What You Can Do with that Gift You Didn’t Want

Gift by Droid Gingerbread

You look at the pretty package in front of you. You undo the bow with care. You lift the lid with anticipation and…

It’s a neon orange reindeer sweater with blinking antlers!

Yessss. Just what you always wanted. Or not. Ladies, we know what to do when this happens to us. We return, regift, repurpose. But when it comes to the words our hearts get from others we’re not quite as quick to do so. So let’s change that this Christmas and new year.

Picture this: You look around the room and see familiar faces. You walk into a conversation with care. You open your ears with anticipation and…

Words are directed at you from someone that are not what you wanted at all.

Maybe they’re said with good intentions. Or maybe they’re spoken to intentionally get to you. Maybe they just sound like they should have been said to someone else. No matter the motive, we still tend to receive those words and carry them around in our hearts. But, Friends, words are gifts too and just like the reindeer sweater you can choose what you do with them:

Regift: Maybe the words offered you an opportunity that just isn’t a fit for you but someone else would love. Just think, “My friend loves orange and taking care of thousands of two year olds. I can tell her about volunteering in the nursery and the kids will love this sweather.”

Repurpose: Those words might have been intended as a back-handed criticism but you can get your creative self in gear and switch them around. Great Aunt Sandra says, “I knitted this in orange for you because it reminds me of that time you spent in prison.” And you twist that right around and say, “God has brought me a long way! Woo-hoo!” And then you cut that sweater into a million pieces and make it into a wreath.

Return: Some words do not even deserve a place in your life for a minute. So you can just picture yourself marching them back to the counter of where that person probably got them {um, the devil}. Tell your heart, “You do not have to accept that today.” Then give yourself some truth instead.

You may not be able to control what you’re given in life. But you can decide what your heart will keep. And that makes all the difference. The reindeer sweater doesn’t have to gather dust in the corner of your closet for the next ten years. And the words others try to give you don’t have to hang around in the corners of your heart either. No, ma’am.

Give encouraging words.

Receive encouraging words.

And no matter how much you’re tempted…no neon orange reindeer sweaters this year.



Holley Gerth

photo by Droid Gingerbread

About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


Never Miss a Thing

Join Holley’s mailing list to receive the latest news, blog posts, and updates

What % Introvert Are You?

 My 1-Minute Quiz Will Tell You

New Book You’ll Love!

Writing Course for You!