Yesterday I talked about giving gifts. Today I want to switch over to the receiving of gifts.
I can think of several people in my life who I would describe as “really good receiver’s of gifts”. They’re always appreciative, express their thanks with enthusiasm and make the giver feel really good. And they’re completely genuine. I’m sure there’s been a time in your life where you received a gift that really didn’t meet your expectations. I think this happens to kids a lot, but I know it can happen to adults. It’s in those times when it’s important to think more about the feelings of the person who gave you the gift rather than the gift itself. I have friends who have made it a point to teach their kids how to receive gifts properly. You wouldn’t think that would be something that needs to be taught, but it does.
As a kid, I was expected to send thank you notes to everyone I received gifts from. And those thank you notes were to be written and mailed before I was allowed to use the gifts. Being appreciative of other people’s kindness was a quality my mom wanted to instill in us early on. And it worked. We were taught thankfulness, but the bigger lesson was seeing the gift from the giver’s point of view.
There’s an art to the receiving of gifts. To be done well, it requires a big heart and being appreciative, not only for the gift, but for the giver. Sometimes it demands graciousness and it’s always best expressed through an attitude of love. In this area as well, I haven’t always been the best artist. (There’s a particular incident when I was 12 that I’m ashamed of to this day). In fact, just talking with Mike about this topic has brought up several memories for him as well. Even today, 34 years later, there are episodes in our lives than make us wince.
As an adult, I haven’t always been good about sending out thank you notes and as I’ve pondered this topic for the past few days, I’m making a decision from now on to send out thank you notes for gifts or kindnesses I receive.
What’s been your experience with giving/receiving gifts?
This is how we receive gifts. We don’t have to send out thank you notes, but mom always makes us sit.