I am now an expert in covering any book-shaped object with fancy paper and ribbons. One of my personal highlights during my time at the B&N gift wrap table was observing the security guard. It was her 2nd and 3rd day on the job. Everyone walking in through the door was greeted with a standard 'hello.' Never a 'hi' or 'hey' or 'good afternoon' or anything else. When people left, they got either a 'good-bye' or 'happy holidays.' I kept waiting for her to say something else, but it never came. Just 'hello', 'good-bye' and 'happy holidays' for 2 straight days. No customers replied with the 'you had me at hello' line. 2 people did ask her if she ever got tired of standing all day. (See Seinfeld episode 'The Maestro' for what happens when security guards get a chair.)
Tis also the season for secret santa or white elephant gift exchanges. In these gift exchanges, you're supposed to supply something that you would want yourself, so you don't end up giving someone else some crap. I really don't want any more stuff and don't want to give others stuff they probably don't need, so I figure if I end up with my own gift, this solves the problem. If someone else wants it, they can steal it from me. Sure, this might not fit in with the commercial spirit of the holidays, but it works for me.
My co-workers did a fun little gift thing. Because we're all working on non-profit salaries and don't really need a lot of stuff either, the plan was to make a gift out of fruit for a co-worker. We had a few interesting items. A pineapple Christmas tree, a glitter covered pear ornament thing, and a few animated orange snowmen. I got an orange snowman with incense sticks for arms, so if the snowman somehow suffers a fiery death, it will smell nice. I made a banana boat in a bottle.