It is more blessed to give than to receive – since the ability to give is a already a blessing.
Gifts used to be something someone really wanted or needed by didn’t have the means or couldn’t justify the cost or purchasing it themselves. These days, if adults want something they generally go out and buy it for themselves if they can.
I received two wonderful gifts this year – a used CD from a friend who had downloaded the music to his ipod. He knew how much I loved the music, and he gave me his CD because he knows I don’t spend money on music. I’ve been playing it ever since. The second one was the elegant meal prepared by friends. It was magical! It was the kind of meal that I could never justify going to a restaurant and ordering – but one I enjoyed beyond belief. These two gifts clearly came from the heart.
Another gift I will be receiving (our original meeting was canceled due to bad weather) is a “box of underwear.” This friend insisted on buying me a gift and after explaining I didn’t want anything I told her I could use some underwear (and who couldn’t?) and she wrote down the brand, size and style. Knowing her I will not need to purchase underwear for the next five years. Grant it, it is something I would have and could have purchased myself, but, she know how much I hate shopping. Another gift from the heart.
And, after explaining to the final gift-giver that “I really don’t want anything” and she insisted she WAS going to buy me something, I told I really needed slippers and was planning to go out and purchase new ones since my precious Pitt-Puppy had chewed my last pair.” She said great – she would take care of that. Guess what? No slippers – I got something I already have several of (other Christmas gifts) and rarely use. So, for almost two months my feet have been freezing because she told me that was what she was going to give me as a gift.
I found myself in tears (and not the good kind). Her gift means I will need to stand in the return line for $10 (the price of the slippers) at a store I generally refuse to enter, or stick it in a drawer never to be used. And… I still need to buy myself slippers.
Does my desire to not receive junk or useless items as gifts make me a bad or ungrateful person? Aren’t I entitled to set parameters for the kind of materials that come into my house? Or, do I just need to get over myself? Any thoughts?