It's funny how the meaning of the holidays changes as you get older. When you're a kid, all you're concerned about is what you're going to get (from Santa, your parents, whoever). As you get into your teens and 20s, you've got the added pressure of having to buy gifts for your loved ones, but you still have anticipation for what you will receive. When you get married and have kids, you're more worried about getting gifts for the kids and spouse, as well as where and how you'll be spending the holidays.
It really does become more of the selfless holiday that it's intended to be, even as you spend time doing battle with other shoppers and swearing at cars that cut you off in traffic. Sure, you get bombarded with Christmas music and ads pretty much the second Halloween ends, but somehow that glimmer of holiday spirit manages to stay alive within you. It's all worth it to see the kids open their presents on Christmas morning.
We're actually lucky in that we had three Christmases this year; we opened gifts here Sunday morning, again at my mom's place that afternoon, and then on Tuesday morning when my brother-in-law's family arrived from New Jersey. Everybody made out pretty well, and after a few days of going to New Hampshire and entertaining relatives here, the house is quiet again. We still have a few days to enjoy at home before we all go back to work and school next Tuesday.
Maybe I'm becoming an sap in my old age, but Christmas is starting to take on the feel that Thanksgiving already has for me: a time to enjoy the company of family. The holidays seem a lot easier to deal with now that the dysfunction that used to be associated with them has mostly dissipated. Now they're a nice way to recharge the batteries (and stuff the belly) before getting back to the mundane activities of everyday life. That's probably better than any gift you'll receive.