Less Presents, More Presence.
What do you say to a sleigh load of presence this holiday?
Have you ever made it though Christmas morning and felt empty? Almost like there was something missing. It's like a sugar rush. The whole holiday season can feel like a huge build up of expectation and promise. The child-like anticipation builds until Christmas morning and when the gifts are opened and it's time to move on, there can be a strange feeling of 'let down'. The Christmas crash. You don't feel like you thought you would. The heart-filled joy is missing.
I believe this is because our hearts are yearning for more than the 'stuff'.
We want connection.
Take a look at this IKEA commercial. It says a mouthful. (Just grab the tissues first.)
The best gift of all is our time.
But it may just be the hardest gift to give. It is so much easier to give our kids stuff rather than our time.
This weekend millions of people will stand in lines, spending billions of dollars on good deals for their families. I encourage you to think about this as you wait for your Latte then hit the mall running...
What fills your heart with JOY?
Take a moment to think about this and notice how that heart-filled joy feels. Then use it as a check-in when you are thinking about the next place to stop and shop. Does it feel right? Is there something else that wants to be given? Is there something else you want to receive? More love? More time? More connection? What can you give this year that deeply resonates with that joyful feeling?
Here are some suggestions that might make your giving feel more authentic...
- Give in a bigger way. Donate to a toy drive, collect food for a shelter, help out someone on the street. DO THIS WITH YOUR KIDS. Allow them to feel the joy of giving.
- Ask your kids, "What is the best gift you could get that doesn't cost money?" (I suggest this because I asked my kids what they want from Santa and what they want from us and I just got two different shopping lists...). Finding out what is meaningful and heartfelt for your kids will take you a long way on the journey to an authentic holiday.
- Organize some activities that involve your presence. Plan a game night, go skiing, visit neighbours as a family, or have a device free evening. Rediscover the joy of each others company.
- Eliminate distractions. Ask family members to turn off phones at the holiday table. Make a game out of it if you need to.
- Create some family traditions that don't involve gifts. In our house, we celebrate winter solstice by decorating our gratitude tree...