Friday, December 23, 2011

Giving, Giving, Gone

One of the most wondrous things to me about Christmas is the giving of gifts. I love to give presents to people. I enjoy the entire process: the hunt for that special present, the wrapping, and most especially watching the eyes as the paper comes off and the ribbon is discarded. When I watch I see surprise, joy, puzzlement, or amusement - and occasionally, disappointment - but one thing giving a present is sure to do is evoke some kind of emotion.

Every year I take a day and bake cookies and make fudge. I take these goodies and place them in tins, which we then distribute to various neighbors, shut-ins, and folks who may have done us a kindness but who aren't on our gift list. Many other people receive a gift from me in the form of a card - my mailing list is quite long and I hope the post office loves me.

All of this brings me much joy. It is something I can do and generally do well. I don't often see disappointment face on my gift recipients. Of course I miss the mark sometimes; it is hard to find the perfect gift year after year. And some people are simply hard to buy for. But even so, I love to give them something.

So what to do, then, with the grinchy person who calls you up and says, "I don't want to exchange gifts this year, don't buy me anything." Do you honor that request?

Why does that person think it is her right to tell me where I can spend my money, or put my time? That is not her decision - it's mine. As far as I'm concerned, she has no control over who I buy a present for, including herself. She can turn it down and give it back if she wants, which would be in poor taste if you ask me, but that is as far as it goes. She can tell me that she isn't buying me a gift if she wants me to know that, but she can't tell me not to buy one for her. That's crossing a line.

Am I wrong to think that? I think it quite selfish of someone to try to steal away from me something that I love to do. Besides, guess what? While I do enjoy receiving presents, I enjoy the giving just as much, if not a little more. So if said person doesn't want to spend money on my husband and me, then she should just pocket her sixpence and graciously accept what is given to her.

That's what I think. A gift is a gift. It's not something you're obligated to do. We buy and give because we want to do that. It is nice to receive something in return, but I don't expect it.

What say you?

1 comment:

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