Christmas. This year, the twenty-fifth of December fell in week twenty-five of Our Time of Gifts.
It is, perhaps, fitting that the mid-point of my year-long experiment in giving stuff away coincides with the time when people often blow their household budget on presents for children, friends and family.
In our society, the things we buy - clothes, furniture, music - are often used as markers of our personalities. 'This is me. I like to listen to music by X/live in a house with X type of sofas/wear clothes that are casual. Or dressy. Or on-trend.'
And, when we buy presents for people (at least, those presents that are well-matched with people's tastes), it's a way of saying 'I understand what you like at this point in time. I see where you're coming from. Here's something from me to you.'
But, in todays materialistic society, what happens when people don't have the disposable income to express themselves in this way?