I appreciated Krista's essay as a thoughtful counter to the out-of-control materialism and commercialism that have drowned out the meaning of our holidays generally, but most particularly Christmas. I give to the SPCA or local pound, and I prefer trees living, growing, giving us their natural gifts of oxygen and beauty. The older I get the more I realize the best gifts in life are somehow freeing both to giver and receiver. I like the Salvation Army with their bells and simple donation ritual. And the poppies on Veterans Day. There's something lovely and comforting about the understatement which makes the experience of giving such a pleasure. I love "On Being" -- what a gift that is!
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