Every year around this time I begin to look forward to the holiday season here in America: spending Thanksgiving with my family, the familiar sounds of ubiquitous holiday tunes on the radio, the crispness in the air after the fresh snow. As I reflect on recent news, social trends, and the thought of admired leaders in justice and Judaism, the spirit and reality of consumerism gives me pause. Perhaps this feeling of ownership the holiday season brings out in us is not the ideal we, as religious people and thinkers, should strive for.
I love to give and receive gifts. I enjoy the suspense of the unwrapping, the strengthened relationship that can emerge, and the opportunity to provide another with something new that they didn’t expect to receive. After all, life is about giving and giving gifts is just another way to fulfill our purpose.