There’s an old saying: It is better to give than to receive.
The British TV channel Christmas 24 decided to conduct an experiment and record the reactions of the participants. It began with the installation of a large phone booth (hard to find those anymore!) decorated as a gift package in the Birmingham New Street station. At first, people passed by it without much notice. But when the phone rang – well, you know how it is; you’ve just got to answer! Which is exactly what happened.
When the people answered, a male voice, ostensibly Santa, asked if they’d like a free Christmas gift. Of course, the answer was an immediate yes. But then they were told the gift wasn’t for them; it had to be given away. When asked why, Santa said, “Presents are for giving, not for receiving” and instructed them to give the gift to someone inside the station.
Once it got going, the joy of giving was evident when the givers were rewarded with the reactions from the recipients of the gifts.
One of the participants summed up the experiment in a statement he made to the Birmingham Mail:
“When I realized the gift was meant for someone else, I was surprised. But seeing the gentleman’s reaction when he opened the scarf was wonderful. Being able to bring a little happiness to someone I had never met before was a lovely feeling and what Christmas should be all about.”
Proof positive that giving can sometimes be more fun than receiving.
In the spirit of the season, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza, and Merry Christmas!
Ann Werner is the author of thrillers and other things.
Visit her at Ann Werner on the Web