I've been experiencing what you might call a crisis of faith the last few months. With the approach of Christmas, the elements of this crisis were brought into sharp focus for me. I tried to help my kids understand the importance of giving as we prepared gifts and baked goods for others, bought items for children in need, and cheered them on as they chose some of their own gifts to give this year. They also got to make their own lists, of course, because part of what I wanted this year was for them to have gifts that made them happy. It's been a tough fall with moving and settling into a new neighborhood and new schools. We had hoped to have our basement remodeled by now, but it's not happening as fast as we'd like, so the kids are all still sharing one room. So did I overcompensate for all that by buying more toys than usual? You bet.