‘Tis the Season For Giving

Dec 7, 2022 | Welcome Column

Well, it’s that time of the year again.  The Christmas season, also known more by the more secular Holiday Season.  Whatever the reason, a lot of good things happen this time of year.  By and large, families are together more, and we all – all of us – try to take the time to get along and do nice things.  Personally, I like to think I act this way all year long, but everybody needs some reminders, I suppose

It’s a time of giving, too.  Donations to charities tend to peak during the holiday season, as people get swept up in Altruistic Fervor. Some soup kitchens are actually advising people NOT to volunteer their time at Christmas – they are awash in volunteers looking to cram 365 days worth of kindness into a 2 hour stint of ladling out soup.  Donations of cash will be more useful to keep these charities running past the Christmas season.

Among our families, friends and other acquaintances, the giving means gifts, too.  This is the area where I am exposed as someone who doesn’t do well when it comes to gifts. I hope this isn’t because I’m shallow, uncaring and self-centered.  I actually spend a great deal of time mentally appreciating all the wonderful people in my life. I have trouble, however, translating that admiration and love into gift ideas.

I am not advocating the abolition of the exchange of gifts during the holiday season.  I just wish I was better at shopping for, and choosing gifts.  I suppose enhanced wrapping skills would come in handy too…

Luckily, musicians are easy to buy for, like anyone with a hobby.  Like all hobbies, music requires constant replenishment of consumables such as strings, picks, rosin.  Also, there is always the need for new capos and tuners. 

I tried to change up last year.  I bought little boxes of candy and gave them out to bandmates, and reveled in my creativity and thoughtfulness.  Recently, however, I was reaching for a mic in a cable bag and found the box of candy from 11 months ago.  The Bad Gifter has struck again!

If there are bad gift givers, I’m sure there are bad gift getters, too, and maybe the prevalence of both (they walk among us!) is what makes the overall gifting culture and customs so complicated. 

The whole notion of giving gifts is rooted in thoughtfulness and generosity.  And for every mediocre, marginal or horrible gift giver and gift getter, probably 20 perfectly chosen gifts find recipients who are genuinely delighted and touched.  Who would want to mess with that?

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