Gift


Gift
Gifts under a Christmas tree

A gift or a present is the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return. Although gift-giving might involve an expectation of reciprocity, a gift is meant to be free. In many human societies, the act of mutually exchanging money, goods, etc. may contribute to social cohesion. Economists have elaborated the economics of gift-giving into the notion of a gift economy. By extension the term gift can refer to anything that makes the other happier or less sad, especially as a favor, including forgiveness and kindness.

Contents

Presentation

Traditional envelope containing money as a gift, from Japan

When material objects are given as gifts, in many cultures they are traditionally packaged in some manner. For example, in Western culture, gifts are often wrapped in wrapping paper and accompanied by a gift note which may note the occasion, the recipient's name, and the giver's name. In Chinese culture, red wrapping connotes luck.

Occasions

The occasion may be:

Legal aspects of gifts

At common law, for a gift to have legal effect, it was required that there be (1) intent by the donor to give a gift, and (2) delivery to the recipient of the item to be given as a gift.

In some countries, certain types of gifts above a certain monetary amount are subject to taxation. For the United States, see Gift tax in the United States.

Religious views

Lewis Hyde remarks in The Gift that Christianity considers the Incarnation and subsequent death of Jesus to be the greatest gift to humankind, and that the Jataka contains a tale of the Buddha in his incarnation as the Wise Hare giving the ultimate alms by offering himself up as a meal for Sakka. (Hyde, 1983, 58-60)

In the Eastern Orthodox Church the bread and wine that are consecrated during the Divine Liturgy are referred to as "the Gifts." They are first of all the gifts of the community (both individually and corporately) to God, and then, after the epiklesis, the Gifts of the Body and Blood of Christ to the Church.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition God is seen as the source and giver of all good things: But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! 1 Chronicles 29:14 New Living Tradition (NLT). Life on earth is considered one of God’s gifts: And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. Ecclesiastes 5:19 (NLT).

In the Christian tradition Jesus is seen as a gift of God, For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NLT) The Holy Spirit is also seen as a gift of God: Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins, turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ to show that you have received forgiveness for your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 (NLT). Eternal life is considered one of God’s gifts to believers: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NLT)

God also is seen as giving all people spiritual gifts to enrich their lives, help others, and to build up the church: However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. Ephesians 4:7 (NLT).

Ritual sacrifices can be seen as return gifts to a deity.

See also

Further reading

  • Marcel Mauss and W.D. Halls, Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies, W. W. Norton, 2000, trade paperback, ISBN 0-393-32043-X
  • Lewis Hyde: The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, 1983 (ISBN 0-394-71519-5), especially part I, "A Theory of Gifts", part of which was originally published as "The Gift Must Always Move" in Co-Evolution Quarterly No. 35, Fall 1982.
  • Jean-Luc Marion translated by Jeffrey L. Kosky, "Being Given: Toward a Phenomenology of Giveness", Stanford University Press, 2002 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, (cloth : alk. paper) ISBN 0-8047-3410-0.



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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gift- — Gift …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • gift — n 1: an intentional and gratuitous transfer of real or personal property by a donor with legal capacity who actually or constructively delivers the property to the donee with the intent of giving up dominion over the property and investing it in… …   Law dictionary

  • GIFT — GIFT, the transfer of legal rights without any consideration or payment. It is essentially no more than a sale without payment and all the principles of the law of sale apply (see sale ). The Da at of the Parties The decision (gemirat ha da at)… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • gift — W2S2 [gıft] n [Date: 1200 1300; : Old Nors] 1.) something that you give someone, for example to thank them or because you like them, especially on a special occasion = ↑present ▪ The earrings were a gift from my aunt. gift of ▪ a generous gift of …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • gift — n 1 Gift, present, gratuity, favor, boon, largess are comparable when they denote something, often of value but not necessarily material, given freely to another for his benefit or pleasure. Gift is the most inclusive term, but it is not… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • gift — [gɪft] noun [countable] 1. something given to someone on a special occasion or to thank them; = PRESENT: • Sales of Christmas gifts are expected to grow about 20%. gift adjective [only before a noun] : • She has several years of experience …   Financial and business terms

  • Gift — Gift, n. [OE. gift, yift, yeft, AS. gift, fr. gifan to give; akin to D. & G. gift, Icel. gift, gipt, Goth. gifts (in comp.). See {Give}, v. t.] 1. Anything given; anything voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gift — und Galle zur Bezeichnung von großem Ärger oder Haß ist eine Redensart biblischen Ursprungs. Dtn 32, 33 heißt es: »Ihr Wein ist Drachengift und wütiger Ottern Galle«. Die Redensart hat sich aus dem Bibelzitat durch Verkürzung ergeben, z.B. Gift… …   Das Wörterbuch der Idiome

  • gift — /gIft/ noun (C) 1 OBJECT something that you give someone on a special occasion or to thank them: The earrings were a gift from my aunt. | make sb a gift of sth: Grandma made me a gift of her silver. | free gift: Enjoy a free gift with any… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • gift — [ gıft ] noun count *** 1. ) something that you give to someone as a present: He bought generous gifts for all his family. The video camera was a retirement gift from colleagues. She made a $50,000 gift to charity. 2. ) a natural ability to do… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • GiFT — Internet File Transfer (giFT, signifiant transfert de fichier par internet) est un daemon permettant l utilisation de plusieurs protocoles de partage de fichiers en pair à pair avec un seul client possèdant une interface utilisateur graphique… …   Wikipédia en Français


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