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Thank you Ms. Tippett.
Your post gave be an opportunity to reconsider what I do in this season. I am a Japanese living in Japan and I am a Buddhist, but Japan has a strange mixture of events of different religions, including not only Buddhism events but also visiting Shinto shrines for prayer in the new year's days and the Christmas where we give gifts and have parties with friends or girl/boyfriend (not with our own family unlike in the western countries).
In recent years, Japan is in a kind of gloomy mood where nothing -- politics or economy or any social things -- seems to look bright and hopeful. So this year, I thought I should cheer up others and myself using the joy Christmas can bring us, and have been thinking of and actually buying gifts for my family members, relatives, and friends. But now I read your post and I started doubting myself. Feeling the joy of the season may be harmless and not that a bad thing, but the fact that I was unconsciously part of this materialism and consumerism made me rethink the way I should spend this season. Though I was acting that way, buying gifts, in recent months I have been having doubts about this materialistic societies (I mean mostly Japan since I do not live in the US or other countries). You post was a wonderful reminder of the doubt I have been having and was losing again little by little. So thank you. I will find my way of "gift-giving", not to my families or friends, but those who are in dire need.