When I was a kid, all I wanted for Christmas was toys. A tree with a boatload of wrapped gifts filled me with excitement. When I was a young adult, the shine started to wear off a bit, but I was still pretty happy with getting big ticket "toys" like a stereo or tech gadgets. As I entered my later 20's and 30's, I felt a hunger every year to return to the excitement I used to feel at getting and giving "stuff".
I'm pleased to say that the transition is complete and I don't have a desire to receive things at all anymore. I still have a desire to give, but I'm satisfied to do so in relatively small, but non-perfunctory ways. My choices are based one what I think people might enjoy but can't obtain for themselves easily (or at all), not on impressing with packaging style or price tag guesses.
This year, I did "receive". One of my students gave me pound cake. Another gave me a small bunch of flowers. Another gave me apples, another a giant butter pear, and yet another persimmons. My husband got wine, cookies, and chocolates from his students. My sister gave me much needed articles of clothing. It's nothing big, but it's more than I expected and as much as I could have wanted.
The only thing I really want at this time of year is more time with my husband, and that is what I'm going to get. Starting from tomorrow, he'll have 12 days off and we'll have the luxury of spending most of the day together during that time. I'm still working during some of the holiday, but by and large we'll have a plethora of hours together. Having time with the people you love is really the best gift. Getting over the materialistic part of Christmas helps you appreciate that.
I hope everyone has a really wonderful time with whatever free time they have this Christmas. :-)