There is an incredible joy in giving a gift.
No doubt that is, at least in part, why a lot of people give gifts — not to be selfish or out of compliance within the spirit of the season, but simply to participate in the gift-giving experience and, as a natural consequence, enjoy the process.
A problem arises, though, when the gift giver feels there has been insufficient recognition to gift-giving process. That certainly seems to be outside of the spirit of the season.
Gift giving can come in all types of forms and fashions. It can be the traditional, paper-wrapped box with a colorful bow. It can be a gift of a property owner to neighbors by making public a holiday display to be admired, and by which others can be inspired. Or it can be of the charitable manner, in which those who can give to those who can.
All three of those options lie within the spirit of the season. All three help make our world a better place. But then comes the human element of the equation — when the do-gooders don’t feel as respected or appreciated as they might have anticipated.
One problem with that type of giving is in setting the expectation, or obligation, of the receiver. Whether working as an individual or with a group, we’ve come to expect a certain level of recognition for the things we do right. And that’s a problem. We’re supposed to be trying to do right even if no one is looking.
The Daily Journal has covered numerous stories of individuals and groups that comply with the spirit of the season — in several months throughout this year. And by and large, those stories are appreciated by readers except, it seems, when the reader happens to be, as an individual or part of a group, associated with a charitable effort that has not received similar coverage.
We ask that, in keeping within the spirit of the season, appreciate what your local newspaper can report. Consider contacting the newspaper about your group, sure, but be grateful for such stories being told, even if that story isn’t about your effort. And if we can be so bold, please consider continuing your charitable effort, your giving of gifts, even if no one seems to recognize it.