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Your Presence is the Present

The holiday season is a busy time of year for all of us. In the middle of all of our preparations, many children will begin to make their wish lists of what they hope to receive this year. Often times there can be a feeling of pressure to deliver on those wishes and it doesn’t help that we live in a world where we are constantly inundated with ads for material things.

However, there is one very precious gift that we don’t think about. The gift all children crave. Simply, It is time spent with the grownups in their lives that they adore.

Carving out special times and planned dates to connect with the children in our lives is important and extremely valuable for everyone involved. Just like scheduling dates with your significant other to keep romance and connection alive, scheduling play-dates with your child keeps you connected and speaking the same language.

Childhood is such a short and magical time. Our children develop so fast and they are always changing right before our eyes. Taking the time to slow down, connect, and enjoy each other is time well spent for everyone involved. Beyond the skills they acquire, past the learning that happens through play, lies the emotional connections needed to build lasting memories and secure, well-rounded future adults.

During a season where the focus is often giving and receiving material gifts, it can be easy to forget what a gift we all are to each other. Your presence is the present! The special people in our lives are gifts to be cherished every day - but especially during the holidays.

When we look at our time and the people around us as gifts, and we model that kind of thinking to our children, it sends the very important message that our time and the people we love are more important than our material possessions. I always tell the children in my class that people come before things. The material things in our life are transient. They serve a purpose in our lives for a while. The relationships that we will build, though they may also change, are much more valuable and leave lasting impressions on who we become.

As adults think back to some of your favorite memories from your childhood. What do you remember about these experiences? Can you remember exactly what material gifts you were given? Or does your focus go to the time that you spent with your favorite people and the special qualities that made them your favorite people in the first place?

My fondest memories of the holidays as a child were sitting around the large table listening to all the stories, the laughter, and yes, even the yelling! I don’t remember specific gifts from each of those Christmases, just the feeling of being a part of something special - the emotions I can still feel - the memories are of the people I was with.

My hope for you this holiday season is the gift of time for you, so you can share the gift of yourself with all of those you love.

Happy Holidays, and a very Healthy, Joy-filled New Year!


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