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Posts tagged "gifts"


The Special Waffle: Something Like a Parable

By Nathan F. Elmore: Occasionally, you get handed the Special Waffle—rectangular pieces of brie topped with thin, crescent-moon slices of Granny Smith apples, drizzled with honey and resting on a modest, square-shaped buttermilk waffle. Without paying for such things. Without any birthright for such things. Without having ordered it or even wanting it. Without deserving […]

Why You Should Spend Whatever You Like Buying Friends and Loved Ones Gifts They Don’t Expect (and Don’t Deserve)

This one comes to us from our friend Jason Micheli. I’ve grown wary of the Christmas “tradition” of bemoaning the commercialization of Christmas in our culture.  Too often, we begin Advent not with Isaiah’s laments or John the Baptist’s words of judgment but our own words of lament and judgment, criticizing others for being so […]

A Story of the Unexpected: “Just What I Wanted” from This American Life

This American Life’s recent Christmas episode, about gifts, told stories of mostly bad news: two of the three segments were about characters realizing that the thing they most wanted was bankrupt of what they actually needed. They were about expectations and disappointments, about human longing and our tendency to put our faith in the wrong things. The first segment, however–the […]

Gifts Beyond Reciprocity

I may not be the only one for whom an element of Law has infiltrated the yearly ritual of gift-giving. On the giver side, I spent an undue amount of time and energy trying to find things adequately utilitarian yet also personal, valuable but not profligate, suited to the taste of various people. And on […]