I sometimes notice the pattern in how badly adults receive gifts. Normally, the person receiving the gift will say these strange things like:
I feel terrible because I don’t have a gift for you.
You shouldn’t have!
I didn’t know we were exchanging gifts!
Why did you do this?
Each of these statements make the gift-giver feel like they did something wrong–like the gift has caused some pain instead of blessing.
Children, if you notice, just receive the gift with bright eyes and a face smiling with joy.
So, what if instead of making the moment of receiving a gift all about us our guilt, we just said, “Thank you so much! How thoughtful! You are such a wonderful friend!”