Writer's Log, December 19th: The Art of the Gift | Elizabeth Percer
There's no denying the pleasures of giving the right gift, especially in the dark of winter. Giving to someone else, particularly when the gift is unexpected and thoughtful, can be more enriching than anything we might receive. But this time of year – the week before Christmas – is such an odd one, full of so much hope and anticipation, but also anxiety and dread. What if a loved one doesn't receive what she expected? What if someone gives to you unexpectedly, and you have nothing to put in their hands in return? What if the day comes and goes and you are left looking cheaper than you wanted to, or less thoughtful, or otherwise diminished in the eyes of those you most adore – or whose judgement you most fear? It's no wonder that we lose sight of the power of giving – and not just during the holiday season. When we're bombarded with advertising and culture that subtly stokes the fear, giving becomes a way to shore up insecurity rather than assert connection. I think of this often when