Free Hot Chocolate

Yesterday, my girlfriend and I met some friends of hers who happened to be in town. They kindly brought us a gift: a tin of hot chocolate powder from Harrods. Whoa! How cool is that?

This morning, what did I do first? I made hot chocolate. I carefully poured the powder into the fancy green-and-gold tin from its bag. I read the instructions. I mixed the powder with some hot milk into a smooth blend, then added the rest, and gave it good stir.

One sip confirmed it: Ahh, yes, this is hot chocolate worthy of a king — and even though I’m missing the final “g” in my name to get all the letters together for that title, today, I have the privilege of enjoying it.

When you receive a gift, especially from someone you’re not too close with, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees. “I wonder how much this cost. Let me look it up. Should I really have paid for their dinner?” “I prefer tea over hot chocolate.” “This tin doesn’t fit into my kitchen color-wise. Where am I supposed to put it?”

Sometimes, we might even torpedo the generosity for no reason at all. “I’m trying to skip sweets this month.” “The sugar in the powder will mess up my protein-focused diet.” “What if I get bloated from the milk?” Hello! Are you still here? You just received a gift. It was for you, not about you. Why don’t you just enjoy it?

We spend much time wishing for free passes to anything in life, yet when we receive them, we often dismiss them solely because they didn’t happen to be the exact golden ticket that we wanted. Perhaps you can’t have free seats to a Broadway show, but you might get a large sample of popcorn at the candy store the next day.

Instead of hoping for particular gifts and dismissing the wrong ones, we should expect none of them and celebrate every one we receive. That way, we win once instead of losing twice.

When the hot chocolate is free, drink it. Savor life’s gifts when you receive them.