For Christmas, my brother-in-law had a clown hand-made by a local toy maker for my 7 month old. It was spectacular — colorful, soft, sweet, attractive. 26 years later, we still have the clown.  It was a marvelous and gracious gift.  My precious baby played with, wait for it, the box.  I kept putting the delightful clown in front of him and he kept pushing it aside to play with the boring cardboard box.  I had the clown kiss him on each cheek, still he played with the box.  I knew then we would have to practice this gift receiving thing in the future.  After all, that's what my mom did with me -- made me practice receiving gifts.  (But that's a story for another day.)

You can imagine my anxiety when the gift giving started at Christmas two years later. (He wasn't really old enough to start practicing.)  He ripped open a specially wrapped box and flung the top off, I could see from across the room -- oh my dear God in Heaven, it's SOCKS.  His grandmother, my mother, had given this two year old that preferred cardboard over a bright, playful, exceptionally designed toy—  SOCKS.  Cringing at what would happen next, I started to melt into the corner. As I did, he let out a squeal of delight similar to what a 24 year old would sound like when given the keys to a Ferrari. (I’m just imagining — I’ve never actually heard that.)  Apparently, each pair of socks sported a different dinosaur.  OH! He loved dinosaurs! The entire room full of extended family, mostly adults, was laughing, clapping, smiling over this two year old's reaction to SOCKS.  Everyone, except for my aunt.  Overwhelmed by his enthusiasm, she sat quietly on the couch crying — over SOCKS.  The point: A gift well received is enjoyed by everyone.

Today I want to encourage you to receive your gift well — your style, your raw talent, your education, your position, your strengths, your abilities, your desire to impact the world for good.  When you receive your gift well, everyone in the room will delight in it also.