Day 2: Presence Over Presents
Throughout my childhood, I remember wanting…. Wanting name brand jeans, wanting the newest CD, wanting the coolest gadget. And not receiving those items. Until a holiday or birthday. There was definitely no “getting something new for the sake of getting something new.” Nor would I have considered it an option.
You see, gifts at my house were reserved for special occasions. It was another reminder of just how blessed we were to celebrate Christmas and have a special exclusive day in our honor. We may not have been royalty every day of the year, but on Christmas and Birthdays, you better believe that we thought we were.
Forward to the present day, and I still bask in that feeling. I truly feel like magical gift fairies should ascend upon me and the sunny skies will open up to all things joyous. Because these are my memories, and because this is my nostalgia, it is the way of life around our house.
My husband did not remember all the feels on these days, not to say that he doesn’t appreciate a good holiday. Throughout our parenting years together, we struggle with the correct amount of gifts to give, as well as money to spend. When experiences are so drastically different from one another, it is hard to carve out the “correct” answer for our little family.
Getting simple presents for no reason certainly isn’t my hubby’s idea…. Ever. But me? I can relate to the sheer excitement of a new stuffie from a zoo, or a souvenir keychain while on vacation. I remember the adrenaline of the gift shop, the thrill of of the anticipation, and the excitement of a parent finally saying YES!
Now as a mom, trying to weigh the balance of the trinketry necklace at an off-roads beach in Maine to the value of spending time with your loved ones is a no brainer. Still, it takes practice and soul searching to get to this point on a daily basis. In a fast paced world of instant gratification and “keeping up with the joneses” it is SO important to remember what is important at the core.
Like holding hands with your 5-year old in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Like wading out in the freezing cold water when your daughter only feels the warmth of your love. Like following her lead when she is so used to being your shadow.
Being mindfully present with your child, in exchange of (or in addition to) the tangible items in life are truly the best gifts you can give.
How are you present in your every day life? Is it second nature or meticulously planned? Comment below and let me know you are here!
For more on my 31 Days Of Living with Intention, click here.