For Christmas this year, I started a new tradition. At the first of December, I made a pact with myself to drop off one gift every day for 12 days. The gifts did not need to be expensive, but they had to be thoughtful. Something not wasteful, not frivolous, but gifts that would make the recipient feel seen and valued. It has been great to practice “giving” without worrying about “getting”. This has not been easy, but honestly has brought great joy to me. What has been interesting is how they have been received.
Some people have been skeptical…wondering what I wanted by delivering a gift. Some people have been gracious sending pictures of them enjoying the item. Others have dropped off a gift at my home….uncomfortable not being on the same status of gift giving. Others have been hard on themselves for not having the idea or for not being a good “gift giver”. Pretty much, I have learned that people struggle with receiving generosity.
This makes me wonder about our ability to receive and feel joy from a gift. One of my long-time vendors last week had a gift for ME and treated me to lunch after a training session. It was so precious. This was my first time (as the vendor) being gifted and it was just lovely. I could tell it brought her and the department great joy and I left feeling loved and served. My ability to receive the gift was also a gift. I appreciated their thoughtfulness.
How are you doing being a good receiver this holiday? Can you just sit in the joy of being gifted? Or do you feel your value only when you have a gift to give in return? Are you being generous with yourself and the season of life you are in? Can you receive even when you can’t afford to give?
Learning to be generous sometimes begins by being generous to our ourselves. Try recognizing with non-judgement this season: kindness, respect and care. Learn to be a good receiver and celebrate the fact that someone cares enough to even try.
Chief Team Developer