Every year about this time I pull down my copy of the New Yorker Christmas collection (and now I have the New Yorker on CD! If only I can find the time to search it for what I want to read. Well, it was remaindered at $10.00 instead of the original $100.00, so how could I pass it up?) and read Mencken's "A Bum's Christmas."
As ever, I highly recommend it.
And alongside that Yuletide offering which reminds us, again, of how only the "worthy" "deserve" our charity, even at this time of year, I would add this article at Slate, about letters to Santa and the charities which, in the early 20th century, evaluated them.
If you keep in mind it was Mother Jones who led the "Children's Crusade" to T.R.'s home in upstate New York, from which he turned them peremptorily away, you will better appreciate, I think, the tenor of the times.
And perhaps remember, again, that we will always have the poor with us; and we will always use them as whipping posts for our more charitable notions.
Consider it an Advent meditation.