How about experimenting with giving a little more often, a little less 'mechanically' or because it is expected, but because we want to and because it is actually good for us?
As time goes by I find that the most fulfilling moments in life - and especially in my worklife - are those in which somebody realises they 'owe me'. Not money, not presents, but a good piece of advice, perhaps time, perhaps knowledge. The realisation that they have been given something for nothing, openly, willingly and with no expectation of an immediate return is something that touches people deeply as it is considered a luxury, a rarity, not the norm. This realisation I find is often physically visible, in the way people return a smile or open their eyes to you....it is a moments of pure joy and fulfilment as far as I am concerned and it helps me build trust and loyal relationships.
But is this a sustainable strategy or a naive, idealistic way? Perhaps it is not possible to do this every time, perhaps not with everyone. But in my latter years I have discovered the wisdom of the popular phrase ' what goes around, comes around'. The more I have given, the more I have received. The more I have shared, the more It has been returned. The more I have offered, the more I have been asked to take. And it seems to go on and on.
Some may say that perhaps it is not business savvy or perhaps it is not commercially sound. But when we encounter people who are genuinely facing challenges and open their heart to us, being generous is the only strategy that will ultimately provide a win-win. Try it to believe it, and not only at Christmas !