Articles on Gifts

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In the Netherlands, the tradition goes that Sinterklaas lives in Madrid, wears a red clerical robe and a bishop’s mitre, and has servants called ‘Zwarte Pieten’ (Black Peters). from

Schnapps, whipping and sacks: how Christmas traditions evolved around the world

The celebration of Christmas has distinct variations around the world, with many of these local traditions arising from particular historical circumstances.
Buddy is a sucker for the silly season. danperezfilms/flickr

Spare a thought for our furry friends this Christmas

Christmas is here again, and we're excited for decorating, parties, and summer getaways. But before we dive into the silly season, let's first make sure our pets are properly taken care of.
It’s the season for giving gifts - but in a market economy, it’s easy to lose sight of what it means to give a gift. Ben Watkin/Flickr

In a gift economy, what makes a Christmas gift good?

This time every year we feverishly try to find just the right gift for everyone on our list. Merchants seizing upon the frenzy promise more and more for less and less, seeking to awaken desires we did…
50 Shades? How dare you! Olesya Feketa/Shutterstock

What the books you receive this Christmas say about you

Christmas is a time to give generously and receive graciously. And yet… And yet. Many of us have opened Christmas presents and thought: what does it say about me that you thought this – this! – was the…
Giving a gift is a complex transaction. So what makes a gift good? MattysFlicks/Flickr

Give and take: the anxiety of gift giving at Christmas

The anxiety attached to gift giving is worth considering. The Christian commemoration of Christmas is about celebrating God’s ultimate gift, his only son. Such an exceptional gift reaches its destiny in…
Welcome to the party: a time for giving. Frank Tasche

Priceless: the inefficient, but merry economics of Christmas

Fingers crossed, we are soon to be inundated with Christmas joy disguised as presents from our family and friends. I received my first card more than a week ago and a present – now sitting under the tree…
Tom Hanks stars in the Best Picture-nominated film, Captain Phillips. Can Hollywood dish out moral lessons? EPA/Warren Toda

Oscars-worthy: dramatised acts of giving don’t redeem Hollywood

It’s Oscars season and there’s plenty of controversy, as usual, about what’s made the cut and what hasn’t. But I want to focus on what will be the most dramatised moment of Sunday’s award ceremony: the…

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