Being present with friends and family should be what the holidays are all about.

For me, the best part about the upcoming holiday season is getting to spend time with family and friends. All the parties and get-togethers, the catching up with people I haven’t seen in far too long. For me, the best gift is your presence not presents to unwrap.

Life is hectic and there are some people I only see once a year at annual parties. I cherish the time we get to visit because it’s so rare. I want your presence, not presents to unwrap.

There was, of course, a time when the highlight of Christmas was the presents under the tree. That was before I realized that the most important gift of all is the gift of time. It’s the one thing you can’t ever get back.

Sure, unwrapping pretty boxes is nice, but when you look back at past Christmas’ and some of the parties you’ve attended, what do you remember? I bet it’s not what your mom/brother/friend gave you that year, but rather the laughter at the dinner table, or cozying up by the fireplace exchanging stories with Fido at your feet. 

I’m not going to bore you with another rant on how Christmas has become a consumer-driven nightmare, but I would be remiss to not at least mention what it means to be present, really present. It means – gasp – putting your phone away.

It means having a conversation with someone and not stopping to text mid-sentence. There was a time before cell phones, and we all survived. So take your selfies, do your Insta stories, and then put your phone away and give someone your undivided attention. That’s being present – and it’s the only kind of present I want. 

Time is precious. It’s the most valuable gift you can ever give to somebody else. May you enjoy this holiday season with your loved ones and celebrate by exchanging hugs, stories and laughter.

Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash