Have you ever been disappointed by a person's response to the gift that you bought him or her? Most of us have had the experience of someone opening a gift from us and putting it aside quickly with very little appreciation. And most likely we have also reacted the same to gifts that others have given us, perhaps without any awareness that we were hurting the giver's feelings.
Each of us has probably been the person on both sides of this scenario. It is easy for us to build up expectations of what we want someone to give us, and then to be hurt when they do not meet our expectations. To top it off, and I know I have been guilty of this, we are hurt when someone does not meet our desires or expectations even when we never let them know about them in the first place
Since gift giving is such a major part of this season, I have decided to commit to the following: to do a much better job of receiving the gifts that I am given on a daily basis.
The gifts I am referring to are not material gifts--they are the daily gifts of family, friendships, and faith. They are the daily gifts of a loving touch, a kind smile, supportive words, humor, forgiveness, joy and grace. They are the daily gifts of breath, health and life itself. They are the daily gifts of abundance, beauty, and peace.
It is far too easy for me to mindlessly "receive" these gifts, quickly put them aside, and act as if they were not everything I wanted or expected. When I do this, I mindlessly hurt the giver of the gifts: my family, friends and God.
There is an additional dimension to this new way of receiving gifts that I am excited about. It seems to me that in order to better receive the gifts I am given, I need to truly open them! I need to really open and explore the gifts of loved ones, friends, and my faith. How wonderful is that! To do this I will of course need to more fully open myself at the same time.