In complement to my Scrooge post, in which I hopefully expressed my feelings about the nature of true giving, and it not being about packages and such, well, it occurred to me that there is another side of this, too. Receiving.
Most of us simply do not know how to receive. Oh, yes, when it comes to packages we learn early, I’m not talking about that, but since it’s that time of year, let me get it out of the way before I move on to the point of this post.
As kids, we love getting presents, and as adults too. In my previous post I mentioned a point in my childhood where getting gifts became stressful because I didn’t know what to say if I didn’t actually like something. And it made giving difficult because I didn’t want others to feel that awkwardness I felt when wondering what to say. Remember, I would learn to say things like “That’s nice of you” instead of “I love it” because I hated pretense of any sort. Well, the thing is, eventually it didn’t have to be pretense. I learned as I grew up, that I could feel the loving intent in the gifts even if it was something silly or useless. In other words, I learned to receive gifts in appreciation of the gesture. It truly is “the thought that counts”. I eventually did “get it”. The words took on meaning within me.
But I stand by what I said in the previous post – Xmas is still too much about packages under a tree, and not enough about real giving. I wonder why that is? Maybe it’s because we, as a society, are still at that stage of receiving, where the only thing we know how to appreciate are tangible gifts.
Lets get off the topic of packages. On to the real point of this post – receiving.