So, why do people give? What makes giving to others a good thing? Some would say that giving is to help other people, perhaps those defined as “needy”; i.e. the purpose of giving is to improve the situation (emotional or material) of others. As you might imagine, the motivations for giving have been extensively studied by psychologists for many years. And you might be surprised to find out that most peoples’ motivation for giving is to make themselves feel better. Yes, giving to another person or group improves the giver’s well-being! In my humble opinion, a good gift-giver is good because they take into account the desires of the recipient, not just what the giver likes. My mother, for instance, always gave presents that she liked, without a care for what the recipient might like. I think she secretly hoped that the recipient would give the item back, so Mom could have it in the end.
<shameless self-promotion alert> I, on the other hand, am a pretty good gift-picker, and I really think hard about what a friend would like. I just love shopping for gifts for friends and relatives, and it makes me feel just great when the gift is appreciated. I also love giving money to my favorite charities. These days, the bulk of my charitable giving goes to Hillsdale College, which trains the best of the next generation. I know that not a penny of my donation is wasted on things that don’t matter. But I also love supporting NOAH, the no-kill shelter where we adopted our kitty, and the Seattle Chamber Music Society, since I’m a chamber music groupie.
So when it is time to choose a gift for that friend or relative, give a lot of thought to what their likes and dislikes are, and try to choose something that will thrill them, even if it’s not very expensive. It really is the thought that counts, more than the monetary value. And I would like to thank all my readers and followers for helping me make this year a productive one. RushBabe49 appreciates each and every one of you!
Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year to everyone!