This is a great question and one that I am sure plagues people every gift giving season. However, the purpose of true gifting is about being able to receive without any obligation required. It would be beneficial to see what your value is about receiving – just to receive without giving back. Most people have trouble receiving. When a gift is given to you, what is your first response? Does it have to do with whether you gave them a gift in return or that your gift measures up to the one that they gave you?
Guilt is something that we take on that doesn’t really allow us to get to the real issue. Do you want to gift a person, whether they give you a gift or not? If you choose not to give a person a gift, consider if they are giving you the gift because they want something in return or are they just filled with joy to give to you? If they expect something in return, these are not the gift givers you want in your life and so if you don’t give a gift in return, they most likely will stop giving you gifts. If they truly wanted to give a gift to you, your very act of receiving it with appreciation will be the joy that will be the gift in return.
The choice of gifting is one that should come from a caring and loving heart, not one of guilt or obligation. How creative can you get with your gifting and receiving? Make it a season of joy and celebration, not stress over whether to give or not. Follow your heart.