"Oh, I wish you didn't go through the trouble."
"You didn't have to give us anything!"
"You shouldn't have."
I can't help but think, should I not have?
Would people rather I just not give them anything at Christmastime because:
They then feel the burden of obligation to return the favor, even though I sincerely do not expect a return and in fact the gifts I've given them are ways of saying thank you for what they've done for me throughout the year?
They're overloaded with Christmas cheer already and another tidbit of thanks is just another thing to go stale on the counter?
To be honest, such replies to my Christmas gifts kind of burst my bubble. I was all happy to give and would have been more than happy with a simple, "Thank you."
I do believe that in the area I live, it is considered polite to refuse. Why? I don't know. I always grew up believing that it was better to refuse and muddle through without than to accept graciously and thankfully and be better for it. I remember someone telling me that refusing a blessing is throwing it back in the person's face. That really hit me hard.
I don't get many chances to give. Please, let me give when I can.