Gracious acceptance is an art, an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be harder than giving… Accepting another person’s gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you. ~Alexander McCall Smith
So much of the holiday season has turned to the Christmas Wish List. I have one. I make a wish list in my mind every year. As the year goes by, I pay attention to the things people I care about are talking about. Things they may want or need but won’t probably get for themselves. I listen and pay attention to what the little kids are dreaming of getting as a gift.
Do I have my head in the wrong place? Maybe? People are often complaining and upset about the cost of Christmas, the shopping, the busy stores, the online chaos, the shipping, the wrapping. All things I strangely LOVE.
Some families do gift exchanges and draw names. Some don’t exchange gifts for people over a certain age. Some focus only on the children. Some try to make sure to give to charity in place of buying gifts. Some families have crazy and over the top piles of gifts that turns in to total chaos and others have one or two gifts for each person and that is all.
Is any one way or the other correct or the best way to have Christmas. Nope.
Do we have to give a gift to anyone who bought one for us? If we don’t, should we feel guilty about it? I’m going with nope on this one as well. A big huge NOPE in fact.
The quote I chose today covers how I feel on the giving and receiving of gifts at all times. I am not the best at giving gifts for birthdays or random times throughout the year, but when it comes to Christmas, I love watching people open presents and seeing the joy on their face as they find something inside that tells them how much someone else cares about them.
It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. ~Mother Teresa
Learning to be accepting of and thankful for a gift that is given is sometimes really tough. We want to reciprocate and make the giver of the gift feel appreciation by giving back. But in reality, when the thought and love and kindness that went into the original gift can only be reflected back through a gracious acceptance of the gift. That is all that the original giver ever really intended in return.
Take some time this year and think about someone you have given a gift to (no matter how big or how small) that was so much appreciated by the recipient. Think back to that moment and remember how it felt to have the person open/receive the gift and remember to show that sort of gracious acceptance this year as you receive gifts and kindness in the coming weeks.
Here is a quote printable designed by Crystal Wilkerson of www.crystalwilkerson.com (her website has been down, but I am linking anyway so she receives proper credit for designing the page). I love love love her work and pray her page comes back again someday so I can learn from her journal prompts and challenges.