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gifts, giving, receiving, relationships -

This week is generally a mad rush for people trying to frantically finish their shopping; trying to make sure that everyone on the list is accounted for with the proper gifts. While giving is the spirit of the season, the flip side is that for every give, there is a receive. How many of us are really comfortable when we are this side of the equation?

When you are handed a gift, how many times have you said “Oh, you didn’t have to” or “Oh, you shouldn’t have”? Somehow this can slip out so easily, but what does it really mean? Do we think the person gifting us truly thinks a gift was “required” and we are trying to enlighten them? Or do we mean that we didn’t think it was expected so we didn’t get them one and we are trying to excuse that fact? Do we say it sometimes when even though it could reasonably be expected that one would bring a gift (eg. a birthday celebration), but we are trying to give the impression that the gifts are not important to us? As we age, have we somehow come to believe that adults should outgrow the excitement of gifts? If we are financially successful and don’t “need” anything, do gifts become unnecessary or less significant?

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