A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Giving vs Getting

Just after all the of the typical Christmas hysteria, with wrapping paper strewn across the floor and all the attention going to the shiny, new toy that Santa brought, the spirit of giving has since passed, and the spirit of what we got is a little more apparent. We all have that friend who likes to show off their shiny new gadget or toy, and though they might not mean to brag, that could very well be what it looks like.

In a world of extreme commercialization, holiday status is largely determined by what and how much we got. But why can’t that status be determined in how much gave this year? Rather than saying, “This is what I got this year,” when telling our friends how our winter break went, why can’t we focus more on, “This is what I gave this year,” instead?

Yes, we all give presents, but how much time do we spend talking about that to our friends as opposed to mentioning what we got? Every kid gets presents from their parents, and hopefully they give presents to their family, too, but we seldom talk about what we gave. This is probably because getting stuff is a lot more exciting than what we gave.

That’s what we should change. Giving not only makes the recipient happy, it also makes the giver happy.

So this coming January, with giving versus getting, giving should be the topic of discussion. Receiving may be much more enjoyable to talk about, but giving is a lot more fun for everyone else.