"I am in the habit of looking not so much to the nature of a gift as to the spirit in which it is offered." -- Robert Louis Stevenson
I don't remember the last time I was this geeky for Christmas. We'll start early, with dinner tomorrow night at Faye's. Why am I so excited to give these gifts? Is it really because I think they will bring joy to their receivers? Or am I expecting the likely experience of being thanked and praised for my thoughtfulness? I'll never really know how selfish I am, because everything has double benefits and vice versa. Those for me, and those for others. Does it make me selfish to not want to cause others harm, both because I don't want to hurt them and because I don't want to be disliked? Probably not, but think about it. As Jacob says, examine your intentions.
This year, my intentions are clear -- I want to give what I think others will appreciate. For them, and for me. My dad volunteers for Make a Wish Foundation. He does it for the kids, but his personal rewards (how good it feels to help) are huge, and a big part of the motivation. He takes care of himself, but he is far from selfish. What a stigma the poor word has.
But this is going nowhere, I haven't even begun the thread that will lead to that ultimate thought on selfishness. Just know this, if I don't get a chance to update tomorrow -- I appreciate you reading my words. Both because I hope you get something out of them, and because it makes me feel good, validated, and it gives me purpose and pleasure to know you're out there.
So, for whatever you celebrate, happy that. For me, it's a Consumers Christmas. Presents, tree, food, music, very little Jesus. I just celebrated with Spider Monkey, exchanging gifts (yay!), dining out at Luca's Antico Toscano, playing Sequence for hours. Good times. The fun has begun, and as it has shown through my life thus far, it's only going to get better.