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Articles    H4'ed 11/26/09

The Gift of Receiving--A Pre-Season Guide To Staying Stress Free

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Some Seasonal Pointers For Giving Stresslessly

"¢ A good gift is a good match—not for us, for the recipient. If you've never ever seen Johnny watching spectator sports but you get him tickets to the Rose Bowl because you think it would be "good for him," who's the gift for? You or Johnny?

"¢ A good gift shows some thought, but it isn't overdone. Giving beyond your means is not only stressful to you, it may be awkward for the recipient or perceived as excessive. Keep the gift loving but appropriate to the relationship, especially when you're giving to co-workers.

"¢ A good gift demonstrates your feelings about the relationship and how you value it. It doesn't have to be expensive or flamboyant. The best gifts are often the gifts that show someone was paying attention all year, for instance, remembering the time your friend, Joan, commented on how much she liked a pair of gloves she saw in a catalog or how your colleague, Rob, wanted a particular DVD. Simple things, perhaps. But important.

"¢ Good gifts show some effort on your part, not something you picked up at a local supermarket while you were in the toy aisle.

"¢ A good gift should NEVER symbolize your dissatisfaction with another person or make a statement about how you wish they would give up smoking, lose weight, or tone up. A good gift speaks of acceptance.

"¢ A good gift is almost never a joke. A joke has a time and place. A birthday or a special holiday is usually not it.

"¢ A good gift is something someone would probably not get himself. According to Margaret Rucker, a professor of textiles and an expert in the science of gifting, "It's not a gift if it has a cord attached."

Some Pointers on Receiving Well

Say thank you and put a period at the end of it. Refrain from repeating "You shouldn't have," or "Oh, this is too much," or, the worst, "How could you possibly afford to do this?"

Acknowledge any anxiety you experience and file it away for later. Express only joy and gratitude. Let people know that you have received their kindness and their love.

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Judith Acosta, LISW, CHT is a licensed psychotherapist and clinical homeopath in private practice in Placitas and Albuquerque. Her areas of specialization include the treatment of anxiety, depression, and trauma. She has appeared on both television (more...)
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