A study of 117 people published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that people who made the holiday mostly about spending time with their loved ones had merrier Christmases than those who spent money on or received costly presents. "Despite the fact that people spend relatively large portions of their income on gifts, as well as time shopping for and wrapping them, such behavior apparently contributes little to holiday joy," wrote the researchers, Tim Kasser of Knox College and Kennon M. Sheldon of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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