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The months of October, November and December are here!!!

We are in the the holiday season where everyone is building their online shopping lists and checking off the people they intend to purchase gifts for. Gift giving is emotionally rewarding and it’s an act that some choose to embrace to communicate love and appreciation to those around them. But what happens when we give a gift that is not well received?

What happens when the reaction we receive was not what we had hoped for?

How should the recipient react?

Here’s the blunt truth.

The fact that someone took time to add your name on a list of people to buy gifts for, should be a strong enough indication that they were thinking about you – your gratitude better show up on the day you receive their gift. There is no doubt that when we say “thank you” with our words, eyes, and heart we are operating in a spirit of gratitude that possesses the power to improve the self-image and confidence of others. The behavior we choose to demonstrate when we receive a gift from someone can transform someone’s emotional state for the best or for the worst.

This is not about a wrong or a right way

Understand that by choosing the approach that creates emotional dissonance and not the path of emotional harmony, especially during this time of the year, can make or break what the next year will look like socially for you. A poor reaction can establish a lack of desire for people to ever want to give you a gift again and in some cases the total loss of friendship.

So here’s some advice on how we should be handling the whole gift receiving thing…


If you don’t take an initial liking to a gift you receive DO NOT express that in your response. Instead choose to divert away from criticisms and choose gratitude. Show the person appreciation for their effort. Let gratitude be the only narrative you chose to express. Nothing else.


We’d like to believe that our words effectively communicate our gratitude but body language can say something totally different. In situations of face-to-face gift exchange, non-verbal communication becomes the most powerful mode of communication when conveying feelings or attitudes like – I like this gift, I don’t like this gift. If these communication fundamentals about body language hold true, be sure your facial expressions and body language are aligned with the spirit of gratitude. People can see your gratefulness through energy you put out.


In today’s world, instant communication through text messages is an everyday thing. Actually receiving a handwritten card or letter in the mail is rare. There’s power in the hand written note. They build relationships, they are unique, intimate and always create memorable connections. Take time to send the person a “hand written” thank you note to show gratitude for the gift.



My Story of Gratitude.

Orlando Perez, a dear friend of mine, took time to drive all the way to my home to drop off a small gift to encourage me during a tough time a few years back.

His kind gesture communicated to me that: (ONE) he took time to recognize my emotional state at that specific moment in my life; (TWO) he most likely spends time observing things that put a smile on my face; the discussion of cars being one of them.

It wasn’t an expensive gift. It was simple and thoughtful and I wanted to take time to not only thank him but recognize him publicly for his kind gesture.

Thank you Orlando!

So to everyone else…go out there and be kind in your gift giving this season.


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