Everywhere you look, there's ads for this and ads for that. If you look at them closely, you'll also see that the marketers seem to associate all the things you can buy with love. I find that kind of irritating but I definitely understand marketing techniques so I have to accept that.
What we don't have to accept, however, is that Christmas equates to the stress, tension and worry about what gift to give to whom and "shop til you drop" attitude. I am so "over" that.
What are we teaching the younger folks (and your children if you have them) about the meaning of the holidays and whatever religious observance is yours? Do they even understand that Christmas does NOT equal "Gift-mas" (in Spanish wouldn't that be "more gifts"?)?
What are the non-physical gifts that you can give to someone? And even though you could give them all year round, there's nothing wrong with reaffirming them at this time of year.
Could you give the gift of friendship? Or even strengthen your friendship with someone? Is there anyone you have a relationship with that you could talk to more, reach out to more, find out if there's anything in their lives that they might need some help with? How do you define friendship anyway? Do you need to revisit that definition?
What about family? Are there family members that you don't communicate with frequently through the year? Could you make more of an effort to do that? Do you want to reach out to them and let them know what's going on in your life and find out what's going on in theirs?
What about volunteering? Is there something you've "been meaning" to do but just 'haven't gotten around to it"? Even though there are places you can do a one or two time volunteering, think about whether you're ready to make a commitment for the upcoming year. Is there some place you'd really feel it's rewarding to volunteer at all the time? Make a list of things you like to do and places you might want to volunteer at. Then see what the commitment will be and if you have the time and are interested enough to do that. If so, then go talk to them. If you don't have that much time, is there any place you can go periodically to help them out?
What type of charities do you support? Do they need additional support at this time of year? If so, can you start some spring cleaning and pick up the coins around the house and donate them? You may think that's not much and you'd be embarrassed to donate that but if everyone did that, can you imagine how much money we could donate to various charities?
Is there something or someone at work that you can influence with the gift of love? Is there anyone who has some problems with the holidays - maybe having lost a loved one, doesn't have a loved one, or is geographically separated from one? What can you do to help?
These are just some ideas to try to get people beyond the "what should I buy for Joe Blow" mentality of the holidays.