Catholic tradiitons, and how that affected the Rivera Christmases. It’s a beautiful story of faith and family coming together.”
Rachel admits the network initially came up with the concept, but she and Sean ran with it. “Fox came to us with the idea and we jumped on it right away. They knew were super big on Christmas in the Duffy household. Coming from the Catholic faith and Hispanic background, we celebrate the whole Advent season which runs through January 6th, traditionally called the Day of Epiphany where the Three Wise Men arrived to visit the baby Jesus bearing gifts.”
She adds, “We’re (the Duffy’s) very traditional in our faith and celebration. We keep our tree up through the Advent Season. On January 5th the children place shoes at the altar, we open the door, and bless the house. The next day we have a big dinner, and kids open three small gifts, paying tribute to Three Kings Day.”
‘All American Christmas’ is teeming with heartfelt and emotional stories. The Duffy’s spread the Christmas cheer around. There are reflections of childhood and more recent memories from Charles Payne, Lauren Green, country singer John Rich, and Fox Business personality Maria Bartiromo. A total of 23 Fox personalities share intimate and personal stories, some sad, some inspirational, yet all centered around how the story of Christmas and the birth of a Savior provides strength to carry on.
Like eggnog, mistletoe, and poinsettias, the new book from the Rachel Campos & Sean Duffy is a welcome Christmas treat. ‘All American Christmas’ from Fox News Books does not concern itself with democrat or republican ideology, but rather is a collection of heartwarming Christmas stories that ‘reaches across the aisle’ and offers something for everyone no matter your political view. It makes an ideal gift for fans of Fox News, but more importantly for those who need to be uplifted and reminded of how important the Christmas season is to everyone.
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