Receiving Gifts


This is a time of year for giving and receiving. The giving part is easy as I gifted my staff with gifts that expressed my appreciation for their hard work. I gave gift cards for coffee and food, pens for writing, and a lanyard with the name of the school misspelled. I retrieved the lanyard. The “ideal woman” or perfectionist side of me would not allow misspelled words to exist on our campus. This makes me giggle as I remember there are lots of misspelled words at a school on the way to becoming spelled correctly. Oh, well…

The receiving part is proving to be more of a problem. This is what I have learned on how to receive a gift. To receive means to let in, have room for, or to allow. In order to receive I most pause for the gift and cannot be multi-tasking. First, I notice the gift, really look at it and see the details. I notice the color, texture, shape, size, smell, and always any beauty. Then I see the motivation for the gift. Was this gift an expression of a need of mine? Was this gift an expression of a passion that I carry? Was this gift an expression of something I share about? If I don’t know the motivation for the gift then I ask, “What made you think of me when you made or bought this gift?” Finally, I write or tell the giver what difference this gift will make in my life and how I will be using the gift or treasuring the gift in the future.

Two of my students and their family gave me handmade ornaments as a gift. This is how I received the gift: I paused, stood still, and bent down to tell the children that I loved the cinnamon smell, the sparkle of the glitter, and how Santa’s silly eyes made me laugh. I said, “Art and hand made gifts make me happy.” Then, I asked the children, “Did you make these for me?” While their big smiles nodded up and down, I told them these ornaments would be on my Christmas tree each year. When I place these ornaments on the tree I would remember them.

The three simple steps to receive any gift:
1. Pause/ notice
2. Motivation
3. Difference/Future

My wish for you is that you have the freedom to receive all the gifts at this magical time of year.

Merry Christmas!