I’m convinced that Amazon is the new Santa.
They both make lists, and scan them twice. Both famously deliver on schedule. And like Santa, Amazon drivers creep up to your house, anonymously leave packages, then vanish.
Here’s the difference. While Santa runs a non-profit organization, Amazon’s sales will top $60 billion this quarter. Nothing says Christmas like consumption.
Online shopping is incredibly efficient. So, we’ve mastered the art of shop-ship-done. Rather than browsing stores for the perfect gifts, we drag items into Amazon’s cart and leave the rest to Jeff Bezos’ elves.
But holiday shopping has become so transactional. It seems less personal now, with no lasting satisfaction. Is gift giving less rewarding? Even Santa, the Godfather of Giving, never sees the smiles on kids’ faces.
And our obsession with buying stuff is fueled by ads that insist we need more stuff. Your kids must have a pile of gifts to tear open. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
But where’s the joy? Turns out that’s not sold in stores.
Here’s my take. Before you write a check or mail gift cards, consider the only gift that keeps on giving: paying it forward.
When you volunteer time, show kindness, or support someone’s passion, you touch them in a meaningful way.
This year, we’re not exchanging presents with our kids. Instead, we’re giving them experiences. A nice AirBnb stay or tickets to an event they’ll always remember.
And if you need more incentive, recent studies show that being generous with your time and attention reduces your risk of heart disease and relieves stress.
It truly is better to give. What you receive is the greatest joy. So, savor it.