It is the day before Christmas Eve and, if I were a good Christian, i would have fasted since Advent in order to prepare for the Christmas feast. Instead i have probably eaten increasingly more each day as a preparation for Christmas; it is a poor preparation for a feast.
It is not just food that we take in excess at Christmas, and it is not just at Christmas that we take excess. Despite my desire for a simple life of restraint, I cannot but help myself being tempted by material excess, and in yielding to such temptations I spoil the beauty of valuable things that do not cost except in time. it is hard to listen to music, while shopping and it is difficult to read poetry when the mind is distracted by lists of purchases that I have wrongly persuaded myself are essential.
And while I feast other starve: I am not like the good King, or even his page.
The hardest control to exercise is self control, and the easiest virtue to enjoy is the one that passes by.