CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- "Oh honey, who wouldn't love this?!" exclaimed my mother-in-law to my then 5-year-old future husband. He had just presented her with perhaps the ugliest gift ever: a brown ceramic pigeon figurine hanging from a rope.
She told me how excited he was when he gave it to her, and how she wouldn't, for all the money in the world, let him know that it was hideous. She graciously thanked him, and proudly hung it in the window above the kitchen sink, where it remained until we were married.
Shortly thereafter, my mother-in-law happily re-gifted the pigeon to me, and I reacted with the same gratitude. In fact, it now has a special place in my house -- the basement, covered up, in a corner, in the dark.
Why am I telling you this? To make a point that no matter what the gift, one should always receive it with kindness and gratitude. After all, isn't it the thought that counts?
What brought the pigeon to my memory was a conversation that took place during a holiday cocktail party. Several people involved in the conversation commented on how rude and unthankful some people are after receiving a gift.
They told of seeing gift recipients roll their eyes after opening a present, to others not even mumbling an expression of thanks. In fact, one person said that after she presented a gift to someone, they immediately said that they were going to re-gift what she had just given them. How rude! One should never make the gift giver feel bad.
During the holiday gift-giving season, be sure to graciously receive a gift, no matter how ugly or unwanted, by remembering the following: