I’ve always loved Christmas—especially the bright, colourful lights and the festive cheer. As a little girl, the reason I looked forward to this time of year was receiving presents from Santa.
And over the years my favourite aspect of the festive break has evolved to spending quality time with family and friends, to remind them how much I appreciate them and of course, the overindulgence of food!
Clearly, there is a lot of fun in giving presents, or receiving them yourself.
It shows a sign of love and affection. For those of us who have children, there’s nothing better than seeing their anticipation in the run-up to Christmas, and the joy in their eyes when they discover the presents under the tree, and open them.
Of course we want to show our love and appreciation. We want to see loved ones and people around us happy. And presents are one way to make that happen.
As I have got older and my friends and family ask me what I would like as a gift , I always say I don’t want or need anything.
Spending time with people I love is what matters the most for me.
So that’s what we do – certainly for Christmas, and regularly throughout the year. We spend time together as a family- chats, meals, play cards, board games, watch the telly and have a laugh. This gift of time is hugely meaningful and satisfying to be able to give and receive.
Giving the gift of your presence to your loved ones at Christmas is such a pleasure.
I mean more than just being a warm body attending a Christmas do. I mean wanting to really be there – awake, noticing what’s going on around you, contributing and giving of yourself, giving your family and friends undivided attention and love.
2 ways that will make both yourself and others happy:
Be present within yourself
Notice what’s going on within and around you, and attend to that:
Savour every part of your Christmas meal, every sip of wine offered. Treasure the gifts that you’re given. Enjoy each others’ company, or in watching their joy about their gifts.
Be self aware and notice what you need – don’t be afraid to take breaks from the festivities, and spend some alone-time when you notice you’re tired. Which can mean a snooze on the couch! Trust me, you will feel better for it.
Be truly present with those around you
Your undivided attention and being there for your loved ones is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone. When you play with the children, be totally there with them. When you’re having a conversation, pay attention to it: Listen to what is being said. And respond from a point of being there. Connect with the others around you and enjoy celebrating together.