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The season of presents

It’s Christmas Eve, and we discover ourselves serious about presents.

In spite of everything, tonight Santa Claus will shimmy down chimneys throughout the globe, leaving presents wrapped in paper and bows for the nice ladies and boys. And tonight and tomorrow, households will collect and trade presents.

Hanukkah ended virtually two weeks in the past, and along with the candle-lighting and conventional meals, it’s widespread for celebrants to offer presents on every of the eight nights, particularly to kids. Kwanzaa begins on Tuesday, and on the ultimate night time, after the karamu — the feast — it’s widespread to trade small presents. And Christians have a good time Christmas because the day humanity obtained God’s most valuable reward: His son, Jesus.

So we’re serious about what it means to offer and obtain presents.

What’s a present? The place does its worth lie? What does it imply to offer one or to obtain one?

Is a gift somebody made higher than one which was purchased? Is it a foul reward if it’s one thing low-cost? Is it reward if it’s costly? Is it higher to have extra packages that price much less, or fewer packages that price extra? Does everybody should obtain the identical variety of presents or have the identical amount of cash spent on them? How a lot does the thought actually matter?

Is it higher to be the gift-giver or the gift-receiver? For those who battle to select presents for others, does that make you a foul particular person? For those who don’t prefer to obtain presents, does that make you an ungrateful jerk? What for those who get a present you don’t like — what must you do?

The phrase “reward” calls to thoughts a festively wrapped field containing one thing that has often been bought at a retailer. However a present can be made, like a hand-knit scarf or an unique murals or do-it-yourself cookies. A present can be effort and time, like internet hosting the vacation gathering or being absolutely current for your loved ones and pals.

Worth, like magnificence, usually lies within the eye of the beholder. Maybe too usually, we equate price with worth. However the worth of a present ought to be measured primarily by the enjoyment it brings the receiver, not its sticker worth, although we ought to be cautious to not spoil one recipient on the expense of one other. And the thought does rely — so long as thought was really put into the reward.

Some individuals battle with presents — it’s simply not their love language. So we who love them should keep in mind to talk to them of their most well-liked love language, not ours. In lieu of objects they’ll by no means use, we’ll give them our time and our acts of service. And in the event that they don’t give us the right current, we’ll nonetheless recognize it if we all know they tried.

With all of the nuances of presents and giving and receiving — from private preferences to social niceties — why will we even do it?

As a result of at its coronary heart, exchanging presents, in no matter type they take, is about exhibiting love, compassion and empathy. And that’s at all times value doing.