Is this not the biggest poinsettia you have ever seen? This was a thank you gift from a family that my daughter has been helping out at church. I’ve been thinking a lot about how special it was to receive this gift. It seems like I often forget to thank the giver of services rendered and gifts received.
I love the quote, “Always give without remembering and receive without forgetting.” It’s remembering all the little things that people do for you. I think Christmas time is an excellent time to teach your kids how to be a gracious receiver of gifts and kind acts.
How do you become a gracious receiver of gifts?
Accept the gift-Most of the time, gifts are given out of love. Accepting those gifts can be the hardest part. I tend to say things like, “Oh that’s okay” or “You shouldn’t have” or “This isn’t necessary”. When really we should be more willing to accept the kind gesture/gift without a fuss. This doesn’t come naturally for me. However, I have seen blessings come from serving and giving to others. But even better are the blessings you get from graciously receiving thanks.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “Every gift that is offered to us, especially a gift that comes from the heart, is an opportunity to build or strengthen our bond of love. When we’re good and grateful receivers, we open a door to deepen our relationship with the giver of this gift. But when we fail to appreciate or even reject a gift, we not only hurt those who extend themselves to us, but in some way we harm ourselves as well.”
Say Thank you- When you receive a gift or a service saying a simple “Thank you” goes a long way. There are many ways to say thank you, “That is so kind” “You are very thoughtful” “I appreciate your kindness”. When our kids were little we would whisper to them to go say thank you for gifts-now it is usually a habit for them to say it without any prodding.
Do a little more to show your gratitude for the gift/service-Thank you is sometimes all you need to say. But sometimes you can go the extra step to show your appreciation. Thank you aren’t nearly as popular as in the past-but they are still important and are a great way to show added thoughtfulness for the gift/service. Simple, personalized words expressed bring so much happiness to the giver. We’ve always had our kids hug grandparents and tell them thank you immediately after opening gifts received. If you start them when they are little, then as they get older it isn’t awkward to hug or kiss grandparents. We love homemade cards! The kids can draw a picture of them with the giver or write about the gift. Have the kids write from their hearts! We also like to take selfies of us with the gift and send it to the giver telling them how much we loved it-a picture is worth a 1,000 words, right?
Showing gratitude is so important for kids. Teach them to notice when someone does something nice for them…hold a door, finish some chores, helps with homework, gives them a Christmas gift (even one they don’t love). We have had lots of conversations about that-what do you say if you get something unusual or you already have? Showing gratitude even in those situations is important.
When someone does something kind, we try to encourage our kids to write a kind note or text them a thank you note. For Christmas, we had our kids write thank you cards for teachers and church leaders and then we took them around to each house. We are always surprised how much the kids really enjoy doing that activity…and I usually get some texts back thanking my kids.
These things really don’t seem like a big thing and they usually don’t take much time, but they do make a difference to the giver AND the receiver. Show your thoughtfulness. Teach your kids the importance of HOW to receive a gift. What things do you do to teach your kids to be gracious receivers?
Ponder this…The greatest gift ever given was from a loving Heavenly Father who sent His son here to help us! How will you show your gratitude to Him?