This Thankgiving we had a family dinner - not something we generally do as we're neither resident in the US, nor American nationals. But my sister, who lives in America, is visiting, so we did.
We all joked about the concept, saying we weren't going to hold hands and say thanks, 'cos that's just not British. Nevertheless, my sister offered us her thanks for the care we'd given to our father in her absence which was unnecessary and unexpected, but entirely lovely of her.
Then, today , I read this and it made me think.
In my personal experience, most of us give from the heart - from a spirit of true love and generousity. We don't do it for the thanks - although, of course, there isn't a person alive who doesn't appreciate - er - appreciation. There are even times when one gives annoymously, thus rendering it impossible for thanks to be received. And, to be honest, that may be the best way. After all, when giving to strangers, the emotions aren't complicated by the history of relationship.
If we were able to focus on giving, I believe it'd make us more thankful for what we - ourselves - are given. But this doesn't apply to everyone and one unchangeable fact is that you cannot change how other people behave, you can only change how you respond.
So, what I think is important is to give generously and give thanks graciously. But if thanks don't come your way, hold on to the glow you felt when you gave the gift; for that was genuine and truly well-earned.