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‘Presence’ not ‘Presents’

Hands of married couple linking, signify presence over material goods

As my husband and I are going to be away over Christmas his family decided yesterday was going to be our Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas!

You see, we’d welcomed a new niece into the fold, and they thought it would be lovely for us to see her reactions to the big day. They didn’t want us to miss out.

Dress to the nines in our sequined Christmas jumpers, we set of to celebrate with a day of tree decoration, festival games, fizz and Turkey with all the trimmings.

Over the last few years, it’s become trendy in the run up to Christmas to talk about ‘de-stressing’ over festive organisation. Reminding people not to put themselves through the unnecessary burden of buying too many unwanted gifts and looking after their financial & mental wellbeing is admiral and important.

My husband’s family had decided this year was going to be the year we stopped giving presents. I must be honest I was a little put out by this…not just because I’d already bought everything (You know how organised I am! Can’t resist a good bargain, I even have a present and card cupboard to store things I buy for people during the year) but also because I love the process of buying Christmas gifts.

I agree you shouldn’t put yourself into debt to make Christmas extra special by buying extravagant, over the top gifts you can’t afford. But there is something special about giving thoughtful gifts to the people you love. Think of the joy you felt the last time you found the perfect present for someone special. It could be the smallest gift in the world…’s not about size or expense it’s about thoughtfulness and love.

I decided just to give a couple of stocking fillers, I couldn’t go the whole hog and not wrap anything. I also decided I was just going to enjoy the day however it turned out to be.

And wow, what a different day.

Without the pressure (or others might say excitement) of the various boxes and bags wrapped under the tree, everyone seemed more relaxed. Without the big unwrapping and then the distraction of exploring your individual gifts everyone chatted more, we played more games and we laughed more. We sang, we sang a lot! The whole day was just so much fun. God knows what the neighbours thought.

Eventually around 8pm, I sat back and watched the whole family sing together with hubby playing guitar. Then I realised something; the whole day had been my present. This time had been so precious to me. These people are part of my amazing family, and I get to spend my time with them.

How many days like that do we get in life? However many, it’s not enough and I want more.

Whatever you, and those close to you plan to do for Christmas, make sure it’s about your presence, not your presents. Be there for your family. Be there for a friend. Be there for someone in need. Give your time and your presence to and for what ever is important to you.

Now, I off to organise a second Christmas Day with my side of our family. You never know without the hassle of presents I might start a trend to have multiple Christmas Days throughout the year. How great would that be?

Ho Ho Ho!

Wooden figurine of ice skating santa coloured



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