While I enjoy the feel goodness that the holidays brings out in people - giving gifts to needy children or paying off families balances on lay away - I hate the fact that it illuminates our feeling of need for things. People do not need gifts on christmas. People do not need things in general. If our society was less driven by this desire for objects, if there was less pressure to provide items to show appreciation for our loved ones, if holidays were less commercialized, than people who can't afford necessities wouldn't be stretching themselves beyond their means just to meet these societal expectations.
The truth is that people are no less in need during the holidays than any other time of the year. This drive we feel to make sure that everyone is minimally (however you define that word) provided for should stretch the entire length of the year - not just a few months time.
So if the holidays drive you to want to help provide for someone else - great - but take a look at why you are doing it and ask yourself why you don't feel the need to more often. If you happily go and buy gifts - objects people probably don't need - for those in need why do people get so up in arms about providing housing assistance, food assistance, and health care to these same people?
This isn't meant to be political, I just genuinely don't understand. If you'll spend $100 for toys for a family at christmas time, why are we not willing to give that same family $100 for food in July.