I don't send Santa a Christmas wish list. Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with being naughty or nice. It's just that I'm pretty satisfied with the stuff I already have.
The trending culture of material gluttony is really sad to me. The notion that more and more and more stuff will make people happy when they are dissatisfied with all they already possess seems so pointless. It's all vanity and grasping at the wind, as King Solomon recorded all those years ago.
But the thing that really amazes me is the self-shopping trend. I overheard a lady talking about spending umpteen hours in line on Black Friday. Her conclusion was that it was worth it because she got the computer she wanted and her husband got the big screen he wanted.
Once upon a time, we shopped for that perfect gift to bless someone else. I guess that era has passed into legend. Only it has not passed! It may have died in our society, but I refuse to let it die in me!
So, if you want to be a living legend in a culture that is self-absorbed, here are a few ideas.
1) Forget the dollar value. Buy gifts for the people on your list that will add value to their life. Other than your budget limit, the dollar amount is irrelevant. If twenty bucks gets your kid something that makes their life better, go for it. If it is a hundred dollar item for another kid and they squabble over the dollar value, you should have raised your kids better. (That was tactful.)
2) Look out. There are lots of people out there that could benefit tremendously from a boost. I'm not talking about the guy on the busy corner with a cardboard sign. My experience is most of those folks are faking it or just want drugs. (Don't believe me, offer one a job.)
I'm talking about the marginally-employed person at the local grocery store, or the cart shepherd at the big box store, or the cleaner at your work place, or the barista that makes your coffee for you.
These folks are all over the place. Some are working their way up. Others are working at their capacity. They may not be very marketable, but they are your neighbor.
A gift card can go a long way with some people.
3) Give time. For many people, material needs are not the issue. Some folks just need someone to spend a little time with them. This may look like an elderly person living alone or it could be the new people in town that don't have anyone to be with during all the Christmas fun stuff. Use your imagination.
These are not difficult things to do. The main thing is to decide to do something. Then do it.