While walking through a mall recently, I saw this sign:

I had never heard of that phrase before… so I was curious if it was just a marketing slogan developed by HMV – to motivate shoppers to keep spending post-Christmas – or if others used it?

I checked the ‘Urban Dictionary’ and ‘gift fatigue’ is listed, but not yet defined

But I did find one article: What is gift fatigue and does your office have it?

I understand the point – stores trying to entice customers to buy for themselves after a Christmas of gift shopping for others. I also can see how the gift ‘expectations’ within an office setting can affect the voluntary nature of gift giving or alter the element of surprise…

 But still, seeing the words gift and fatigue together puzzled me.

Then I recalled a dear friend’s post entitled “I am giving myself a gift” – a gift of a year full of time, space, and rest. Perhaps here, I can see how fatigue can bring about much needed gifts…but I’m not quite sure about gift-giving leading to fatigue…

I think if something truly were a gift – it would more likely invoke encouragement, gratefulness, excitement, joy…not fatigue.

According to gift is defined as:

1.something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.

2.the act of giving.

3.something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned: Those extra points he got in the game were a total gift.

4.a special ability or capacity; natural endowment; talent: the gift of saying the right thing at the right time.

 The word gift is also mentioned 158 times in the Bible, for example:

 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us – Romans 12:6

After a season of Christmas gift-giving, however it can be hard for some to view the word ‘gift’ without material connections. Yet there are so many other perspectives on gifts. For example, like my friend Tania, I see this New Year as a gift full of “shiny and bright” possibilities.

PS. Speaking of a gift…we are about to embark on an all-expenses paid vacation in Mexico – thanks to Frank’s employer! This gift has invoked gratefulness, excitement, joy…but not fatigue!

We will enjoy the gift of company – getting to know his coworkers and their partners – and the gift of knowledge – as Frank will be learning more about his job while we vacation in Mexico.

And…I will enjoy the gift of fun and sun before I dive into a new semester!

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