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Temptation – Christmas Day 4

So I was reading a rather cool article about temptation last night and it got me thinking about it.

The article stated that recent research shows that some humans have evolved past the point of “short term gains” when it comes to temptation… And they do it without even thinking about it. The article talks about why people may be doing this, etc…. but what I found most interesting was the social aspect of it.

They mention how in social circumstances, humans do not want to be known as “cheaters”.

It reminded me of people who open their gifts before Christmas, while their under the tree, and then re-wrap them. Those people gain the joy of knowing exactly what their getting at the expense of having to wait to open them AND the expense of the other person not getting as much joy giving the gift (especially if the person opening the gift can’t keep it secret they opened it). Opening a gift before your supposed to isn’t something you can undo.

The funny part is: for me, the only time the temptation is there is when I’m all alone with the gift for an extended period of time. When I’m with a group, or I think it might affect someone else, it doesn’t even cross my mind. But if there is a gift from someone sitting in front of me, I’m alone, and I know they don’t really care if I open it early or not (perhaps a birthday card sent in the mail, or something of that nature), thats when the temptation to open it early comes. That’s when it’s most difficult to resist. And ultimately, the question is: why am I resisting?

And I think the answer is simple:

Not waiting takes away from the special day. Not that gifts are the most important part of Christmas or birthdays…. But what is Christmas if you can open your gifts the moment you want them? What’s the point if you don’t have to wait? What makes it special :-)?