Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Art of Giving and Receiving

Okay, so as you can imagine, I have several pet peeves. I don't have the time to, nor would I want to burden you with all the things that bother me. However, considering the time of year, I think that my pet peeve at people's lack of thought and graciousness with gift giving is an appropriate one to address. When I was younger, a teenager I think, my sister and I spent a great deal of money purchasing a Christmas gift for my mother. Now, anyone who knows Margrett, knows that she does not mix words and back then, she was younger and had very little tact. I don't remember what it looked like, but I know it was something to wear. Seeing that I shopped with Taffy, I am sure it was something nice, but definitely meant to "update" mom's wardrobe. When she opened the gift, she looked it over and then looked us straight in the face and said, "Take this back. You didn't buy this for me." I agree that that is in no way how to graciously accept a gift, but since she was our mother and her goal was to teach us, she said this with the best of intentions. The lesson we quickly learned was that when purchasing a gift, you have to keep the recipient in mind. The amount of money you spend or how nice the gift is has little to do with whether or not they will like the gift. So goes the old adage, "it's the thought that counts". That is in no way meant to mean that as long as you think about getting something, you did enough. It means that the most important part of a gift is that you take the time to really think about what a person likes or needs and spend your time getting something for that person. A gift that instantly says, I know you well. I try to always remember that lesson, as I hope all of you will remember it too this holiday season. I would rather have something that I would like and need that you bought at a dollar store than something that doesn't look like me or is useless that you spent $100 on (later in life I am sure my kids will love this). However, with that being said, if we are in a gift exchanging situation (family drawings for example) and you have to ask what to give me and actually want a detailed gift description to include where to buy it, then you really shouldn't be buying me anything anyway. I love the surprise of the holiday. I like seeing what you WANT to give me. If you are going to go out and get the exact item I wanted and then you want me to do the same thing, then we should just keep our money and purchase what we want on our own. I take time to think about every gift. I LOVE giving gifts. If you get a gift from me, that doesn't mean that I expect you to buy me something (although I do like presents). It means that I thought of you when I bought the gift and seeing you happy to get it is enough. I am the "happy" person. I buy little things on occasion and give them to people just because. This is not an invite to message me about how you can become a recipient! You will just have to wait and see :) I plan to teach my children just as my mother taught me (hopefully with more tact). Everyone tries to remember about the receiving part and sending a thank you note. That is a dying art that I want to make sure doesn't die in my family too, but take the time to teach about giving and giving without expectations. It is amazing how just a few dollars and a little time can brighten a person's day. You should try it this year.

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