God’s gift at Christmas is relationship, not just another human relationship but relation to God the Father by standing where Jesus stands, standing in the full torrent of his love and creativity, giving and receiving. To come into that place and to be rooted and grounded there means letting go of our fear of dependence and opening our hearts to be fed and enlarged and transformed. And that in turn means looking at how we handle dependence in ourselves and others, how we accept the positive dependence involved in lifelong learning and growing, and help one another deal with it positively.
So the important thing is not that everyone gets to stand on their own two feet and turns into a reliable “independent” consumer and contributor to the GNP. What we expect from each other in a generous and grown-up society is much more to do with all of us learning how to ask from each other, how to receive from each other, how to depend on the generosity of those who love us and stand alongside us. And that again means a particular care for those who need us most, who need us to secure their place and guarantee that there is nourishment and stability for them.