Still Christmas shopping? Don’t do that to yourself. Seriously.
If it’s an adult you’re gifting (or even an mature child), take a minute to consider giving a gift of charity—not to the recipient (who likely has all he/she needs and more), but to someone you don’t know. Someone who may not get much if anything in honor of Christ’s birth. Numerous great charities would welcome your donation in honor of a family member or friend.
There are plenty of wonderful local options:
Local Red Cross
Local Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc.
Church/hospital/library/etc. of your choice
Veterans organization of your choice
Light of Life Missions (North Side of Pittsburgh)
Animal charity of your choice
Or, you can choose to go global:
World Vision (www.worldvision.org)
Smile Train (www.smiletrain.org)
American Leprosy Missions (www.leprosy.org)
Save Darfur (www.savedarfur.org)
This is just a handful of options. Heck, there are hundreds—thousands, even. Not sure where to begin? Check out www.charitynavigator.org to get some ideas. My point is this: If that person you’re buying for had a genuine need, you’d likely have filled it already if you're able. Save your loved one the trouble of having to list another item on Craigslist in a couple of years, and give a gift that can change someone’s life. It’ll likely be a strange someone who benefits—but a stranger is still a brother or sister in our big ol’ human family. And that’s a great gift, for both the recipient and the person you honored by doing so.
Still hate the idea? Okay, then—buy the person a membership to something: a club of some kind, the zoo, a museum or historical society, AAA roadside assistance, etc. You get the gist. It all helps us avoid more stuff cluttering our world, and reminds us of how blessed we are materially.
Now, doesn’t giving feel good? It really is better than receiving. Most of the time. ; )