Today is not only Father’s Day but also my Wedding Anniversary. It got me thinking about how we have been programmed to expect certain things on these days. There are countless jokes about making the wrong gift decision – or just plain forgetting

“Bob was in trouble. He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was really angry. She told him, “Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE!!”

The next morning he got up early and left for work. When his wife woke up, she looked out the window and sure enough there was a box gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway. Confused, the wife put on her robe and ran out to the driveway, brought the box back in the house. She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

Bob has been missing since Wednesday.”

Yes, it’s funny – but how do jokes like this burrow into our subconscious and influence our gift giving? We’re told the gift should be big and flashy – and also if we don’t get it right we’re in big trouble. And, for those of us on the receiving end – is it possible to be happy with something less? No wonder so many of us have problems giving and receiving. How do we even know what is important to us when we’ve been fed these messages all of our lives.

So next time you’re on the line to either give or receive – take time to think about what really puts value and joy into your life. Don’t buy into the old messages (or the new ones coming our way every day). Make the day your own!

So what happened on my anniversary? No gifts – just a “planned” day of no obligations, no expectations. Just a day for us – a day of relaxation and remembering why we are together.

Thanks, Wayne – 12 big years and still counting!

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