‘I don’t want any presents; I just want you to be present.’
Posted on 22nd December 2022 at 09:22
Saying this out loud a few times this week it really hit home what’s important. To me the best gift of all is time.
At our fingertips we have a wealth of distraction. On top life can become overwhelming and simply being present gets lost. When we live in the future or ruminate too often, we don’t enjoy our valuable time, this moment – essentially the only moment we have. Much time can be spent with people yet not felt at all.
When you look back on all your Christmases what it is that you remember? The piles of presents and busy shopping trips, the mountains of food and chaotic supermarkets? Or is it quite simply the moments of joy, happiness, and love? A room full of laughter and music.
As Jon Kabat-Zinn said – ‘The little things? The little moments? They aren't little.’
Ask yourself, what is important to you this Christmas? Doing what’s important to you matters too you know!
The gift of being with those you love is so precious, for some spending time with the ones they love not that easy, either no longer here or out of reach. For others they may be with the ones they love yet they are still not present at all, and this can be very difficult.
Christmas can be very stressful if we allow it. Expectation rising at this festive time of year, parties, events and to do lists longer than your arm and then on top of this the pressure to please everyone! Dread setting in at the out-of-control tasks and endless visits planned out ahead. Not even factoring in that you may go down with a winter bug unable to do all the things you had piled on yourself in the first place. If lockdown gave me anything it showed me that a simple Christmas feeling connected and loved is all that matters.
If you just stop for a moment, the things that you haven’t yet done, how important are they? If they are depleting your energy, then they are taking away from you. People can go a little crazy at this time of year, but why? I think we all know the answer to this, we don’t listen to what we already know inside. What truly matters.
Now, reflecting on being a child, those magic moments of Christmas Eve followed by the excitement of Christmas morning are ones I won’t forget. I don’t remember what gifts I received or what I ate specifically but I do remember the feeling of joy, the smiles on faces and the noise of ‘living presently’ - so special. When we get wrapped up in all the presents, the ‘shoulds’ we lose the presence of each moment.
I have seen stress take an all-time high this year around the ‘shoulds’ of Christmas. It doesn’t have to be this way. When the worry of buying gifts, who you should and shouldn’t see and the excessive over planning of what is just ‘dinner’ takes over, the enjoyment has gone - when we are caught up in all this, we sometimes lose the presence of those around us and time is lost once more.
You can only do what you can do! This Christmas take time to see it, to feel it and above all give yourself the gift of listening to what you really want and take a moment for that too.
Wishing you a ‘Present’ Christmas – the best Christmas ‘Present’ of all.
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