Went out t'get the paper this morning (it's a wonderful source of things to sneer at, not to mention general-purpose packing and garbage wrap!) and was reminded of a gift that made coping all the snow and cold hugely easier, not to mention the typing afterwards: One of my very best friends in the whole world* gave me a pair of super-duper gloves, way better than anything I've ever owned. (Quoth: "Oh, they're extra, I'm not usin' em!") All day yesterday, my hands never even felt a chill. That is a new thing; after doin' Bigtime Media Engineering year-'round, I have spent many too many Winter days working outdoors with bare hands, doing complex things in the chill and playin' Apache about the pain. Having warm hands in the snow is a luxury!
Sometimes I have the heart of an Objectivist (yes, yes, right here on the desk, in a highly-rational ceramic Klein bottle...). Altruisim's stupid. But if you have extra and you choose to share, that's beneficience. I doubt even dear Aunt Ayn would so very much Object to that.
The big-deal holidaze can be a rough time, especially the pair comin' up. Especially as the years roll on. Givin' gifts is often presented as some form of charity, as altruism but more often, there's an intangible quid pro quo: a feeling of connectedness. It can be a comfort to giver and receiver alike.
* Yeah, sometimes I talk like that. Cope.