There are two people on my Christmas list more difficult to buy for than all the others. One gives away anything gifted to her from a (unrealized) lack of worth. The other gifts anything she has to anyone who expresses admiration or need of it. These two recipients are related to each other. I feel compelled to monogram their gifts as assurance that they will keep and use them.
The true meaning of Christmas is gifting to the heart of the receiver. The very best, most lasting gifts are intangible and the heart always remembers them. Gratitude can have a difficult time surviving in a culture that celebrates consumption. But in gratitude we recognize that we are not ultimately producers and consumers but, above all, the recipients of gifts, (Thanks! by Robert A. Emmons, PhD).
Have you ever realized that RECEIVING is, in itself, an intangible gift you have the power and opportunity to return to the giver? When you RECEIVE a gift, tangible or intangible, you have three choices:
- You can REJECT the gift. Think of the long lines at customer service. Was the gift too small, the wrong color, or just ‘not you’? How to, do you send it back?
- You can ACCEPT the gift. While that might sound most feasible, if you keep the gift but don’t use it, then you are only GETTING the gift. The giver doesn’t receive the joy in the gifting. Poof! Be gone!
- Your third choice is to RECEIVE the gift. That’s where the power lies. The combined potential of the giver and the receiver has the ability to set a divine dynamic into motion. “Receiving a gift means you run with it and score,” (Richie Norton). Winning!
“Receiving – genuinely receiving – is one of the most wonderful gifts you can give to the giver….When you receive a gift, really receive it, it is a sign of gratitude and respect to the giver. In essence, when you receive the gift, you also receive the giver. They receive the blessing of watching you run and score, and they have the wonderful satisfaction of knowing that they contributed in some small (or large) way to your success….When People offer you a gift, you’re not just receiving a product, a service, or a leg up – you’re receiving the giver, and they in turn are receiving you.”
In blog post The Unopened Gift, I wrote: The life that is unopened to others, the gifts that are given but fall upon closed hearts, those are the heartbreaks born of unopened gifts.
Once a gift is released, we no longer have power over it. We bestow it WITH the gift. We cannot control whether the receiver accepts, rejects or receives it. We cannot control the recipient’s reactions or place our expectations on whether it was suitable, perfect, incredible…we should not expect thanks, a reaction or a note. That’s difficult sometimes. While it is better to give than to receive, that part of giving – the lack of genuine receiving – can be hurtful. We need reminding that the gift isn’t about us and should be more mindful receivers ourselves.
“ If your humility, authenticity, and sincere connection to your dreams isn’t coming in strong and clear by being a good receiver, the gifts that are available to you are going to move on to the next station. Don’t let that happen to you.
- Receive gratefully. Return a warm reception and offer sincere appreciation to the giver.
- Receive graciously. Show dignity, esteem, and respect for the giver, no matter the fit.
- Receive gracefully. Be humble by recognizing and remembering that I was by another’s hand (not your own) that you received.” (Norton).
I pray you RECEIVE this gift with my love, blessings and best wishes for a very blessed and Merry Christmas!
~From the desk of Becky Morlok~