What is the definition of a generous giver this holiday season? It is definitely not the person who buys the most gifts or spends the most money on gifts. A generous giver is the person who gives a donation to their favourite charity or honours someone by giving a donation to that person’s favourite charity. A generous giver is in no rush and has all of the time in the world to answer questions, share information, listen to good news and bad news and offer help, advice, support and encouragement. A generous giver is the person who uses a portion of their money to do random acts of kindness like paying for someone else’s coffee or transit fare, putting money in the Salvation Army kettle or setting aside part of their grocery money to buy non-perishable food while grocery shopping and putting it in the bin at the store. A generous giver makes time to perform other random acts of kindness that take little time and require no money like clearing out cupboards of warm clothes and bringing them to a shelter, Goodwill or the Salvation Army, cleaning out cupboards and bringing the food to the fire station and taking unused plates, cutlery, small appliances and electronics to a church or shelter. A generous giver will often decide to make something rather than buy something if they are a great cook, baker, sewer, knitter, painter or photographer. A generous giver never buys a gift without doing some thinking and planning. The thinking is what does this person really use, want and need and the planning is how to surprise this person with something that would delight them and that they would never buy for themselves. A generous giver focuses on others and makes it memorable.
What is the definition of a responsive receiver this holiday season? It is definitely not the person who refuses to open, accept or acknowledge the gift. A responsive receiver genuinely demonstrates their joy and gratitude at receiving the gift. A responsive receiver is not reluctant or resistant to receiving the gift. A responsive receiver will promptly express their thanks by e-mail, voicemail, phone conversation or in a beautiful, handwritten thank you note. A responsive receiver welcomes the gift with open arms and feels no discomfort at receiving it. A responsive receiver feel no pressure to reciprocate the gift and either match or exceed its value. A responsive receiver sees no underlying intent or purpose in the gift. A responsive receiver accepts the gift for what it is – an unexpected surprise, a thoughtful action, a generous gesture, a way to share abundance. A responsive receiver savours the delicious moment of being the recipient of an unexpected gift.
So commit to be a generous giver and responsive receiver not only during this holiday season but also throughout the year!