Receiving gifts requires humility and grace. In fact, in some countries there is a strict protocol. In Singapore, for example, gifts are not unwrapped in the presence of the giver so as not to appear greedy. In China, a gift should be refused three times before accepting, and in Russia, gifts for adults are opened in the presence of others, while those for children are done in private. The Japanese custom is to refuse a gift at least twice. When it is received, it is done so with both hands.
Our ability to receive a gift is just as important as giving one. Make sure your acceptance is genial and kind. Also, remember to write a thank-you note. After all, isn't that what good manners are all about?
Oh, and the brown pigeon? It comes out of the basement and is proudly hung over the kitchen sink ... when my mother-in-law comes to visit.
Pam Harvit MS is a certified corporate etiquette and protocol consultant. Email her at phar...@suddenlink.net.