"At Christmastime we talk a lot about giving, and we all know that “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” but I wonder if sometimes we disregard or even disparage the importance of being a good receiver.
On a Christmas day many years ago, a young girl received a beautiful beading kit. The girl’s father suggested that she make something for one of her relatives who had assembled for a family party.The girl’s face lit up, and she went to work creating what she thought would be a perfect gift. She picked out the person she wanted to make it for—an elderly aunt with an unhappy face and a harsh personality.
“Perhaps if I make her a bracelet,” the little girl thought, “it will make her happy.”
And so she carefully selected each bead and did her very best to make this a special gift for her aunt. When she finally finished, she approached her aunt, handed her the bracelet, and told her she had designed it and made it just for her. Silence descended on the room as the aunt picked up the bracelet with her finger and thumb as though she were holding a string of slimy snails. She looked at the gift, squinted her eyes and scrunched up her nose, and dropped the bracelet back into the hands of the little girl. She then turned away from her without saying one word and began talking to someone else.The little girl blushed with embarrassment. With deep disappointment she quietly walked out of the room. " -The Good and Grateful Receiver, President Utchdorf, December 2012, LDS. org
Last Christmas I helped my kids make their gifts for each other. Well actually I guided them to the gift I wanted them to make. Then after they were done helping I would fix any flaws on their gifts to ensure it looked perfect. But after listening to his message I feel guilty for not being a grateful receiver. I allowed my OCD, perfection get in the way of what they were doing.
So to amend my wrongs from last year's Christmas this year I'm only helping with the research.
The other day I pulled Lily aside and talked with her on what she wanted to give her siblings for Christmas. She was unsure so I logged onto Pinterest and we began searching. She finally settled on a few things. We made her list of things she would need, went to the store, purchased the few items and came home to begin working on everything.
And this is where I just sat back and watched with delight. I completely underestimated her ability to construct and create. She made Mason a dinosaur terrarium that looks great. Hailey she painted an old jewerly box of mine and colored a photo to stick inside the framed part. And for Ducati she picked up a bag of balloons for her. She wanted to blow them up then put them in a big box. So I asked her if we could blow them up closer to Christmas to ensure the air doesn't go away. She agreed and we'll blow them up on Christmas Eve.
And while I witnessed my little girl doing her own thing I started up again with my OCD, perfectionism. There's no primer on the box, there's too much dirt in the jar, blah, blah, blah. Blah. That's all it was. So course I didn't tell her any of this stuff. But when I refocused my attention back on Lily and not myself I seen the most precious moment. As she was painting Hailey's box she began talking to herself.
"Oh Lily how did you paint this for me? It's so beautiful." in a silly imitation voice of Hailey.
"And I'll say that I painted it just for her. And she'll love it." I guess this would be Lily's reply to what imagination Hailey is going to say. :-)
She's so proud of herself and all her hardwork she put into her gifts. But to ensure there's no ungrateful receivers like the aunt from the story this Christmas I plan to read this story during FHE.
But above all it was a great lesson for me. And for this I'm thankful. :-)