A Book of Joy, Day 16: Receiving Can Be Joyful Too, by Lynne

I’m generally of the opinion that giving is better than receiving. I have certainly found that to be true in my life.  I enjoy surprising people with little gifts or small kindnesses. It makes me happy to see other people smile.

However, receiving a really thoughtful gift can be one of the nicest experiences ever.  I still remember a gift I received in seventh grade from a classmate.  I had commented to her that I liked a notepad she had, and she bought one for me for Christmas.  I was touched that she’d remembered my comment.  Of course, I’ve received many very thoughtful gifts over the years, but for some reason, her remembering my comment has always remained with me.

I’ve also had another revelation about receiving. Receiving a gift can be inspirational.  We just visited my sister’s family in another state, and celebrated Christmas with them a little early.  My nephew had made little train engines out of candy for my boys.  My boys thought these were the greatest things since sliced bread. They were so excited that their cousin had thought of them, and that he had found this idea online, and that he executed them so well.


They kept talking about these candy trains in the car on the way home.  They want to try to make some themselves.  Then they were talking about other things that they could make out of candy.  My older son said, “Hey, Mom! What if I make a bust of Albert Einstein’s head out of candy?”  I told him that was a super idea.  It was so nice to hear them conversing with each other about something fun and creative, instead of the usual arguing a long car ride provokes.  A little bit of candy and a little bit of love went a long way in stimulating ideas and camaraderie.

I hope that you enjoy giving gifts and making people happy this season.  And I also hope that you receive a thoughtful gift or two, and maybe even one that will inspire you to do something great. Happy Holidays!

Lynne–Lynne has enjoyed homeschooling her two sons for the past 4.5 years, after their brief stint in the local public school.  Her older son is a humorous fellow with high functioning autism who thrives in a home education environment.  Her younger son is a sensitive soul with a great deal of patience. The boys, Mom, and Dad, along with the two guinea pigs, live in Northeast Ohio.  Lynne holds a Master’s Degree in French Language and Literature.  She is also a Harry Potter fanatic, enjoys line dancing and Zumba, spends hours scrapbooking, and loves organic vegetables.  You can visit her soon-to-be revitalized blog at


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