It’s that time of year again: the season of gift-giving. Names of our loved ones are jotted down and accompanied with gift ideas and items to be in search for. We associate this season with wonderful things, such as joy, kindness and generosity; however, those are not the only components of the “Christmas spirit.”
Our culture is led by the marketing industry, 2-day shipping, and free returns. The Amazon Wish List makes things even more convenient for both the giver and receiver. These modern advantages are not inherently a problem, but they might contribute to us having the wrong attitude, particularly when it comes to receiving gifts.
There’s a good chance you’ll not only be a giver of gifts this Christmas, but also a receiver of them (at least you hope so). We’re familiar with our need to be a “cheerful giver,” but what should our attitude be when we are the receiver? Giving and receiving go hand-in-hand and can be done either cheerfully or grudgingly.
Have you ever been given something that’s not quite your cup of tea? That’s a perfect time to check your “receiving spirit” – Do you feel annoyed? Are you offended that the giver should have “known better?” If we’re not careful, we’ll naturally respond this way, because way down deep inside we honestly believe that we deserve better. It takes work to be a cheerful, thankful receiver even if we do wind up receiving the proverbial fruit cake. 🙂
We must remind ourselves that the thing received is not important – it fades, goes out of style, and breaks. However, the person who gives it IS important. A great life lesson is to learn to accept whatever act of kindness another person wishes to give. By doing this, we encourage one another to be cheerful givers and we fulfill our responsibility to God by showing genuine love and appreciation for the gift and the giver, even when what we’ve been given is not what we think it should be.
What is your spirit when receiving gifts? This Christmas, as you receive gifts, check to see if your spirit is cheerful, others-centered, and genuinely grateful, whatever the gift might be. This Christ-like spirit will encourage the giver, give them joy in giving, and will be a reflection of the ultimate Christmas Gift – our Savior, Jesus Christ.