Ah me - it's started. My problem with Christmas is very simple. I don't do it. And this seems to drive people into a frenzy. I know I am out-numbered, but I have no idea why people feel duty-bound to defend it with shouts of "bah humbug!" and "Scrooge", etc.
I don't want to be a Jeremiah at their feast. I don't want to go to the feast. I am just a vegetarian who avoids eating sugar (the deadly white powder) so turkey and mince pies just don't appeal to me.
Yes? And? So? What? (as Bill Hicks would do it)
The point of Scrooge, surely, is not that he doesn't 'believe' in Christmas - it's that he thinks that hanging on to his wealth and property will make him happy. It's the
re-distribution of his wealth at the end that does make him happy.
I don't see where that fits with poor people spending money they haven't earned yet on stuff they don't really need. That's just the need for 'treats' and 'rewards' all the time that our childish culture runs on. (whoops, getting judgmental again!)
My attitude to the rich is certainly ambiguous. I never understand why we let them get away with 'offering their services free' to (say) Live Aid - when Paul MacC, Bob D, Phil Collins, the Rolling Stones and The Who could have a whip round and pay off a serious chunk of Third World Debt.
Come on Tel - it's Children in Need - why not kick in a couple of month's salary?
The point being that wonderful (unfashionable) phrase "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need." Yes, my mum was a communist in the thirties, so she gave me that slogan. Even when disillusioned to find out how it really worked out under Stalin, she was still a strong socialist for the UK. If you are a bit vague about the difference, try this page.
Of course, in my later studies, I found out that another of her slogans appears to come from Aleister Crowley (unless he just stole it) "Thank God I am an atheist!"
Generosity and self-sacrifice can't really be measured, but to the extent that they can, we would have to relate it to the proportion of any surplus available which was contributed/donated, surely?
The I Ching definitely reminded me once that the 'gods' understand, and that a bowl of rice offered at the temple by a poor person was as important a sacrifice as a goat from a rich person....