It’s never been a huge secret that I’m not the biggest fan of this time of year.

No, not because it’s winter, but because it’s Christmas-time … the mass commercialization of the season has really started to get to me, even more so than usual.

Christmas is about being with people, not about buying stuff, so this year I decided that I would not buy a single Christmas present for anyone else; and thus far I’ve succeeded … I’ve given $2000 to various charities this year, and that’s enough financial outflow, and to people who really need it.

On the other hand, there have been a number of holiday events to which I have been invited and attended, sharing good food and good win and good conversation with great friends.

And this is what brings me joy this time of year. Helping others who often do not have the wherewithal to help themselves, and sharing laughter and smiles.

And then my faith in humanity is renewed.