At this time of the year there is much giving and receiving. It is a joy to give - especially when you find that perfect gift that you just know they are going to love, that gift you tracked down and finally secured, or made with your own hands and lots of love.
It is a blessing to be able to give a gift without any expectation of receiving something in return. But admit it - when you receive something from someone you haven't made or bought a gift for, you feel a little bit guilty, as if maybe you should rush out and get something for them. As if this giving and receiving of gifts has to somehow be balanced at the end of the day.
Receiving without reciprocating can be difficult, especially if you are in no position to give something back. But we have to learn to receive graciously. If you believe that God will provide for you, you have to be ready for Him to do it through other people, even if that embarrasses you. That's one of the wonderful things about God - He could miraculously provide for us with a suddenly full cupboard, but instead, He often chooses to use someone else to do it. I've been in both positions, and it is a blessing to be on either end.
If it is more blessed to give than to receive, then we need to let others be the blessing to us as well.