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By the amazing amount of comments below, I'd say you tapped into something on so many of our minds this Christmas. I don't judge others for participating in the obligatory gift-giving, but after overhearing several friends this past week listing all the folks they have to buy for simply because they're expecting presents from those folks, who are probably expecting presents from my friends . . . I have finally decided it's time to take a stand: no more obligatory giving. You really hit on how this skewing of the true meaning of Christmas is a sign of cultural sickness, not health. In fact, if there is anything that takes the Christ out of Christmas, it is Black Friday. It is Cyber Monday. It is (a new one this year) Gray Thursday. Thank you for reminding me to find better ways to give during the holidays, and to make that free-giving a regular occurrence throughout the year.