I remember, way back when I was in elementary school, it was customary to have show-and-tell during the week after returning from winter break. The purpose was for kids to show others what they got for Christmas.
I'm sure that's not allowed in public school anymore.
Although, I've said that I don't care much for material gifts at Christmas, I do like to hear about what others got and from whom. I think the gifts we exchange tell bigger stories.
And it's not to say that I'm so minimal as to not want for anything - heck, far from it. I just don't want others to get me something out of obligation. Chaco actually got me a lovely tapestry he'd gotten on a recent trip for work. I don't even think it was necessarily because it was Christmas, he was just in an exotic place, so got me something.
We did a Yankee Swap for PEO, and I ended up with a cute comfy winter-themed throw pillow. I was quite happy with it until someone opened a pair of cozy knit fingerless gloves. Suddenly I wanted someone to steal my cute comfy winter-themed throw pillow so I could get those fingerless gloves. Nope, I'm not free from material desires.
Similarly, Magnum's work group did a swap, and I don't even remember now what he brought home. Wolfgang came home with an assortment of beers.
I do a good amount of day-to-day shopping online, and was feeling a little guilty in the days leading up to Christmas. Here were these harried UPS drivers and others in the supply chain working to get my tea and vitamins to me before Christmas.
One purchase was a new lock for my bicycle, that I guess seemed more gift-like to those worker bees. I'd been wanting an upgrade for a while, and it actually happens that Magnum works for the company that makes THE brand of bike lock to have, I just hadn't gotten around to shopping for one until Christmas time. Even if he didn't work there, I would've gotten the lock I did. But since he works there - yay, employee discount.
So I got the lock, and Magnum got the required paperwork for the discount. Under "eligibility", it listed parents, siblings, and kids of employees.
What? No spouse?
He asked about spouses and was told that "spouse just counts as you".
Okay, fine. I feel strangely like a discovered mass of hair and teeth, confirmed to be remnants of a twin that was absorbed during gestation.
But hey. Discount!