Giving Simply

Christmas and other events in my life brought about a unique observation a week or so ago. Giving, such as handing a gift to someone, is a special thing. In it's most simple form it means, "I want you to have this." That's it. Other forms include, "I want you to have this, plus can you give me something too?", "I want you to have this, but only use it how I tell you to," "I want you to have this, but only if you appreciate it," and on and on. I'm not sure about the prevalence of one form over another, but I can tell you that I've run into dozens and dozens of gifts that weren't simple. When that's the case, I really don't think it should be called 'a gift'. A more appropriate label might be 'an obligation'. I prefer the gifts, both in giving and receiving.