An email this morning ended with “thanks for blessing so many with your gift.” This made me pause, pre-coffee, and ponder.
(Bear with me – this might get rambly. I’m writing my way to understanding on this cold Monday morning.)
This time of year, gifts occupy front and center in my head. What should I get for that person, or the other? Am I forgetting someone? Is this too much, or not enough, or just right? I am so focused on the physical, wrap it up and put a bow on it. I love finding just the right “thing” for another person; what I really have trouble with is the idea that this is the time of year when I’m supposed to do it. I prefer to stumble on something, flash “Oh this is PERFECT for whatshisname”, get it, give it, and really love the look on whatshisname’s face. Part of the wonder of gift giving is when the recipient is not expecting it, neither the object itself nor the simple act of the gift.
Is that my grumpiness now? I am not a fan of Christmas, not the hype nor the incessant music pouring out of the stores nor the fake cheeriness. I love Thanksgiving, where the focus is on family and togetherness. Much less so this commercialism.
Are gifts more powerful when we are not expecting them?
I’m reminded of when we got back from sailing, when people told us over and over again how brave we were to go off like we did. This definition of bravery never occurred to us. We just did it – it was what we needed to do. How brave can it be to just do what you ought to do? What made it brave to others was that they couldn’t fathom being able to make that kind of decision.
This time of year is ripe for gift giving and receiving. Expected or not, when something appears in your life, wrapped up with a shiny bow, the proper response is “Thank you!”
We all know how to respond when someone gives us a present. “Wow! Thanks!” The response, however, to your gratitude, can sometimes detract from your enjoyment of the gift.
“It was nothing.” “It’s small.” “I got it on sale.”
Why do we do this? Why do we belittle the present we’ve just handed someone? Who cares what size it is, or how much it cost? What happened to “you’re welcome”?
I love opening my home, my kitchen, to friends and family. There is some work involved, yes, but I kind of blow off the “clean everything until it shines” aspect and concentrate on the “make food that’s delicious and happy” aspect. I pretty much feel like people will have fun and feel good and that’s really the whole point.
I don’t consider this personality quirk a “gift” – it’s just part of who I am.
So many people have gifts. Teachers, leaders, writers, athletes, actors. They do with ease what the rest of us can only gape at. Talents, abilities, specialties. There is often a lot of work behind what seems effortless – but the desire to do it, the innate “this is who I am” nature? That’s the real gift, for the person and for the people it’s shared with.
Just because something comes naturally doesn’t mean it’s any less of a gift. And if someone points it out, makes us see things from an outside perspective? The proper response is “thank you!”
Thank you to my readers. Your eyes on my words are a gift to me. Even if I never know about them.