The greatest gift we can give ourselves and those around us is to be present and to connect.
In contrast, this time of the year drives us to get busy, do more and go faster, often making it more difficult to connect with those around us. Ironically, the original impetus and meaning for Christmas is all about our connections and our humanity.
This Christmas (now!) I am prioritising first being present for myself and my family and those around me. It does feel like a gift to give myself this time. Goethe’s words on my fridge magnet remind me that “nothing is more important than this day”.
I love unwrapping presents, I know few people who don’t. Unfortunately most of us, me included, get caught up in all the hard work in preparation, for three hours of manic unwrapping on Christmas morning and then it is all finished. What would it be like if we could unwrap our presence throughout the festive season in all we do?
If we go back to the origins of this gift-giving tradition, it wouldn’t be the same story if the three wise men had sent gold, frankincense and myrrh by courier! What was special was that they made a long journey to be present.
Unwrapping presence is a process, an unfolding. Sometimes it’s a real surprise what is inside, even to yourself. Sometimes it takes time to unwrap, it may even appear like nothing is happening. But giving time to being present has the potential to make everything in our lives better. In and beyond the festive season, whatever we’re doing, whether it’s a HANDLE activity like Hug and Tug or preparing a meal, the impact of our offering is magnified many times when we unwrap our presence.
We look forward to connecting with you again in 2019. Happy unwrapping!
Thanks to Fredrik Lloyd for the inspirational print above that inspired this post.