“One thing I never wanted to be accused of was not noticing.”

– Don Shula 

The holiday season is upon us once again. The beautiful colors of autumn have abruptly disappeared. Colorful lights and lawn ornaments are placed in the absence of the fallen leaves. The holiday season is a unique time of year. We may feel a greater sense of being rushed, and an urgency to complete projects, due to the clock ticking toward Christmas day and the end of the year. At the same time, music, TV specials, and movies, only seen or heard at this time of year, give opportunity to pause and reflect. Expectations seem to increase to a year-time high. The house needs to look just a certain way. We pleasantly socialize at the parties we attend. And we desire to find that perfect gift. By the way, what is the perfect gift? This is a hard question to answer. There are so many aspects to giving the “right” gift. Listening, and really knowing the needs and desires of those on our shopping list is essential. And, knowing what you are capable of providing. Maybe, the greatest gift we can give is not in a store or online. Maybe, we already have a model of how to be a great gift-giver. The Christmas story tells us that God chose to give us the greatest gift by being present among us. He was born as a baby and then grew to be a man to live with us. There are multiple examples of his presence having a profound, life-changing impact on others. So, the gift we are all capable of giving is that of being present with others. Keep your eyes, ears and heart open to those you are with and interact in that moment. And, create memories to look fondly back on throughout the year. I am grateful for God’s gift of His presence and it inspires me to be available to the moment.

Will you choose to give a great gift, your presence?

Merry Christmas, Kevin Polky, CADC,LCSW