While the hedge fund manager who earned $8 billion last year worries about avoiding taxes and investing his wad, dozens of generous souls are contacting KMart and offering to pay off layaway balances for strangers, especially those who used layaway to shop for children.

KMart, of course, is the store of choice for all those immigrants whom the faux patriotic are trying to keep out. Prices are low, and the inn makes them feel welcome.

But as one out of two Americans – can we even grasp that number? – sinks into low-income status, even low prices aren’t always low enough. It isn’t just a Christmas tree that will be empty this year. It’s larders, bank accounts, gasoline tanks, propane tanks, closets, hopes, medicine cabinets, children’s eyes – all empty, as the greedy few cause another depression. (Yes, a depression; read Nobel economist Paul Krugman.)

Sure, the KMart benefactors are engaging in seasonal generosity, which isn’t likely to be an enduring fix for what ails our world. But it’s still generosity. It’s giving to someone else. It’s “doing the next right thing.”

A world that is bombarded with spiteful bigots and hate-mongering politicians is made a little better, a little more humane, when people are generous.

That certainly seems to be the hope that sustains God. How else could God come back to us Christmas after Christmas, century after century, as we miss the mark God clearly set for us? Each year, maybe stirred by nothing deeper than “Silent Night,” a few more turn to the light. And a bit of the darkness is vanquished.

Here’s the article about KMart givers: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Anonymous-donors-pay-Kmart-apf-4172414630.html