This week is Thanksgiving in the United States and the beginning of a season of generosity. It is my favorite for this reason. Yet for all of the cozy decor, hot cider, and cheer, the holiday season often gets a bad rap. Rather, the gifts associated with the holidays get a bad rap. It's popular to paint the holiday focus on gifts as materialistic, but I believe that is a cynical, glass half-empty perspective.
Gifts celebrate a spirit of generosity. The very nature of giving a gift requires thinking of other people before ourselves and taking the time to select something we know the other person will enjoy.
Thoughtful gifting forces a shift from merely talking about the things we hold to be important to actually showing it through acts of generosity.
Isn't this what the holidays are about? Celebrating love by actively showing it?
Originally published December 2011