In my Devotion for yesterday was a message that hit real close to home. A message about the most important gifts that we give to others.
Have you guys seen those images/posts on Facebook about “Presence over Presents”? Well, I love those. For multiple reasons. The first being that I have a very difficult time relaxing and just being in the moment. This helps to remind me that showing up and being present is what is really important. Secondly, this helps me to remember that it isn’t about what gifts are or are not give or received.
I absolutely love the season between Thanksgiving and New Years. Thanksgiving is far and away my most favorite holiday, then of course the advent season is amazing, lastly New Year’s Eve is my Anniversary. Every year though, I get bogged down about the gifts that are purchased for my children. We have 6 kids, I work very hard to spend the same amount on all of them. For the last 5 years or so we have done the 4 gift rule.
So, that is only 4 gifts for each of our children from “Santa”. It helps me to stay laser focused and on a budget. That being said…we still have 6 kids, that is still 24 presents and no less than $600 minimum. Then we have stockings and little extras, if there is a “big something” like a video game, electronic, trip or something else then that comes from Paul & I.
It isn’t about any of those things though. When you are little, you can’t really understand that there is any excitement around Christmas other than opening up gifts. We work really hard to teach our children about how important the giving is. NOT, the actual giving of gifts, but the idea and the thought behind it.
Shauna Niequist says “It would be a great loss for you to miss this season, the soul of it, because you’re too busy pushing and rushing. And it would be a great loss if the people in your life receive your perfectly wrapped gifts, but not your love or your full attention or your spirit.” This made me think that even though our kids don’t get as much under the tree here as they do at their other homes, they get so much more because they have other homes. Multiple Christmas’s with multiple people who love them. Time, energy and focus from all of us.
This is what it is about everyday, including Christmas. Living abundantly, where you are, as you are.