Being present

December 25, 2007

If you’re flitting around the Internet this morning (yes, it’s Christmas morning at around 7) you’ll see that the majority of the blogging universe has taken the past few days off. It’s not as some surmise that bloggers are far more religious than your average Roman Catholic, but it’s because family time stands heavier on the see-saw of priorities this time of year.


I’m in the same boat. After weekend gatherings around the house, a 100-person party on Sunday, a party last night and presents this morning, we’re all going to my sister’s for dinner. It’s the first time we’ve moved the holiday meal to another house, but it might be about.


Sad as it might seem—mostly to me I assume—the original kids are no longer the center of attention this time of year. Mum and dad are thinking more about the grandkids’ smiling faces than how we’ll react when we see a gift card, a new computer gadget or a great package from Amex. And it’s totally appropriate. We’ve been in the spotlight and maybe it’s time to focus on stuff that’s a little less tangible.

Common sense would dictate that buying and presenting gifts only at holiday time is idiocy. Other than the possible drastic sales you might run into around this time of year, you’re much better off buying a slew of great gifts tomorrow and dishing them out all year long.

My budget this year was around $500 and I spent that easily. But I can’t imagine how much more I would have been able to get for people if the shopping weren’t done in a present frenzy in the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

And I wonder if being present for family, not only now but all year long, is better than some colorful box amidst the madness.


More to come…