I am by no means stingy. Except at Christmas. I used to be a little afraid of the sterile, non-party, non-gift giving environment of the Jehovah's Witnesses, but I am beginning to see the logic. I think they have just figured out how to handle the holidays.
Although movies and books and church repeatedly demonstrate the TRUE meaning of Christmas, I am still not fooled. Christmas is about buying crap packaged in Christmas-y themes. As much as I LOVE the Life-Savers variety pack packaged like a Victorian novel, I hate the manipulation.
And how many of us really deserve gifts? I deserved a really nice gift on July 23rd and again on August 18th. But I extra don't deserve a gift right now. I just spent an insane amount of money on fat clothes.
But think about it... think about Christmas morning and giving nobody nothing. It's just not practical in the family/social relations department. You would be pissed if all you got from me was a form letter thanking you for your charitable donation to your favorite charity. You would be pissed and you know it.
The best catalog I have received all year was for purchasing farm animals to various regions of the world. For instance, you can purchase guinea pigs to be donated to a family in Ecuador, ducks for a family in China, water buffalo to an Indonesian family in need. There were also animal "gift baskets" intended for an entire village. But the best and most delightful option of all was "The Ark." And it was everything that it implies: chickens, cows, goats. ducks, guinea pigs, buffalo, etc. Now that would be Christmas. My only question is...how do you wrap a water buffalo?