The contemporary Christmas - a fusion of more than one mythic truth - may so easily draw us into the trap of indulgence without festival, says Jill Segger. She suggests that we celebrate best when we do so with the needy.
Concerns about young people have made the news this week. There are fears of "sexualisation" and "radicalisation". Both words imply that young people cannot make choices themselves, but only passively accept what is imposed on them. And they distract attention from the policies of a government which is set to wreck the opportunities of countless young people.
For some activists, resisting the government's cuts means abandoning other campaigns, such as the struggle for queer rights and same-sex marriage. But they are making a false distinction. Issues of marriage and sexuality are closely linked to questions of power and money.
In a move that is designed as a challenge to "consumerism as usual" and a reminder of the dominance of money in our lives, the Methodist Church in Britain has launched an alternative Credit Card containing a "buy less" message.
While US TV evangelists talk up Mammon by using the name of Christ, an actor with no faith has been hailed a "prophet" by a leading biblical scholar for his dramatic attempts to challenge the enslaving religion of consumerism.