Giving and Receiving

It’s the holiday season. I had to pick up a package from the post office (not a present), and I was commiserating with the postal worker.

“Lift from the knees. It’s going to be a long holiday.”

She moaned and thanked me. We were looking out for each other. It is the season for giving and receiving of gifts.

My dear husband nags me every season to write out a list of what things I would like to receive. It’s so hard to think of things!

My daughter does not have that problem. This is probably the last year that Santa is still mostly real for her, and she will ask for anything. A Unicorn, a pony, a REAL kid-sized BMW.

Me, I am too busy thinking of what I must get for everyone else that it feels like a burden. I know what Christmas is all about: all the other people. And I like giving gifts!

A few years ago I was walking down the street, and saw a man standing at a bus stop. “All the busses go out of service as soon as they pass me!”

“Where are you trying to go?”


“Oh, you need to stand on the other side of the street to catch the bus to Pasadena.”

“I know what bus I need, but they keep going out of service as soon as they get here.”

I tried to tell him, three times. He was so sure of what he knew and that he understood what was going on, he couldn’t receive the information I was telling him.

How about that.

Holidays can be like that too.

A couple years ago, Chris bought me a kindle for Christmas! Oh, thank you baby! How sweet! How nice!

I tried one or two books on it and then let it gather dust. I knew I liked the feel and smell of physical books.

And there it sat…for more than a year, until I came to the end of a book, a first in a compelling trilogy and I HAD to read the next one. They didn’t have it at the library or bookstore, so kindle it was.

I now have more than 200 books in my kind library, 90% of which I’ve read. I often make buying choices based on whether it is available in kindle. I’ve upgraded to the Paperwhite and love it.

I didn’t even let myself have it for several years. Like the stubborn man at the wrong bus stop, I was so sure of myself that I missed out.

So here is a call to action, Wonder Readers. This holiday season, open up and see what you can receive. Yes, presents and stockings and baked goods and drinks.

But maybe try new things. Let your musical relatives know you’d be interested in hearing a new song or artist, and the sorts of things you like, rather than dreading having to hear THEIR noisy favorites that you can’t stand. Tell them what you like and let them surprise you with what they know.

Ask about books, or recipes or movies or hobbies. See what else there is to experience in this wide world.

There is so much more than any of us have time for!