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Gifts: Reflections on Receiving and Giving

by Barbara Cole, Ph.D.

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Author Barbara Cole, Ph.D., was once gifted a sweater from an unknown Costa Rican lawyer who had been vacationing in the house next door; the lawyer overdid the shopping and couldn’t fit the sweater in her luggage to take back home. That gift turned out to be much larger than the sweater because it led Cole to do some serious thinking about gifts she had received and given over the years. Her extended trek into gifting led her to explore the history of gifting, gift giving in other cultures, the practice of regifting, the strategy of gifting, and how to handle receiving gifts that are totally unexpected or even painful. Cole’s book is itself a gift, a reflection on the virtues of giving and receiving, an admission of the stress often associated with gift giving, and a peak into the element of surprise associated with gifting. Cole shows us what we all know to be true: be they cheap and gaudy or expensive and luxurious, there’s more to a gift than what meets the eye.


ISBN: 978-1-956056-83-9 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
ISBN: 978-1-956056-90-7 (ebook)

LCCN: 2023934298

Released April 18, 2023  |  Copyright 2023

124 pages


Barbara Cole, Ph.D., holds immense gratitude for numerous material and intangible gifts received working for a Fortune 500 company, owning her own testing and training company, and teaching management in the United States, throughout China, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan. Her work has appeared in Still Point Arts Quarterly, Woods Reader, and other journals. She divides her time between Monterey, California, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Articles and Reviews


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