I get the feeling that enthusiasm for Christmas gift exchanges is mostly limited to children and shopaholics. I think this comes from the fact that most of us already have the small things we want.
There was a time when gift-selection was quite easy. When everyone one needed food and clothing it wasn’t too hard to pick a gift to make or buy. But now it’s hard to find the right gift for everyone on your list. Most people have the basic things they need and want. A gift sweater may never be worn again after the obligatory trying it on for the camera.
It’s normal for the enthusiasm for Christmas to fade with age, but the age where this begins seems to be getting younger. And it’s hard to blame teenagers of well-to-do parents for losing some interest in Christmas, unless their parents buy extravagant gifts like a new car. How excited do you really need to be about getting an eleventh gaming system?
It would be nice to see all the wasted money and energy that goes into wandering around big-box stores channeled into more useful pursuits such as volunteerism. Offering to help an elderly neighbour clear leaves or reading to children at a library are more useful than a few more plastic toys for a child who already has hundreds of them.
I’m not calling for a complete end to Christmas gift-giving. But I think it makes sense to shrink your Christmas list to mostly children and just a few adults. And maybe use some of your freed-up time to do some good in your community.