Isaiah 5:8-12, 18-23
v. 8 Ah, you who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is room for no one but you...
There was nothing more important in the Hebrew psyche than the land (it is still found in the dynamics of the Israeli--Palestinian conflict). The land was God's great gift to Israel, second only to the Law itself. Read the psalms in particular with an eye toward this reality and you will get a good grasp of what I am talking about.
So then the gift became a problem. It happens so often, doesn't it? The gift became a commodity, something acquired, and something possessed. And if there is a near universal truth about we humans is that once we have begun acquiring something, we want more.
The celebration of Christmas has become dominated by commodities, things acquired, and more things to be possessed. It has become the great time of year when we get more. A gift given as a token of affection and as a symbol of the gift of the Christ child to each of us has become wildly distorted.
How can we push against that this year?