A new report says this year Americans gave record amounts of private charitable donations. Another report says Americans donated nearly $3 billion to post-hurricane relief efforts. Yet nearly four months after Hurricane Katrina, the magnitude of the destruction is still difficult to comprehend. In the midst of it, many people here say the themes of Christmas are echoing in new and poignant ways.
Since 1918, every Christmas Eve in England hundreds of people wait for hours in cold temperatures outside King’s College Chapel at the University of Cambridge for a coveted seat at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. The millions of listeners around the world who tune in via short wave, FM and the Internet, unable to reach Cambridge’s 16th-century vaulted church or unwilling to risk frostbite, can now follow the annual radio broadcast with a new, illustrated book detailing the service. More