My first Chanuka-related posting of the season. I hope I am reaching some of you before you are in the thick of Chanuka and holiday gift giving. This year in particular is a time when we might reassess the whole matter of Chanuka presents. Originally, of course, Chanuka had no association with giving gifts -- it was Purim that is the holiday of "sending of portions to our neighbors and gifts to poor people", according to the Megillah. Apparently from a historical point of view, Christmas giving was also originally about "giving to the poor" and only since the mid-1800s came to be about exchanging gifts within a family.
Giving is rooted in our urge to be generous, and I don't want to dismiss that. But sometimes the gifts are too much.
Here is one of the more interesting things I've read about how we might reshape our approach, from a recent New York Times article. I invite people to post their own ideas.