(Photo by Savannah Lawrence)
Being Present for a Present
By Savannah Lawrence
Every year, Christmas decorations, Black Friday, and commercials screaming “SALES!” come around earlier and earlier. Christmas music is playing way before the Thanksgiving turkey gets eaten and we dive into the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season too soon. We do this so quickly, that we tend to forget what the season is really about. Spending time with our loved ones and cherishing the time spent together glorifies the true meaning of Christmas, the coming of Jesus Christ. When we forget the true meaning, we plan, prepare, and imagine what this year’s season will bring us. We care too much about the presents, purchased or received, that we forget to live in the present. Is our finger on the fast-forward button of life?
When I was growing up, holidays took forever to come around. I’d wait patiently, make paper chains to count down the days to Christmas, and write everything that I wanted to Santa. Looking back, I almost never got what I asked for and I was okay with that. Now that I am older, it feels that we are obligated to get everything we want. We must get and give the “perfect” gift. Why do we have to cross everything off our list?
The “perfect” gift never seemed realistic to me because there is always something bigger and better out there. I instead take a route that is more affordable and meaningful. I love making and receiving homemade gifts, because the thought behind the gift means so much more than the gift itself. Keeping those who are not crafty in mind, how can you give a thoughtful gift without the homemade aspect of it? Ever thought about time?
It’s weird to think that if you took a pause, even a little one, you could give someone a gift of your presence. I know it sounds pretentious, but it is more thoughtful than you think. It is as easy as calling your grandma and scheduling a lunch with her. That is more thoughtful than just sending her a Christmas card. You could even take that one friend you haven’t seen for a while out for coffee. The opportunities are endless!
Spending time with those who you love makes an impact, not only on you, but on your relationship with them. Give someone something that will last forever, instead of something that is considered temporary. Imagine the amount of stress you won’t have this season! Let’s both be present this Christmas.