A perfect present

As the busiest shopping season approaches, taking a spiritual look at gift-giving tops the to-do list.

Facing hordes of Christmas shoppers clogging malls, jammed parking lots, and a host of seasonal inconveniences, I yearned for a little peace and quiet during Christmas several years ago. It felt like the whole season was becoming a costly, over-commercialized extravaganza. I wanted a more relaxed mental atmosphere, where I could reflect on the joys of the season!

A thought crossed my mind: Why do we give gifts in the first place? And why is this tradition so embedded in consciousness that we often feel guilty if we don't give the right presents? As Christmas Day approaches, it often feels like we lurch toward a spending finale, buying whatever is left on the shelves in the hope that it satisfies some need.

The happiest Christmas I ever had
December 20, 2010

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