Donating and giving are not synonymous, did you know? Indeed, their meaning expresses a diametrically opposite conception.
Just look at the etymology to understand it: the origin of "giving" has to do with royalty: it indicates a sort of offer, of due homage. We make a gift to those we deem worthy or to those towards whom our conscience or social conventions make us feel indebted.
Precisely because it has so much to do with social rules, the act of giving has been codified in time and manner: gifts are given on specific occasions, they are packaged, they are accompanied by a note with the name of the recipient. Thus, Christmas gifts have become a sort of duty tax and, to tell the truth, also an item in the family budget, so much so that we even invented the thirteenth to be able to power this shopping machine.
"What do you want as a gift?" it is the question of the mother to the son, of the grandfather to the grandson, of the wife to the husband. And if someone asks: “Doesn't it seem bleak to you?”, The prompt, rational and indisputable answer immediately arrives: “Well, if I have to spend money I might as well spend it on something that is really useful to you”. Right, too bad that "I must" at the beginning of the sentence: gifts, especially Christmas gifts, are an obligation, a task, not a pleasure. In fact, we start drawing up the shopping list as early as November and then finish at the last minute by writing "Merry Christmas" on cards that are all the same whose only function, in reality, is to associate each package with the name of the recipient.
What does "donate" mean instead? If you look in the dictionary you will find this definition: “what you give or receive without anything in return”. The gift, therefore, has nothing to do with obligations, neither moral nor social, but it is a way to express what we feel towards someone else: love, affection, friendship, esteem, gratitude. The gift is a free and unconditional act.
In some cases, to tell the truth, it is also a courageous gesture, because behind a gift there is the externalization of a feeling. It is one thing to "disguise" it as a Christmas gift, one thing is to come out suddenly, one day, with an unexpected gift. It takes courage (or great complicity) to give something for no reason, have you ever thought about it? It is like saying: “I have thought of you and I have given this form to my thought”. Which does not necessarily have to be an expensive object: it can be a photo, a cake, a bunch of daisies. What matters in the gift is how deeply we dedicated ourselves to the recipient in the act of choosing it.
The gift, on the other hand, is quantified: "For Tizio I can spend a maximum of € 10, for Caius I have to spend more, for Sempronio, on the other hand, it takes at least € 100 given the gift he gave me last year". And it is all a "do ut des" aimed at maintaining the status quo of social relations or at manipulating them. This is why we give expensive gifts to those who have given us a special treatment, or to the boss to get into his good graces, or to the new neighbor with the sports car, hoping that he will show us for a ride. Or, on the contrary, we stop giving gifts to those we believe no longer deserve them.
The gift, on the other hand, does not have to do with quantity, with price, with size, but only with quality, because in reality the object is only a symbol, it is a material sign that stands for something much more. deep and spiritual. That in common language we always talk about Christmas presents and never about gifts, says everything there is to say, don't you think?
And then, speaking of gifts, we cannot forget the other side of the coin: recycling. Come on, don't make that face and don't deny: recycling Christmas presents is part of the script. After all, who do you want to notice? And then, even if you want to notice strange coincidences, who could ever be sure? Let's say that Giulia notices that Maria has the same pen holder on her desk that she had given to you last year, so what? There isn't only one of that pen holder. You liked it so much that you gave one just like Maria. After all, it was a pen holder like many others, it wasn't a unique piece specially chosen with you in mind.
Well, if put like that, naked and raw, the matter seems sad to you is because ... it is. But you still have time to get out of the script this year: fewer obligatory gifts and more gifts from the heart. We don't know if you will save time and money (this is not that relevant), but for sure you will save yourself a lot of stress and gain in satisfaction.
Ah, of course, any reference to our bags in this article is purely coincidental. For real.
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