It's one week until Christmas and today's sermon is about gift giving.
Grandma Coco is a very generous soul. She loves to share….her talents and her time. She likes to find the perfect gift for the perfect recipient.
What she doesn’t like ….. and you know there’s a pretty long list…..but in this case what she doesn’t like is the Obligatory Gift. She hates, hates, hates having to worry about that whole quid pro quo thing.
Grandma Coco has always understood a gift to be what Wikipedia defines as "the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return". A free-will offering.
Occasionally, Grandma Coco has the inspiration to give someone something but then begins to worry that this will set up a feeling of obligation for the recipient. Definitely not cool and definitely not Grandma Coco's intent. This is the quid pro quo aspect to which we referred earlier.
Wikipedia defines quid pro quo as a more-or-less equal exchange or substitution of goods or services. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. If you give a gift with the expectation that you'll get something back in return, that's quid pro quo.
Sometimes the shoe's on the other foot. Some Christmases, when she knows a gift will be expected but she also knows she won't come up with a single good idea until, say, March, she ends up settling for something lame and uninspired like a gift card. (If you've bought Grandma Coco a gift card, just forget that last bit.)
Darn that obligatory gift!
What Grandma Coco would like everyone to know this holiday season is this: If you receive a gift from her, please just take it and run. Oh, you can say "Thanks", if you like. (We weren't raised by wolves, after all.) But, for heaven's sake, don't worry about getting her something in return. Just seeing your little eyes light up is pleasure enough for her.