A bit of a follow-up to yesterday, but on the other end of it. As much as this holiday may be about the act of giving, there is grace in receiving as well. There will be times when those around you will want to give you something out of affection or friendship, and it is tempting to decline or to explain why you didn’t give them something or to make a blanket statement on why you don’t want anything. Though it may be difficult to do so, try to let go of your reservations. Respond kindly. Acknowledge the act with gratitude and joy in the moment. You may never know how much that means to someone.
Gifts: some people love the tradition of gift-giving. For others, it’s an exercise in stressing the eff out. Not only is it a lot of work – whether you’re buying or handmaking presents – but there’s always that feeling of, “Am I giving gifts that are good enough? Is x person even going to care?” or “Am I going to be the odd man out who hasn’t purchased extravagant items?” Relax. Any gift given is a reflection of love. It doesn’t matter what it is; if it’s thoughtful and given with affection, there’s no contest.
Why does it always feel like the holidays are some kind of competition? A contest to see who is charitable enough, who is good enough, who has enough money and time to be the best gift-giver or receiver out there? But the fact is this: you don’t have a thing to prove. Do as much as you’re able, and if you give from your heart, be satisfied. The people who matter will already love you, and you deserve that love. Let it in.