Here we are in the midst of this holiday season and there is a lot of talk about giving, and a lot of expectation for getting, and there is just another question I want to toss in the mix: how good are you at receiving?

Because there is the chance that you will be given a lot of stuff this season that may not make you want to cry out "but that's exactly what I always wanted, Santa..." And what if we surrendered to all we are given and see the intention, beauty and miracle in receiving, even if it is just the joy of the person who is giving?

I read a great story by my spiritual teacher, Edwene Gaines.  The story is about a person in her church who kept telling her about this amazing Christmas gift she was making for Edwene.  The woman was a gifted quilter, so Edwene got all these ideas how she was going to receive this beautiful quilt and how wonderful it was going to be to snuggle under it by the fireplace and so on.  Well, when the day finally arrived when the gift was being delivered, it turned out to be a 6 foot high portrait of a rooster, made entirely from macaroni!

Edwene talks about how this was so not what she wanted in her living room, but after the initial disappointment, although the actual gift was not one that she could keep for long (thank god for the Salvation Army so others can enjoy what we cannot:), what always stayed with her was the excitement, passion and genuine joy that the woman had in making and giving her the present.  Edwene received, although not at all what she thought!  So here is to upping your receiving level this holiday season, and translating into the the coming year.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it.--Pope Francis