… is your full attention, and presence.
The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year. People are buzzing about putting up decorations, buying gifts, planning meals, going to parties, hosting parties, and making delicious holiday goodies.
All the buzz buzz buzz is all about the extra “stuff” that comes along with the holiday. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the buzz and the “extra stuff” that comes with it. My apartment is totally decorated in every room, I go to tons of parties and love shopping for gifts. But at the end of the day, I know that’s not what it’s all about.
So while I sit here writing this blog I kind of feel like Cindy Lou Who questioning what this holiday season is really all about. And I have totally sung along to “Where are you Christmas?” in my head too many times to admit.
But the girl has a point. The holiday isn’t about gifts, parties, cookies, or decorations… The holiday is about taking the time to stop and celebrate life and love with your family members and friends. Therefore, the best thing that you can give to them or anyone this year, is your full attention and presence. Take the time to stop and listen to them, look at them, ask questions and try to learn about what’s going on in their life. Just show them that you care.
Think back to the past Christmases you have lived so far. What is your most favorite holiday memory? I am going to take a wild guess and say it was NOT the presents… It was probably something that you did or someone did for you…
My Christmas Day? It honestly doesn’t really consist of gift exchanges except in the early morning with my parents. After that, we go to see my neighbors and cousins to eat breakfast and then have between 30-50 people over for lunch and into the night. We hang out and eat food all day long, to the point where I ALWAYS feel sick after. (This is NOT a time I follow my “holiday non-negotiables”). We play games, and late at night we just sit around and drink wine and talk and laugh together. The whole day is so fun, but the moments that I always look forward to are the moments when my aunts or uncles or cousins take the time to talk with me one on one, and I can tell through their eyes and actions that they really care and are really invested in our conversation. For me, that is better than any material gift out there.
Now I understand that getting out of the Secret Santa, or Chinese grab bag makes you look like a scrooge, and I’m not asking you to do that. But maybe try to give a little more this year: give the extra gift of your time, love and full attention. If you do that, I promise you, the person receiving your time won’t be the only one walking away from that conversation happy.
Like the Grinch (notthat you are a Grinch, just trying to use a metaphor here) your heart will grow 10x that day, and you will leave that conversation feeling happier and more full.
If you hate this idea, well then you probably ARE the Grinch. 😉
Happy Holidays my friends!