As a friend usually says every Christmas - this Christmas may you receive everything you wished for others last Christmas.
As this post is written, rain falls constantly and heavily. The forecast for the rest of the day is 100% rain with thunder and lightning. This was probably not the kind of weather that the Three Wise Men encountered all those years ago on their way to Jerusalem.
The tale goes that there was no room at the inn so Mary and Joseph were given a stall in the stables. Whether this demonstrates a lack of humanity toward an expectant couple in not giving them a room or whether it exhibits humanity in giving them at least somewhere to stay is debatable. Whatever the back story was, the fact is that many places have some wonderful nativity displays that are well worth photographing.
It is somewhat ironic that so much care and attention is paid to being peaceful at Christmas and not being so at the rest of the year. Indeed, the most memorable Christmas was the Christmas Truce during the Great War on Christmas Day 1914 when German troops under the Kaiser played football with British troops. That was a widespread truce that was entirely unofficial. Sadly this would most likely not happen today.
With each passing year, society becomes morally poorer and materially richer. The lack of religious direction and observance in people's lives is notable - from the terrorists that target innocent people to the stores that charge high prices and pay low wages.
Before you buy that new camera, think about the misery it has caused during its life so far. From poverty waged laborers in China etc who made it - very often convict labor - under threat of death to the poorly paid store staff that sell it. Take the average minimum wage shop assistant. $7.25 an hour for 20 hours a week does not even pay the rent. Before tax that's not even $150. After tax it'll be more like $120.
At $120 a week or $580 a month, after the cheapest rent of $500 a month, that $80 does not buy much gasoline, car insurance, car tax etc. More than that, most part-time workers particularly in stores are expected to be available 100% of their personal time to be called in for a couple of hours as required. Failure to be available due to a second job often means they are fired as unreliable. Food stamp claims have rocketed. Every part-time Walmart position seems to be supported by food stamps and social housing.
Think before buying that new camera at that low price about the trail of misery that the camera has already caused. Instead of buying at a rock bottom price and contributing to the destruction of social morality, ask where you could buy it that the trail of misery is reduced or eliminated. Better still, ask yourself if you need it or whether your existing camera will suffice. I've used mine for 10 years and it still takes a great image.
The poverty waged staff that sell the goods in Walmart etc are a fertile ground for terrorist masters looking for disaffected youth to convert. Low wage stores and businesses are a breeding ground for future terrorists. Resist the urge to use them. What kind of Christmas do the poorly paid staff have? The staff that live in old cars, old busses, under bridges, that share houses with several people in a room? Modern commerce has brought the return of the Victorian slum.