When I started writing this post it began on a serious note. It was deep and meaningful. It was life-changing. It really wasn’t any of those things. But it was a bit on the pensive side. And then I realized that I had typed the words “giving” and “receiving” and “having” and “sharing” a few times each…and those of you who know Friends know where this is going. I couldn’t keep writing it without thinking about Joey’s wedding speech, which derailed any sentimental sentiment I had intended to pen. Since the only things I can think about at this point are giving and having and sharing and receiving…I’m going to hand off the post. Take it away, Joey!

Joey: Anyway, I started working on what I’m gonna say at the ceremony, you wanna hear it?
Monica, Chandler: Yeah!
Joey: Now, listen, it’s just the first draft so…”We are gathered here today on this joyous occasion to celebrate the special love that Monica and Chandler share. It is a love based on giving and receiving, as well as having and sharing. And the love that they give and have is shared and received. And through this having and giving and sharing and receiving, we too can share and love and have and receive.”

Let’s give Joey a little credit here. The man has a point. And love expressed at Christmastime in the form of gifts often takes the form of giving and sharing and having and receiving. I, for one, absolutely love the tradition of Christmas presents. I feel like they get a bad wrap (pun-intended…just say no to Sponge Bob wrapping paper) sometimes – and sometimes rightfully so, when billions of dollars are spent on meaningless presents in an effort for quantity, not quality. But when Christmas gifts are what they should be – thoughtful, beneficial, sacrificial – it’s a beautiful thing, and so symbolic of the holiday they celebrate.

If you are in search of the latter, Promise Tangeman has rounded up a great group of gifts that give back. There’s something for everyone – jewelry, perfume, shoes, candles, coffee – and each gift gives not only to the receiver but also to another person in need. And to the giver too, because what feels better than giving a great gift AND helping someone at the same time? Not much, my friends, not much. You can find the full gift guide here – PLEASE check it out asap! And have a blast giving and sharing and having and receiving this year!

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