Do I have to wear a gift I hate?

Question: I hate the gift my kid gave me for my birthday. Am I required to wear it if I accept it so as to not hurt his feelings?

Any parent who has painted macaroni ornaments hanging on the Christmas tree or a juice can covered in construction paper holding pencils on his or her desk at work knows that the value of a gift is in the love that the giver wishes to show to the recipient. Your child chose or made something for you with love, and you have the opportunity to receive it with love. So go ahead and put on that lumpy scarf or clashing necklace and wear it with pride. If anyone asks, be grateful for the opportunity to talk about how wonderful your child is. In far too little time, your son or daughter will be grown and gone and you’ll be lucky if you get a card in the mail. So enjoy these sweet moments while they last and cherish those one-of-a-kind treasures presented to you by little hands.

Neela Kale

Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.