By Gelo Martinez, 3D Artist
Receiving gifts is as important as giving them. My husband Gelo (boyfriend when this speech was written) shares with you some tips on how to accept gifts that gives honor to the giver. This was written in August of 2013 as one of Gelo’s speech projects in Toastmasters Club.
We often hear about gift giving but we rarely talk about receiving them. I’m not talking about just opening your palms for receipt. I’m here to talk about accepting gifts. I believe it’s an experience that is not just about the recipient receiving and the giver giving. Accepting a gift is a lot more than receiving it. Acceptance means acquiring, appreciating, and acknowledging. You can be given gifts and not know how to accept them. Therefore, we should know how to accept gifts properly so as to make the most of the experience.
There are three important pointers to keep in mind in making the most of accepting gifts.
1. Acquiring: Express deep gratitude for the act of giving
We say ‘thank you’. We convey our appreciation for what the giver has done. This always comes first—and shouldn’t be the last in any way.
I just had my birthday last month. Obviously, each of us gets to have one birthday each year and by far this one dealt me the deepest cut–not of pain, but of joy. I always wanted to get Starcraft2–a computer game. Suddenly, my birthday week arrived. On the eve of my birthday, Divine, my teacher, my partner, and my girlfriend, had planned something so heartwarming for me. As the day came to a close I escorted Divine to her place. She turned away from me as she pulled something out from her bag. She then quickly handed me a small paper bag with strings as handles and you could see a gift-wrapped box peeping from the opening of the bag. It’s shaped like a thick novel book but when I picked it up it was almost as light as pamphlets. My mind stopped guessing what’s inside the gift wrap and my heart took over. It pumped faster and harder. A rush of emotions inside me made me mute. My body turned to auto-pilot mode and proceeded to hug the giver. Tears began to drown my eyes. I knew it would stream down my soft baby cheeks if I blink. I did. So it did. I hugged her ever so tightly–squeezing like a how python does to its prey but gentle as a baby’s grasp of the mother’s finger. I barely had the present in my hands. I just had to reach for Divine and hold her close. The night paused for a while as if waiting for me to let go. I eventually did let go and looked at the present. I stared at it. I shook it. I erupted with a smile every time I see it. I didn’t even know what the gift was but right at that moment I already expressed my deep gratitude.
2. Appreciation: Speak of the gift’s significance to you
When we hand someone a gift, it makes us happy. More often than not, we are already satisfied with that. As the recipient, it shouldn’t end with expressing gratitude. As we receive the gift, we get that longing to give something more than just thanks to the giver. Accordingly, we speak of the gift’s importance to us. This makes the giver’s efforts more worthwhile and fulfilling.
The next day came quickly and it officially marked my 25th birthday. I never went on to open the gift until the latter part of the day. The sheer act of someone I loved dearly handing me a present overwhelmed me enough to make it almost unnecessary to know what’s inside. Divine and I met once more and only then did I decide to open the gift in front of her. As I finally opened it, just a glimpse of the corner of the box stopped me in my tracks. My mind registered the whole of it and instantly confirmed that it was indeed the game I have always wanted. I never stopped expressing my gratitude and joy for the act and acquired gift. Days up to now, I never cease to thank her for the most wonderful present I have ever received for my birthday. I also tell her how much I wanted that game over and over even if she already knows.
3. Acknowledgement: Acknowledge the effort and details put in to the gift.
This may come last as you talk more about the gift. It always helps when you remember how the gift was prepared. You acknowledge the effort put in to it.
As I discovered what the gift was, I urged Divine to tell me everything about how she came to getting the gift. As she went on to talk about it, I let her know how much I appreciate her efforts.
You express your appreciation of not just the gift but more of the giver.
Accepting gifts isn’t hard but we have a chance to make it even more special. I’ve just given you three pointers I deem most important to guide us. To review, these pointers are:
• to express deep gratitude
• to speak of the gift’s significance to you
• and, to acknowledge even the smallest details and efforts put into the gift.
Gifts mean a lot more than material things. Anything we didn’t have before this life is a gift. That’s why we should make the most of it. We can do much more and we should do it more often—accept without fail.
With that, I consider President’s Toastmasters Club a gift. It is here and available so I acquired it through the membership. Now I appreciate it as it offers an avenue for great audience and great evaluators. I appreciate it by doing my best. Lastly, I acknowledge the member and leaders that make it possible. With that, I want to thank Toastmasters and all of you for listening. It really means a lot to me and I appreciate your efforts for taking time to get here and listen. Thank you.
See Gelo’s works at www.gelomartinez.com