Presence over presents


Okay, seriously - has any human being ever lived up to the expectations of the holidays? Decorated the house, bought all the gifts (without stress), been present with the family, cooked the perfect meals, enjoyed desert but stayed fit. The list could go on. Seriously, blah.

What comes to my mind is the picture-perfect Pinterest mom.

Maybe you know a few “super moms” who’ve accomplished it all. But do you know anyone who’s done all this that’s actually present in the moment and does it with grace? Probably not. This type of activity tends to be filled with lots of anxiety and perfectionism.

When you think back to your childhood, what do you remember? Was it all the activities of the season? Or was it the relationships?

Of course, many people have specific gifts they remember getting. And that’s so fun!

But think big picture with me here for a minute. What things do you remember the most? Is it the gifts you received or is it the holiday traditions and time with (or without) your family?

At the end of your life do you think anyone is going to ask you how much money you made? How much you spent on Christmas presents? Or how clean your house was? Probably not.

Christmas is a unique time to give your family, friends, co-workers - whoever is in your life - the gift of YOU and your presence. (Don’t think your presence is a gift to others? Go read this).

When we fall into the hustle and bustle to the point of overworking ourselves and being super stressed out, it’s generally related to us either trying to meet a need of ours or a lie we believe about ourselves.

Maybe you grew up in a super chaotic environment and to be in control and make everything run smoothly is your way of maintaining your security or peace?

But you know what’s not peaceful when you’re doing this? Your heart and soul.

Or maybe you believe deep down that you’ll never measure up and so you attempt to be perfect to prove to the world that you’re enough.

There’s no rest for our souls when we do this. Not only are we attempting to fill a void with something that’ll never satisfy, but we’re often living our life for other people.

So take some time - assess your heart. Are you getting wrapped up in the holiday madness? Take a step back and look at what may be motivating you.

The beautiful thing is you have a choice. You can wear yourself out and continue this madness, or you can stop and simply exist.

Be present for your kids, your spouse, or your friends. And most importantly be present for you.

You're a gift, m’dear. Let your presence be the present you choose to give your loved ones this holiday season.