Title: A Simple Answer
Elements: November's theme: gratitude
Author's Notes: "Giving gifts: was a personal matter, not limited to kinship. It was a form of 'thanksgiving, and taken as a recognition of services, benefits and friendship show, especially in the last year." (Letters, #214)
Summary: In Minas Tirith, Pippin and his friend Menelcar, have a conversation about hobbit customs.
Word Count: 200
"I have always been curious, Pippin, about the curious custom hobbits have of giving gifts to others on their birthdays. You must know it seems quite backwards to the rest of the world." Menelcar puffed on his pipe, and then sent up a smoke ring.
Pippin leaned back against the garden wall where he and the Court Minstrel sat, and produced a somewhat larger and rounder one, and then gave his friend a cheeky grin.
"To us, the rest of the world seems backwards. We do give gifts to the byrdings, but not on their birthdays. Usually we give them the day before, but if we miss doing that, then we must wait for afterwards. The actual birthday is especially for the byrdings to give gifts."
Pippin looked at him closely. He wondered at Men sometimes. Why couldn't they see the obvious. "You really don't know? It's because the day you are born is the day you should show thanks for having been given life. So of course you give out gifts to those family and friends who have made your life better all that year!"
Menelcar blinked. Of course. When put that way it was so simple.