LOL! I still give gifts.
I try to give something unexpected...and if I get a "list" from a child...I may get them one of the items, but, then the rest are my choice.
I usually follow a theme. Each year each of my godkids gets gifts following whatever interest that I have seen in them that year.
So, one year it was cooking. One niece just showed an interest in cooking. So, I gifted her oven mitts, her own pink mixing spoons, whisk, etc...and I signed her (and me) up for a cooking class we would take together.
My nephew had shown interest in fixing things...so, he got a tool box, filled with all kinds of tools, screws, nails, and a gift card to Home Depot.
Last year he was all in to WWII, so I ordered him a WWII vintage helmet, some army medals, a WWII documentary movie, etc.
I just can't get into adults especially "trading" for xmas. It's bizarre. I following the line of an infamous definition of a gift:
It is something the person cannot ask for (demand).
It is something the person cannot acquire for themselves.
It is something the person cannot return, exchange, or abandon.
I think the term presents
is almost always more accurate than gift
and not without deep implications that we use the term. And one of the gifts of living in German for a while is a respect for what a gift is. The German speakers here will know what I mean. And the widely read will likely understand the line of thought I am drawing from.
As everyone heads toward Christmas, this is apropos what is celebrated by some during the season:
Who wanted a messiah to be born to die?
Who could have manufactured such an event?
Who can now return the gift?
One of the hallmarks of a gift is that is usually traumatic. Since those who are gifted are unable to discharge their debt. Gifts stand outside the typical economy of supply and demand. Gifts are always surprising. They force us into a indebtedness we cannot discharge, we literally cannot let it go (the meaning of indebtedness
). And we cannot sell them much less give them away.
Life is a gift. No one ever asks to be born. No one can birth themselves. And you cannot return your life. Killing yourself isn't an escape as it is one of the many responses of those who have been gifted with life live toward that gift. And as the dumb cliche goes life is a gift
, while maintaining the truth of both life and the gift, it actually like most cliches seeks to occlude a trauma, that is life is often and arguably usually horrible and monstrous. Life is a trauma. A blind stupidity resting upon infinite ingratitude.
Love, death, all things things which takes us out of ourselves and demonstrate what a mean, poor, and feeble creatures we are are gifts.
Again those familiar with the German tongue are aware of the caution one should have in asking for a gift.