I've enjoyed getting into the Christmas spirit this December and have gotten presents for my friends and family. It's really fun to think of gifts people will enjoy (mostly books), and then get them for them. Creative wrapping jobs are also fun. (At a "manly" wedding shower I was at I saw a gift card given in a box that I think had previously held a cabinet) The joy of Christmas as you grow up is that instead of eagerly waiting for Santa Claus to give you stuff, you get to be Santa Claus. (Sort of)
I've noticed that a common reaction in my friends upon me giving them the present is to apologize for not planning to get me anything, and resolving to do so. While I appreciate the sentiment, this seems like missing the point. The whole point of a gift is it's a one-way transaction, not an exchange. I am giving you this gift because I appreciate you and want to, not because I secretly want you to get me something to "pay me back".
Greedily is one way not to accept gifts, but beware also of unconsciously turning gifting into bartering. What is it in human nature that makes it so hard for us to just accept grace?
The Wicked Problems of Jails and Prisons
6 hours ago