However much I dislike the commercialisation of the festival, it does fit nicely with my current thinking on gratitude because retailers always equate Christmas with presents. Let's not wait until the end of December to give things though. We could be radical and do some present buying and giving before then, or even before some of our continental cousins do, at the start of the month. It's always good to show our appreciation of someone for what they have done and giving a gift provides a tangible reminder to them that we appreciate whatever their act was. I suspect too that the process of choosing something and then opening our wallet helps us to be more appreciative too - 'since I'm giving them a present then what they did must be truly great'.
Now, I accept that I'm a present kind of person. I love buying things for people, although I do get hampered sometimes by needing to buy the perfect gift. The shopkeeper's mantra that suggests I MUST buy bigger and better presents for everyone does grate and put me off buying anything. So let's liberate that and buy something for someone to say thank you, because we want to, not because we 'have to'.
So I suggest we reclaim the next few weeks of possible present purchasing and use it for thank you gifts instead. Who do you want to show appreciation towards, what have you got to be thankful for? And once you've thought that then find a little token; it doesn't have to be much, just something that you can hand over to say thank you. Plan it today, purchase it tomorrow, deliver it by the end of the week.
Presents for the present, not the far-distant future that is Christmas