the gift of presence

December. The month of caroling, glad tidings, happy families, mistletoe, sugar-plum dreams come true and all things perfectly wonderful…

Not.

The reality is, December is often an incredibly sad and stressful time of year. There is an unspoken expectation for all things Pinterest perfect. People spend money that they don’t have on gifts and decorations that they don’t need and end up stressed out and resentful that in the end they just don’t feel all the wonderful happiness Christmas is supposed to bring.

At least that has been my experience.

Having so many expectations that I am not able to meet is a big part of why Christmas hasn’t been my “most wonderful time of the year.”

Since my word for 2015 is BRAVE and because I don’t want to keep living life in the same old unfulfilling way, a conversation with my husband was in order.

I told him that I didn’t want to purchase Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers for each other this year. I’m not trying to sound all high and mighty here, my friends.

Truthfully, this was a difficult conversation. 

I LIKE PRESENTS! (I mean, really, who doesn’t?) I also very much enjoy pulling all the little “stuffers” out of my stocking on Christmas morning (my husband has gotten really good at artfully filling my sock with things I love). SO when I say it was brave to have this conversation… I’m not kidding.

It turned out good.
We talked about the time and money we have invested into our relationship this year and how it has been well worth the cost.
We talked about how in reality, we don’t have any money to spend on Christmas presents anyway.
We decided to be brave together this Christmas and to be present with each other rather than purchasing presents with money we don’t have.
We decided to invest in our relationship rather than paying interest to our friend, Chase.

There’s nothing wrong with giving and getting presents at Christmas time. I would argue, however, that there IS something better. Stop the shopping, baking, planning and perfecting. Start talking together, laughing together, learning about each other and really enjoying one another’s company.

Be grateful for who you have in your life before Christmas Day… Before all the presents.

I think maybe that’s what will make this “the most wonderful time of the year.”
Next post: “oh christmas tree, no christmas tree”

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