October 8th, 2008

Gifts and Holidays

Gifts should be separable from holidays. Who needs a holiday to justify giving someone a gift. Who needs to necessarily give a gift on a holiday.

However I don’t think the cycle of holidays are ridiculous. People are meaning-seeking and pattern-seeking beings. It gives us markers in life, something to look forward to, an organizational method to the year. I like the wheel of holidays, for the nostalgia and for the pattern/meaning…the wheel of holidays, whether Christian, secular western, Jewish, neopagan, or natural events, makes me feel more secure in perilous times.

And if you go the root of most holidays, they are tied to the natural events of the year, the sun’s journey, the moon’s phases, the reproductive cycles of animal, plant, and of the productivity and activities on a farm.

Yes, let us separate consumerist gift-giving, or rather empty gift-giving, from the holiday and subsistence cycles, and look at the roots again… give chicks for spring to grow into hens and eggs to feed us, give greenery during the winter’s dark depths to remind us of the hope for life and spring’s reawakening.