Giving and receiving


Hands unite as one family member passes off flowers to another. Gift-giving brings along emotions of joy, love, and unity — regardless of whether one is on the giving or receiving end. (Photo Credit: Brooklyn Rue)

I’m sitting across the table from one of my closest friends at our mutual favorite restaurant. An enormous smile spans across my face as I lean over to grab the present I made a valiant effort to wrap. I hand it to her at the precise moment she hands me my very own package that is enveloped in candy cane wrapping paper with a glimmering bow to top it off. My eyes sparkle with excitement as I watch her open the gift I spent hours making and as she watches me open hers.

So, what’s better? The giving or the receiving?
When I was younger, it was most definitely the receiving. I can remember rolling in my bed, unable to sleep on Christmas Eve, and running downstairs every couple of hours to see if Santa had stuffed all of my presents under the tree yet. Nothing could make me happier than opening up each box to see what was inside.
But I found something that made my eyes glimmer and my spirits brighten just a bit more once I reached high school. Freshman year, I found myself in a tight knit group of friends who I adored more than life itself. Sometimes I felt compelled to show my appreciation for them — even if a holiday or birthday was not around the corner.
When a friend got sick and missed a few days of school, I made my way to Target and exhausted an afternoon scanning each aisle for a worthy present. I eventually settled on a hamburger piggy bank and a jumbo bag of Skittles. When a loved one was struggling with depression that was extremely potent during the holiday season, I did my best to bring her coffee, heartfelt cards, or my own personal copies of my favorite books nearly every morning.
I often find myself in absolute awe of the incredible friends I have around me. I scramble to find the right words to show my appreciation for them, and when words fail I do my best to have some kind of physical representation of my love for them. For me, this is most easily found in gift giving.
Gift giving isn’t something that should be limited to during the holidays. This Christmas season, do your best to give a little extra love to those you care about by putting your all into a present that you know will make their eyes illuminate with joy. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to show someone important to you how much you really do care.