Listen to episode 120 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Christmas Gifts & Giving (The Spirit of Christmas). Adapted from the book The Spirit of Christmas by Henry Van Dyke.
Christmas Podcast Excerpt: The custom of exchanging presents on a certain day in the year is very much older than Christmas, and means very much less. Gift giving has been a custom in almost all ages of the world, and among many different nations.
It is a fine thing or a foolish thing, as the case may be; an encouragement to friendliness, or a tribute to fashion; an expression of good nature, or a bid for favor; an outgoing of generosity, or a disguise of greed; a cheerful old custom, or a futile old farce, according to the spirit which animates it and the form which it takes.
But when this ancient and variously interpreted tradition of a day of gifts was transferred to the Christmas season, it was brought into vital contact with an idea which m [...]