Removing the cost allows the receiver to experience the true value of the gift as he or she perceives it.
by Jenny Beatrice, Pallottine communications director
Last year during the holidays, my younger brother stayed in my home to help my family after my mother had a series of mini-strokes. Despite our 40+ ages and our cooperative conduct, we still managed to slip back into our childhood characters, complete with “big sister/little brother” bickering.
During one of our epic tiﬀs, my mother scolded my brother to “never call Jenny [insert insult here] again.” All of this was of much delight to my own children, who wondered if their mother and uncle were going to be sent to their rooms.
When it comes to relationships, today’s wisdom is often no match for yesterday’s patterns. It’s so easy, especially during times of stress, to fall back into the comfort of our well-deﬁned roles whether we like them or not. We may realize that wearing labels limits ourselves and others, but we dutifully fall into place, acting in ways that make these tags stick.
In the custom of gift giving, it is proper for the giver to cut the price tags from the gift before the exchange. Removing the cost allows the receiver to experience the true value of the gift as he or she perceives it.
This holiday season, give one another the gift of possibilities. Come to the family table or the store check-out or the church pew without labels and let everyone’s true value shine through.
The results are priceless.