I don’t mean to “bah humbug” the Christmas story when I point out the fact that God chose to enter our reality in abject poverty while we often celebrate the birth of Jesus’ with eggnog excess. Not that there is anything wrong with family celebrations that pull out all the stops. One would hope that family gathering and gift giving would rise to the level of all the best sentimental Christmas stories where the brightest and best of all our hopes and dreams really do come true. And the charity that happens on the day of celebration is certainly welcome to those receive it. But we miss the point of the birth narrative when we dress it up in tinsel and lights and a single day or season of kindness. There was no place in the inn for the God of creation clothed in human flesh because Joseph and Mary weren’t the sort of family that had reservations at the Bethlehem Hilton. They weren’t even the best Jews as they hailed from Galilee. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46) I don’t know if our gold card status in this life means we’ll be washing dishes in the next ala Luke 6:24 but we might do well to recognize that God has a heart for the poor. After all, Jesus could have been born into the house of David through Herod or better he could have been born into a world of power through Augustus. But God chose a different way so that we would choose the same way and maybe make our Christmas charity last more than a day.