Being a cheerful giver is easy. It is fun to come upon a treasure in a store that looks like something a loved one would like, then purchase it and wrap it in paper and bows with its recipient in mind. It makes us feel good. We get excited in anticipation of the moment we can give our gifts. Even our guidebook for life, the Bible, states that God loves a cheerful giver.
I have several gifts that I am very excited to give this year. I am eagerly awaiting the reaction of the recipient. I KNOW they will love the gifts I picked out specially for them. What if I gave my gifts and those who received them did not like them? What if they opened the gift and said, “I don’t want this. I don’t need this.” Or-what if they didn’t even smile when they opened the gift? What a disappointment that would be to me, the giver. You see, it’s easy to be a cheerful giver, but the one thing we leave out of Christmas is being a gracious recipient. If we aren’t gracious recipients, we steal the joy away from the cheerful giver.
For some reason, we fall short of educating our children and ourselves to be good receivers. Receiving makes many feel uncomfortable. I talked to several people about receiving gifts and some of the things they said were “I don’t want that attention called to myself when I get a gift. “. “I buy most of what I want or need for myself so I don’t know what to do or say when someone does something for me.” “I don’t want to take charity. “. If you are a person who has trouble accepting gifts, tweak your thinking a bit. Think about the giver and the thought they put into your gift. Don’t steal their joy away. Smile when you open the gift. Accept it with thanksgiving knowing that someone wanted to do something nice for you. Take the focus off your own feelings of receiving and think of the giver. Joy is something that can be rarely given, but at Christmas, we can take the focus off of ourselves and put it on the giver. Then and only then, can we gift Joy right back.
Joy is a remarkable gift. May we give it freely this Christmas as we learn to be better receivers. Go forth and be fabulous, Friends, as we bring this gut wrenching year to an end.
Best Days are Made,
Jennifer Anglin is a motivational speaker, life coach and author who shares personal stories of triumphs and tragedies to give hope to a dying world.