As I grew older and had children of my own, I gained new focus. No longer was I concerned about what I would get, but about the reaction of my family members when they saw the gifts I had gotten for them. Sometimes, if hard pressed, I can think of things I might like to get as a gift. But Christmas no longer has that meaning for me. I confess I would feel sorry for myself if I didn't get a gift at all, but I don't really care that much about the gift side of Christmas as far as I am concerned. The joy in Christmas for me is the giving.
I think people have to be careful with giving though. I do think that if we are not careful, giving can be a way to feel powerful. I have a friend who is not well off financially, but who always feels that they should provide Christmas for those less fortunate. But they do so irresponsibly, and end up in debt, or later without sufficient money to pay bills. They like the feeling of being able to provide gifts for someone else, but realistically aren't in a position to do so. It's a fine line to walk, because we all should be thinking of ways to help other people. But we must examine our motives carefully and make sure that "power" isn't part of those motives. The "joy" we get from giving should be pure, and untainted by feelings of power or superiority.
I do think that most of us could give more than we do. There are many people around us who would like nothing more than a gift of some of our time, or our listening ear. There are others who could use some of the discarded things lying about our house. Giving really does bring us joy, so why don't we make more of an effort to give more, at non-holiday times? Maybe the answer lies in discovering the true joy of giving.