How Gift Giving and Receiving Could Be Much Less Stressful for You and Others
No matter how early you go shopping for your Christmas gifts, no matter how much planning you put into the process, there seems to be stress involved. Will they like what you gave them, will they hate it, did you spend enough, or did you spend too much? Stress, stress, stress and it really doesn’t have to be that way.
Much of the stress we have has more to do with our expectations. We envision what it will be like when the person opens the gift, especially if they will be doing it in front of others. We want them to be happy, to be overjoyed, and to absolutely love what we gave them. The truth is that they probably will, but unless they are under the age of ten they may not scream and jump around the room like we hope they will do. Be careful as to how your expectations grow and keep them in check. If all you expect is that they will enjoy the gift and put it to good use, then anything above and beyond that will be a bonus and your feeling won’t be hurt if they quickly set down your gift and reach for the next.
Keep in mind that while you have grand expectations for the receiving of the gifts you give, so do those that are giving gifts to you. Here you must be careful. If you go bonkers over the purple pineapple salt and pepper shakers your aunt bought you then be prepared to get the matching platter next year. Never mind you are going to have to put them out for use during the next family gathering since you like them so much. You have to be careful about being too excited over the gift that doesn’t exactly float your boat — besides, everyone else will wonder if your gratitude for their gift is sincere.
So how do you thank someone for a gift that you can’t quite figure out how to like? You are gracious. You are grateful for the thoughtfulness in giving you the gift. There is according to some lifestyle experts a way to handle that gift giver that always punishes you with their idea of your style — thank them for their thoughtfulness, their giving you a gift, everything but the actual gift. You show gratitude for the act of giving, which is of course what is most important.
In receiving gifts, you should again lower your expectations. A gift from someone should never be expected to change your life — though some might, which is wonderful, but most of the time it was a gift that was chosen because someone wanted to do something kind for you — like a smile, a hug, or a kind word. If you think of it that way then every gift you receive will be welcomed and treasured. Expressing your gratitude in such a way will make the gift giver happy. Less stress for you and less for them in wondering if they chose well.
Gift giving should never be stressful. A gift can never express how much someone means to you or how much you want for them to be happy. The same can be said for the person giving you a gift — they want you to know they care for you and they want you to be happy. So be happy, in giving and in receiving.
The real gift is that we get to be in each other’s lives and have an opportunity to do something kind and thoughtful, whether it is for family, friends, coworkers, or people you will never meet if it was through charity giving. Being kind and thoughtful is something we should do all year long, and Christmas reminds us of how important it is, and how much it is needed in the world — it becomes the focus — to think of others and bring joy to someone unselfishly.
Don’t be stressed. Let the person receiving the gift you chose know you care about them, that you want to make them smile, to make them happy, and know how much you appreciate them — let them know in spoken words. Then they will feel the way you had hoped when they open up the WIFI connected battery operated salt and pepper shaker set you so carefully picked out.
Enjoy the spirit of the gift more than what it is — even if you love the gift — the spirit of giving and receiving should outshine the gift itself. Make it happen.
Thank you for reading — it means a lot to me. I appreciate your sharing as well. Please follow me on Medium, Twitter, or LinkedIn — I’d love to connect and be a part of your network team. On social media I share my own articles, but also those that I find helpful and relevant to business, success, entrepreneurship, community enhancement, and personal development. You can find out more about me at SherryBlue.com.