Buy a Buffalo!

Add meaning and calm to your holidays by spending less on friends and more on strangers

Beyond the religious significance of Christmas, I have always loved its tacky excesses: the plastic decorations, chain-store elves and TV spectaculars that feature talking reindeer, children's choirs and ads with Santa flying down a hill on a Norelco razor. But a couple of years ago, I had a midnight epiphany at Wal-Mart. Weighed down by sporting equipment and plastic toys, I realized that I had bought more gifts than anyone on my list could want or need and that it wasn't good for their spirits--or mine.

A poll released this month by the Center for a New American Dream shows that...

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