Yesterday I was chatting with the cashier as I left Loews.
I asked if he was ready for Christmas and he said, “yes.”
“Really,” I said, “you’ve done ALL your shopping?”
“Yeah,” he said, “I just get everybody gift cards.”
“Well, that’s no fun,” I said with a smile.
He looked in my eyes and said, “I used to buy gifts, but my wife never liked what I bought.”
Uh oh, I thought, that woman’s not very smart.
With a negative attitude like that, she’s lucky he gets her any present.
He followed up by adding, “I quit buying gifts for my nephews,
because they always complained that I didn’t give what they wanted.”
As I left the store, I thought of my former mother-in-law.
She told me she loved to give gifts to my kids,
because they were always appreciative of whatever she gave them.
Years ago my mother taught me the SMART way to RECEIVE gifts.
She said, “You should always look at the giver, not the gift.”
As they hand you the gift, look in their face, smile and say thank you.
Then, when you open the gift, be sure to say something nice,
even if you don’t like the gift.
But don’t be dishonest or insincere!
You can always find something nice to say.
For example, you might say, “You’re so sweet to think of me.”
Or, “I really appreciate the time you took.”
And, of course, if someone sends a gift, always send a thank you note.
This makes it fun for people to give you gifts!
And, then you’re more likely to receive more gifts!
But, what should you do if you really DON’T like the gift…
and they keep giving you more of the same over the years?
Maybe your mother gives you a red sweater every year, because she thinks you should wear red.
And worse yet, she asks why she never sees you wearing the red sweater she gave you.
I suggest you look for a diplomatic way to let her know that your tastes have changed, or maybe that there’s a different color or size that would suit you better.
But do that later, not when opening the gift!
For example, you might say, (early next year in November), “Do you remember the red sweater you gave me?
It was so thoughtful of you to give me something pretty.
I really appreciate it!
But, the other day, I met with a stylist who suggested that my best colors are shades of blue, to enhance my blue eyes and blonde hair.
So I thought I’d let you know, in case you wanted to get me something I’d love.”
And if she asks what you did with the red sweater…
tell her that your dark-eyed friend, loved it and begged you to give it to her.
Of course, just to make yourself honest, ask your friend to “beg you for the sweater” and give it to her.
By the way, that reminds me of the SMART way to GIVE a gift.
Give it, then let go, don’t have strings attached.
Never check back to see if they used it the way you expected them to.
No one wants to be “controlled” by gifts!
I hope your Holiday Season if full of gifts and love!
To Your Relationship Mastery,