Apr 23, 2008

The 29-Day Giving Challenge: Day 8

Today was Day 8 of my 29-Day Giving Challenge. I have a few boxes of candy that my parents sent me, so I gave one to our neighbors during our playdate today.

I've been thinking about this challenge and how only some gifts seem to "count" in my mind. A good example is today, which happens to be Administrative Professionals (aka Secretaries) Day. My husband and I both gave gifts to our respective secretaries. I also wrote a check as a wedding gift to a friend who's getting married, since we can't attend the wedding. These gifts just don't seem to be in the spirit of the 29-Day Giving Challenge, since they're gifts I would have given anyway.

Another way of looking at it, I suppose, is that giving these gifts didn't bring me any particular joy. While my husband and I both like our secretaries and appreciate their work, the gifts we gave today were mostly out of obligation. And while I'm sure the happy couple will appreciate a cash gift, it's not like I spent a lot of time picking out something meaningful. (They didn't register because they don't really need anything, and since the bride and I aren't especially close anymore, I wasn't confident I could pick out something that they would really like.)

So far, I think it's really the random, unexpected gifts that have been the most fun to give. But then, that's always been the case for me. To make this challenge really meaningful, I'm going to have to go outside my comfort zone and reach out to some acquaintances and strangers. I'll let you know how that goes . . .

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