receiving like a champion

Somehow, the holidays have arrived, and consequently I've got calendar whiplash.  It seems like August just happened yesterday, which is confusing because yesterday I bought holiday cards.  Please rest assured that I will not be offering you a tip of the month about keeping track of time. 

Now that I know what month we're in, I get to treat myself; I seriously love our cultural focus on giving at this time of year.  I enjoy immersing myself in all the myriad ways to give, like buying thoughtful presents for loved ones, sending hand-written love notes through the snail mail, donating both time and money to charitable organizations, etc., etc..  As you might imagine, my people-pleasing addiction really gets to shine during the holidays, and there's not much better than a culturally sanctioned high!

Recently, however, I've been focused not on giving, but on receiving.  This is because I've finally taken a hard look at my people-pleasing behaviors...and, believe me, they are legion.  When someone thanks me, I'm likely to wave my hands and say, "No, no - thank YOU!"  And, when someone gives me a present, I'm likely to feel physically pained if I don't have one to give in return.  In case the depth of my mental illness isn't clear, I may or may not have just purchased a few sets of beautiful boxed stationery to keep on hand this season in case I receive a holiday gift from someone unexpectedly. 

These days I've been learning how to receive.  I've even talked my Husberjack into helping me with this initiative:  each day, he asks me, "How can you be receptive today?"  This innocent question occasionally induces extended eye-rolling but mostly I appreciate the support.  Please check out this month's tip for other ways I'm working on receiving.  I'll definitely let you know how it goes. 

How are you with receiving?  What do you say when someone thanks you?  What do you do when someone surprises you with a gift (be it an object, a compliment, some quality time, or an act of service)?  I'd love to learn.  Please share your thoughts and let me know what, if anything, challenges you with the act of receiving.  Please also enjoy a little Fun Family Photo, albeit a blurry one, of me at an age when I could receive like a champion.