Have you finished your shopping? Are your presents all wrapped? Is your baking all done?

It is the time of year when the list is so long that it is easy to think that we will never be finished.

We will never be “ready.”

It is easy to fall into the trap of more presents. More baking. More parties. More ______________.

I believe we would do well to remember that we probably don’t need more. Maybe we even need less.

Some of my favorite Christmas memories are when my older siblings would all be at our house. I loved having lots of people around. When John and I got married there were years we would spend time with family during the holidays. If we didn’t go away to visit family, we would have Christmas dinner with friends and there was always a lot of people around.

I love spending the holidays with friends and family. These days there are not a lot of people around for the holidays. The crowd is usually small (4 or 5 people). Still, I want to be present – fully and completely. To look into someone’s eyes and really listen to what they are saying. Hear what is going on in their lives and pay attention.

I want to give the gift of my undivided attention. To be fully PRESENT.

I am reminded of the passage in Luke where Mary goes to visit Elizabeth. Both were pregnant. Mary newly pregnant, Elizabeth was six months along. After the visit from the angel when Mary learned she was pregnant with Jesus, she “hurried” (Luke 1:39) to visit Elizabeth. Something must have made Mary believe she needed to go see Elizabeth.

Mary gave Elizabeth the give of her presence.

I believe one of the greatest gifts I can give to those I love is the present of being fully present.

The gift of my presence.

To whom will you give the gift of your presence?

Merry Christmas….


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