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Please begin with an informative title:

Participating in the Daily Kos Secret Santa Shop this year as a recipient was, in a way, one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. First, I am a very quiet member of this community. With only a couple periods of active and vocal participation, I lurk more than I speak out. I’ve given to many community fundraisers, but I rarely talk about it. In most cases I don’t even tie a donation to my user name. Traveling under the radar is just the way I roll. So after expressing an appreciation for Fineena’s scarves I actually needed some convincing to put my name up for consideration here:

There's nothing wrong (2+ / 0-)
with making a wish list.
And really, you do it less for yourself than for all these eeebil, kooky, people who want to give.
Damn librulz.
But mostly you express your wishes so that when one of those people reads it you've made it possible for one of us Kos Katalogue members to make a sale!
Like in (Kossak’s name removed) found among these comments. The Secret Santa system allowed her to get something she really wanted but didn't feel she should or could get. That's one happy camper. And we all know that it's even better as the giver, right? That's another even happier camper. I've made a sale which, might even help me be able to go on a camping trip and I'll send a portion of the proceeds of that sale to Bill in Portland Maine. And I suspect he'll just blow it on more candy corn but, that's 4 portions of joy from one sale.
A real bargain if you ask me.
Support Small Progressive Businesses: Shop Kos Katalogue
by Marko the Werelynx on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 12:00:15 AM EST
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After that hurdle was crossed, Marko the Werelynx and Fineena had to figuratively hold my hand all the way, I was convinced she would miss out on a sale by setting a scarf aside for me and I emailed telling her to sell the scarf to any buyer who expressed an interest. Then Marko and I had an interesting discussion about the balance of giving and receiving in a dead comment thread which I will NOT link to here. :-) Finally, miraculously, I received the beautiful and festive scarf in the mail from Fineena.

That we never really know how we touch people’s lives was illustrated powerfully to me last month on my last day at work. A vendor, someone I knew for years, but who I didn’t  interact with on a daily basis bought lunch for everyone to celebrate my retirement. After thanking him several times he took me aside and told me how happy he was to be able to do it. He told me, “You will never know how much I appreciate the things I learned from you.” I  was brought to my knees in surprise, and to this moment I couldn’t tell you just what it is he might have learned from me. (Interestingly he is a Conservative Republican, so you can imagine the kind of discussions we had over the years.)

 I’m not sure why it is so much harder to receive than give, but I know it isn’t unusual to feel this way from reading other Secret Santa recipients’ experiences. What is it in us that makes us turn to quivering masses of insecurity when someone expresses in some way that we mean something to them? There is still much for me to learn in life.

Gracious acceptance is an art - an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving.... Accepting another person's gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you.― Alexander McCall Smith, Love Over Scotland
So along with the beautiful scarf, I was also given the gift of opening to receive, and a lesson in the balance of giving and receiving.  I can’t say I’ve learned this particular lesson to perfection, but from the bottom of my heart thank you to all my Secret Santas, and my not so secret Santas Marko the Werelynx and Fineena.
Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Ooooh on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 08:53 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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