Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Giving and Receiving

I love giving gifts to the people I love and know well.  I love finding just the right thing for just the right person.  I enjoy the Nancy Drew skills that are necessary to ferret out what a person would truly be blessed to receive.  I love listening and looking for clues concerning the perfect gift.  For me, there is a singular sense of satisfaction in knowing a gift was perfectly given and received.

I am, however, terrible at receiving gifts.  There is so little that I want and nothing that I need.  I am blessed on all fronts and my love language is not receiving gifts, it's quality time.  That pretty much counts out anyone not within 100 miles.  If I want something, I will tell the gift giver exactly what I want and expect to receive it, as described.  That rarely flies with my family.

A few years ago, my husband bought me an absolutely gorgeous past-present-future diamond necklace for my birthday.  It was beautiful and it wasn't what I'd requested.  What I'd really wanted was a new bedroom complete with bedding, freshly painted walls and a boutique hotel feel.  Since our master bath is attached, the new bedroom would have to spill over into a new bathroom.  I wasn't expecting a complete remodel, just a surface job but still somewhat pricey. 

As I opened the sparkling diamond necklace all I could think was, "It'll be another year before I can have my bedroom."  That's definitely not the response my darling husband was looking for when he selected my beautiful necklace.   I totally blew it.  I knew it at that moment and I know it today.

This year, I got money for my birthday from my dh.  He's not going to be guilty of selecting the wrong gift again.  I can't blame him.  It is beyond disheartening to anticipate the perfect gift and find it's disappointing to the receiver.  I am blessed that he thought of me at all and that he's so generous with his gift giving dollars.  I'm sad that I've made it difficult for him to feel joyful about giving me a gift.  I'm sad that I feel no joy in selecting a gift for myself.  I have bought a few things but I suspect the rest of the money will sit and wait for an emergency where a few extra dollars will come in handy.

Gift giving is a tricky thing.  Sometimes it is better to give than to receive and sometimes it's best to be a good receiver.

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