The Importance of Reciprocity

Hallelujah! Finals are over—now that is something to be happy about. Even when I can’t write about what I love because I’m busy writing research papers, my mind is always thinking about what to write about next. There’s been one topic in particular my mind has been stewing over lately:


I noticed it more this holiday season than ever. Gift giving etiquette can be tricky if you don’t have the right mindset, and I’ve noticed that in my opinion, many people don’t. Now I know we are in tough economic times but I don’t think that’s enough of an excuse to not put the brain power into presents, even if we don’t put our pockets in. Sure, you don’t need to spend all your savings on presents this holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to put in any effort this year. I’ve seen a lot of stingy Grinches this Christmas who don’t want to give back and that just doesn’t seem right, plain and simple.

We all have something to be grateful for. It’s all about your perspective. You can see everything that is missing or you can see the one thing that is there. Your health, a positive relationship, your education or job. There is always something. So this is the season to give back. It’s great to receive gifts (I won’t deny it!) but it’s important to give back just as much as we are given.

I’ve seen people accept gifts and just walk away, without an ounce of guilt that they are empty handed for the other person. Now, we’ve all been caught off guard before and the holidays can sometimes reveal an uneven balance in a relationship but it’s never too late!

When you are given a gift, you should return the favor. Give them a plate of cookies, a candle, or even a thoughtful card. Offering a present is a humble offering of sincerity and friendship. Respect that gift and reciprocate. No one should ever feel embarrassed or awkward to give a gift, the only person who should feel that way is the one who never looks back or says thank you! The moment of happiness that comes from gift giving can quickly be flouted by an unappreciative taker. Express your gratitude this holiday season.

So this season, I encourage you to not only reciprocate but to initiate. Don’t think of the baking or the shopping as an inconvenience. See it as another opportunity to express love. Give your gifts to people you know will appreciate them and value their meaning. And of course don’t stress about the spending—you can give small tokens of love that are practically free but still priceless. Words in themselves can be a gift if you mean what you say in a genuine way.

Happy holidays to you all friends!

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

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