Thoughts on Giving and Receiving

I don’t know where you are, dear reader, but here, Christmas catalogs have arrived in bulk.  I suppose I could make some sort of comment about the crass commercialization of a perennial sacred holiday, but I don’t think I could say anything that hasn’t been said already.

Besides, it’s Christmas.  Anyone who just sees a gross amount of spending is missing the point.  Anyone who just sees the avarice is also missing the point.

The whole idea behind gift giving, and getting, is being happy.  This does not mean getting tons of stuff or even really expensive stuff–it means getting the stuff you want, you need, or that you just really like.  It’s about being pleasantly surprised when you open the box.  It’s about finding the one thing that the receiver didn’t think about, but would really be perfect for them.  It’s about going to the trouble of coming up with something really nice and the other person really liking it.

That’s the point of any gift really.  To surprise, delight, and touch people.  It’s about showing thought here, people, not just buying people gifts just to be gifts.  If you’re going that route, go with gift cards.  Everyone likes them and it beats not getting anything.  A nice note goes well with those too, something along the lines of, “I’ve thought and looked and thought and looked, but I couldn’t find anything I was sure you’d like, so I’ve gotten you a gift card so you can pick out something I didn’t think of.”

This will be going on a few of my Christmas gifts this year, I’m sure.  I don’t have a single friend who doesn’t appreciate an itunes or amazon gift card.  In fact, I know several who are hoping for them, because their hobbies (or habits) are expensive.

But the people who just see the gratuitous spending of the holiday…it’s tiresome, that’s what it is.  The people doing the pointless spending and the people who gripe about the commercialism have both missed the point of presents entirely.




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