Sunday, January 9, 2011

On accepting gifts

As a grown up I realize that through the course of life I have learned many valuable lessons. Some of them were taught to me by my mom and dad. Some fo them I learned in school and through experience. Many of them I learned from my aunts. Now, I am an aunt and my oldest niece recently started her second semester of kindergarten. I know that they say everything you need to know you learn in kindergarten. I disagree. I believe that there are some things that one cannot learn in a classroom. These are lessons that can only be learning by living. So here it is. A year's worth of tiny words of wisdom for all the nieces and nephews out there, or really anyone who will listen. You may not agree with all fo them and they may not work for everybody, but each is a rule that I either try to live by or wish I did.

#51 Accept gifts gracefully...

Everybody has someone who gives them a present every year either for birthday or Christmas that you open it you automatically want to make a snarly face. Hopefully we were all taught at a young age to open gifts with rapture and delight instead of grimaces and winces.I have just a few things to say on the matter since I just recently finished spending Christmas with my family and watching everyone open gifts. Occasionally you hear one of the younger attendees say something like, "oh great I don't even play with these anymore," or the general... "oh.... thanks," before tossing their newest addition to the goodwill pile aside and reaching for the next gift. Sometimes it is not the words that linger in the air but the distortion of a face as it pulls from the tissue paper a wonderful, terrific... laser pointer or another pair of gloves.
Giving, lest we forget is about the thought put into into the gift. Granted sometimes that thought is a bit wacky or a lighter shade of pink that you would have hoped for.  However there is a process and a bit of skill involved in actually opening gifts gracefully, especially ones that you hate instantly and will never learn to love.
Number one... always be prepared for the worst possible thing to come out of that wrapping. Just assume that whatever your heart desires least is what you are about to get.
Number two... Open with a smile already on your face, because it is in fact a gift, so someone deemed you special enough to recieve it.
Number three... in a nonexageratted tone, as to avoid overkill, say something along the lines of "its wonderful," or "how did you know," or if you are really brave, "you are such a good gift giver. You always pick just the right thing."
Number four... If the object at hand is clothing that you hate, gracefully check for a gift reciept and if there is not one simply look at the tag, chuckle and say "oh how sweet, but I am afraid I haven't seen that size in a very long time. Where'd you get it." If the object is something that you use or set around simply say something to the effect of "I think so and so would love one of these. Where did you find such a lovely porcelian pig ash tray.
Number five... This one is very important. Never EVER make a snarly face when opening a gift and seeing something that you hate. You what I am talking about. it is so reflexive that you don't even notice yourself doing it. Your face squenches up and you look like a bunny. You say "thank you" politely, but what your face says is, "really she thought I would like that."
Be graceful at accepting gifts. It will at least insure that you will continue to recieve them.

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