I enjoy cooking, so last Thanksgiving I wanted to prepare everything for the meal. My mother-in-law has been cooking for about eighty-two and I thought it would be a great gift for her to have a break. So last week when she asked what she could bring I said, “How about you just come and enjoy the day.” From the look on her face I immediately knew she was disappointed. But in that moment I was only focused on my desire to give her the gift of not having to cook.
Later that day it hit me. While I thought I was giving her a gift I was actually refusing her the pleasure she gets from cooking. I called her and said, “Elsa, what do you want to bring.” I heard her light up when she replied, “I’d like to make the dressing and Brussels sprouts with mushrooms, onion and garlic too,” she said with joy in her voice. “That will be wonderful,” I told her.
Thanksgiving is about gratitude and I am grateful to have honored her desire to contribute. In the end I really did give her the best gift and it gave me so much more joy than the happiness I thought she would get from not having to cook.
Be open to receiving as much as you give. Other people’s joy comes from giving just as your’s does too. Let them have that joy. Happy Thanksgiving!