As Christmas approaches, I know many people who’ll pull out their credit cards to purchase gifts for friends and family. I have one friend with so many children and grandchildren that she and her husband take out a loan every December to cover their Christmas expenses. They dutifully make payments until the final installment each November, and then they start all over again. For some people, these gifts stem from an honest desire to treat their family to something special once a year, and this gesture comes from the heart. For other people, gift giving twists into a competition among various family members on who can spend the most. This distortion of Christmas feeds the commercial frenzy we witness in our society today.
Gift giving and gift receiving feeds one onto the other. People who love giving gifts truly enjoy every aspect of the giving process. They like hunting for the perfect present, even if it isn’t a total surprise to the receiver. The giver takes great pleasure watching as a gift is unwrapped and appreciated. For this person, it really is better to give than to receive. By the same token, the person who draws joy in giving tends to also be a gracious recipient. This type of person feels satisfaction with all types of gifts, even the little ones.
Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman