Gifts are a two-edged sword and since the season of giving is coming soon, I’m going to throw this out there right now. Given from the heart, gifts are an expression of our love. I was told a long time ago that a gift should be something you would love to have yourself. If you give something you would like to keep for yourself, then you are truly giving a gift of value. I get that, but there is another side to that sentiment. Is my taste the same as everyone else’s? Heck no, and here’s another question. Should I be practical for them – or – give a needy person something extravagant they would never be able to get for themselves? I don’t know the answers. I would love to hear your opinion on this.

Here comes the even trickier part: receiving gifts that you don’t like. It takes practice to keep a poker face, something I don’t have much luck doing. My process mechanism is slow and antiquated and gets me in a lot of hot water. I try now to think about the intent of the giver before tearing off the paper, never mind that the 8” plastic Christmas tree is the ugliest thing you will ever see (that is an actual gift my paternal grandmother gave our family when I was young). If the person’s heart is in the right place, then a gracious thank you is the appropriate response. The End. They don’t have to know you threw it away shortly thereafter.

Learning how to graciously receive gifts that are not exactly what we want – is almost an art form, and really something we should all strive to master. Look beyond the gift itself to the intent of the giver. The platitude “It is the thought that counts” is still around because it is true.

Yikes. You can see why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No gifts are attached to the tradition, just too much food followed by football and a nap.

About Barbara K Tyner

A graduate of UCCS with a degree in English Lit., Barbara writes Children's Literature as well as mainstream fiction. Her popular children's series, The Badger Books, is co-authored with Barbara's daughter, Laura. Her first novel, "Wait Here, Wait There" deals with grief and Alzheimer's. Her second novel, Rhyaden, a middle grade fantasy released Nov. 2018. Gardening, exploring National Parks, Kayaking, hiking, and snow-shoeing top her list of favorite hobbies.
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