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  • Writer's pictureKen Clark

Being Thankful for the Gift Givers

Gift givers answer one of the biggest, scariest questions that most of us fear. It’s some version of “do I matter when I’m not around?” Or, am I relevant and would I be missed if I didn’t show up to work, to volunteer or to play the role I do in my family?

Because of the gift giver, whether it is through your favorite candy getting added to their grocery run, that surprise gift out of the blue on a bad day or the years of thoughtful gifts on special occasions, we know the answer to the question is a resounding “yes, you matter!”

They show us, through their own actions, that we are worth remembering, thinking of and driving to that special store across town for. We know that when the gift giver saw that shirt, trinket or hot sauce flavored lollipop, they just knew that we needed to have it because they know us better than anyone else.

It’s their love language, their way of celebrating, highlighting and saying “thank you” to us for who we are in their lives. It brings them joy to put a smile on our face because they think we’re that cool, that special and that fun so that everything reminds them of us.

Thanking The Gift Givers Outside of the Obvious Moment

Have you ever noticed that most of the gift givers shoo away your concerns that you didn’t get them something or anything nearly as cool as what they got you? Have you noticed they don’t keep score on the dollar amount or grandiosity of the gifts?

It’s not because they don’t need gifts as well, but rather that your gift to them is simply the enjoyment of what they did for you. For them, the bigger the smile, the longer you explore their gift before opening the next one, and the more you brag about it to all your friends and family, the better of a job they know they did.

By giving gifts, they show you that you’re on their radar even when you might be a country or an ocean apart. That’s ultimately what their gifts are meant to communicate and it is the gift they need in return – being remembered and celebrated. So, when we celebrate their efforts at making us feel special, not just in the moment, but days, months or even years later, we fill their tank and boost their self-esteem in ways that resound far more than the initial thank you.

If you really want to thank the gift givers in your life well, thank them for the things they gave you years ago, not minutes ago. Remind them of how much that FIRST gift meant or how all the small, random things they’ve done for you have left a permanent impression. Let them know that they’ve etched their name on your heart and their status in your life is permanent, not because gifts are that important but because you know how important you are to them through their thoughtfulness.

The next gratitude challenge is to think of the best gift gifts you’ve received from the biggest givers in your life and brag TODAY about what’s been in the past for you. Reach out to them, remind them of the cool surprises they’ve brought into your world and creative ways they’ve given. Dig up a picture of that poem they wrote, that puppy they gave you, the hand-me-down car you never thought you’d drive or the college tuition they figured out how to pay.

Tell the world how their gifts and their generous heart still enrich you today, years later. That’s the biggest gift you’ll give them. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, because it confirms for them what they worked so hard to confirm for you… that you matter.

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