Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Virtue: Receiving a Gift

Did you know that receiving a gift is in itself a gift that we give to our gift giver? I know it sounds complicated but take a second to read that statement over. Simply put, the way we embrace the gift someone has given us is a gift that we are able to give the giver as they enjoy our smile, our sincere expression of joy, and our words of gratitude.

I am proud to say that this year I graciously accepted every single gift I received with love and thankfulness. It wasn't always this way. However this year I did things a little differently and made a concerted effort to thank the gift giver and enjoy the thoughtfulness whether I liked the gift or not. What helped me was the prompting I received from the Holy Spirit to pray before opening my gifts. This enabled me to be thankful for everything I received simply because someone took the time to think of me, spend their time at a store, invest their energy wrapping a gift for me, and selflessly share with me a portion of their resources that perhaps they could've used on themselves. That sounds like more than enough to give thanks.

My gifts this year were all amazing. I thank God for the generosity my mom demonstrates year after year in that her joy comes from giving to us. I hope to someday be that kind of a giver. My husband also gave me some pretty wonderful presents. However my favorite gift was not an actual gift at all. Instead it was how he listened to my cues and went for the things that I really wanted like the work-out attire he carefully picked out for me and the time he spent in finding gifts that he knew would be just right for me.

On a scale of 1 - 10 how do you fair you did in receiving your gifts? Maybe there was a major disappointment, maybe someone lost a job this year and was not able to financially give you what they would've liked or perhaps you feel like what they got it all wrong and gave you a gift that doesn't suit you. May I suggest that you thank them publicly and when the time is right consider speaking to them privately to reach a resolution. However keep in mind that the most important thing is not that we receive everything that was on our wish list this year but rather that we were able to make those that took their time and invested in us feel like it was well worth it. It's not so much about the actual gift as it is about the attitude of our heart that makes all the difference.

Here I am receiving one of the gifts my husband lovingly picked out for me.

My husband's smile after receiving his new guitar pedal from his Secret Santa, Vito.

Here is one of my favorite expressions this Christmas: the face of shock Danielle had when she unwrapped her new camera.

Once reality set in, she couldn't help but cry tears of joy.

Here is our new photographer enjoying her new gift.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

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