Prepare to Receive Good Things

Christmas is a good time for many people to sharpen their receiving skills. Even though it is better to give than to receive, being able to receive things graciously makes life richer.

Many of your friends and family know how to pick out just the right sweater/pen/knicknack that delights you. Others give you gifts that perplex you. And on occasion, you get left out.

Mostly females are better at giving gifts, I think that is because this half of the human population is simply more attuned to nuance. However, one of my all-time favorite gifts was a red Waterman fountain pen Ruben gave me for my birthday. This was before I started writing Mixonian; he saw the writer in me and wanted to encourage me to write beyond what was being required of me in my studies.

Think about different ways to see the gift you receive, but to which you see no connection to yourself. There are several factors to consider:

1. It could be that the giver is not skilled at selecting gifts. Probably this person has other redeeming qualities; you can take this opportunity to remind yourself how this person is wonderful in other ways.

2. It could be that the giver sees something in you that is not evident to yourself. Maybe it’s a color you don’t wear, but one that actually looks stunning on you. Maybe it’s a line of thinking you should explore.

3. It could be that life got really complicated this year for the giver and so fewer resources were devoted to gift selection in general.

4. It’s possible that you overestimated the value of your relationship to the other person. Maybe that person is not so much into you as you thought. If you think this is the case, no drama is needed, simply redirect your energy to other relationships and activities.

It’s not that you can necessarily know what is going on with that gift you got that you just do not understand. Take the opportunity though, to look past the gift itself, to the giver and how much you appreciate this person.

The way we choose to interpret events in our lives determines much of the effect those same events have on us. There is more leeway than you might think. Be generous this season in your receiving of gifts, just as you are in giving them. It’s a season of delight.

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