In Tibetan Buddhism, Giving is one of the Six Perfections, a powerful means for accumulating merit. Merit is the motor for extracting ourselves from suffering and the ever-turning wheel of cyclic existence.
Virtuous deeds are effective when performed with sincerity. Giving, to bestow merit, must be selfless, and devoid of ulterior motives. One can make gifts to the gods, offerings of light, of pure water, of fragrance, all of which that can be magnified thousands of times with the power of the mind. In the physical world, there are mundane gifts, made for practical purpose, to activate levers, but they belong to the realm of business or society. A real gift is one that alleviates suffering or brings as much joy to the recipient as it does to the giver.
Gifts made during the holiday season are meant to bring joy to loved ones and forgiveness to those we love less. It is the time to forget the stress of everyday life and immerse ourselves in the power of giving and rejoicing in the happiness of others.