Lest friends fear I’ve lost my way and sacrificed the true Christmas spirit to some vague sympathy for the poor, you need not worry as I manage to spend like a true capitalist when it comes to Christmas decorations despite largely giving up gifts, per se.
We’ve purchased so many Christmas tree ornaments in the last few years that I had to leave half of them, mostly those acquired in a previous marriage, in the box this year. We've resolved not to buy any more ornaments for the tree, a resolve we’ll probably keep until next November when the next edition of Hallmark ornaments arrives.
My favorite acquisition of the year, though not the most expensive thanks to the many Christian laborers in China, is:
Yes, I know it’s actually St. Francis not St Nicholas who fed the birds, but we taoists have to make do though I'll admit I'm a little worried how often I tend to transform my heroes into reflections of myself and my own interests.
On a slightly different note, I am cheered by the Pope’s recent warning that crass materialism threatens the true meaning of Christmas, but worried that Christian Fundamentalist leaders seem more concerned that heathens are taking Christ out of Xmas than that people may not have been showing the true Christmas spirit at recent Walmart Black Friday riots. I can only assume this reluctance to condemn such crass materialism is somehow linked to their political ties with big-business Republicans, who depend on that materialism to maximize profits.