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Beyond wrapping paper, The presence and the past

Beyond the wrapping paper
The Present of Presence

It’s November, and the holiday season is just around the corner – another year gone by in the blink of an eye. It’s been a whirlwind year, and I am slightly apprehensive about the possibility of getting lost in the fluster of holiday shopping and the quest for the perfect gift. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love shopping and find no greater joy than spoiling my special people with beautifully wrapped presents. But what if the most precious gift we can offer can’t be wrapped? What if the true essence of giving lies in something far more valuable than a tangible gift – our presence.

We’ve had a wonderful year together as you joined me in embracing the present moment, stepping out of our comfort zones and going on many first-time, brand-new adventures! It’s been an absolute privilege sharing all my new experiences with you, and I loved hearing all your stories of new roads travelled, slow and easy excursions venturing into undiscovered places, moving to new homes, cities and provinces, and forgotten hopes and dreams turning into realities.

As we wrap up this year, I have one final challenge for you and myself: to prioritise ‘Presence over Presents.’

This year has taught me that the moments we share hold more value than the things we own and the dreams we accumulate. But creating these memories can be challenging as it calls for the most personal of gifts – our time. Something we often don’t always have enough of. And this is the hard part – and certainly one of my most significant challenges: giving my time and being fully present with the people I love while juggling a busy schedule.

So, let’s promise to try our best to give ourselves – and others – the gift of time and presence this holiday season. I am very excited about a two-week beach holiday with my family and friends, spending uninterrupted time with them and spoiling all my special people with delicious meals. This is my chance to make up for all the moments missed and create new memories.

Just in case you need more ideas: Why not invite your best friend for a delicious dinner instead of buying a gift? Spend the evening fully engaged, actively listening, and giving them your full attention. Or dedicate one device-free hour every evening for family time or self-reflection. Spend an afternoon helping at your favourite charity or schedule activities with your loved ones that you know they would love. If your granddaughter loves art, why not do pottery with her? Or arrange a movie and ice cream day with a grandson … build a bonfire and roast marshmallows. Write a heartfelt letter to someone you love or take a long walk with a family member.

Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life rightfully says: “Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it… When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back.”

Let’s embrace the true gift of connection, shared experiences and each other’s presence this festive season. Wishing you a wonderful holiday filled with joyous moments and the present of presence.


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