Giving and receiving are like breathing. Receiving is the inward breath that balances the exhalation of giving. It makes giving possible. There is no balance in seeking to always be the one giving without cultivating the openness to receive, not greedily, but unreservedly and graciously. 

Receiving opens the heart as much as giving. It is an aspect of a greater receptiveness. When we cultivate being receptive, we open ourselves to people, to opportunities and to the beauty and wonder of the Spirit. Connectedness leads ultimately to Unity. 

An important aspect of receiving graciously is appreciation and giving thanks. Gratitude and appreciation are acts of validation of the kindness, thoughtfulness and care expressed by the person giving. Validation is life-giving. It brings forth an energy that nourishes whatever is being validated, enabling it to grow and become more active in the world. 

Christmas is an ideal time to practise both giving and receiving and to contemplate the beautiful and perfect balance existing between the two.