“For it is in giving that we receive.” — Francis of Assisi
What do Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings, Graduations, and Holidays have in common?
They are all celebrations of a person or event. At such times we often gather with friends and
family, share food and give gifts. These events activate what a dear friend of mine calls, ‘anticipatory delight’. This phrase expresses the excitement that children feel ‘the night before Christmas’ or a student may experience as they prepare to receive their well-earned diploma.
Gifts are a way of expressing our joy, appreciation, honor or congratulations to another. Gift-
giving is an important part of human interaction and is probably as old as humanity.
When was the last time you gave or received a gift?
Are you a gracious giver?
Are you a receptive receiver?
There is something that happens beyond the actual present itself when a gift is freely given and
opening received. Sometimes we feel pressure from society, tradition, family or our own inner judgement to ‘give a gift’. Or we may allow the commercialism of a seasonal event such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day to push us into giving because we feel we ‘should.’ “Should giving” can carry with it the frustration or resentment with which the gift was selected.
Is that what you want to give?
Before creating, baking or selecting a gift, ask yourself the following questions:
WHO would I like to celebrate, honor, or appreciate?
WHY is this person important to me?
WHAT do I want my gift to express?
HOW do I want to give the gift? (with joy, gratitude, surprise, congratulations)
Taking a few moments to reflect on these questions will make a difference in your giving and your receiving. Remember that long after the gift is gone –the spirit with which it was given will remain.
Your most Precious Present is your Presence.
Ilene Kimsey, PhD