What I want for Christmas – presence…not presents

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I have been good this year…tried to be really good but that is open for discussion depending on who you talk to. If I have been well behaved, then should I not be able to get what I want? It is a reward system after all, right?! Is getting your gift at Christmas based on a base standard of goodness or does your gift rise in quality based on how good you are? Well, there is really only one thing I want for Christmas and it is not delivered by a jolly guy in a red suit. No presents but presence.

I try not to visit the malls or shops at this stage or try to go off peak times. Perhaps it is me but there is just too much rush and consumerism at this time of year – the loudest, blingiest brightest wins. The songs played on the radio have lost their shine as they are connected to the latest Boxing Week Blowout…two weeks before Christmas. The shops put their Christmas decorations just as Halloween approaches…perhaps we should just leave them up as Christmas does come every year. I have also found that some people become ruder as the holiday season approaches because they have to try and find something for someone because they will get a gift from so-and-so and now they have to get a gift for that person…what to buy?!

While this all might seem glum, but there is a spirit that also emerges. It is a time where people can remember each other. For the last 40+ years or so (ever since I could write), I have mailed out Christmas cards to those far away and written a note to them…my note to my family/friends is as predictable as a wet Christmas in Vancouver. People also seem to get Christmas cheer and find it as a time to remember each other. It is wrapping up the year and trying to see each other as we head to the end of the year. You catch a glimpse of someone downtown that you have not seen in a while and wish them a “Merry Christmas” and that we have to catch up. I also find that you try to do a few more favors for random people and the response is ‘Thank You and wish you a Merry Christmas’. We just have to remember to smile more.

So what do I want for Christmas? Smiles, hugs and your presence…not presents. You have already gifted me this year with who you are. I don’t need anything that you can buy from a store. Cleaning out my office, I have a large box that was on top of a shelf…a large box that is brimming to the top with thank you cards from an audience that I truly love. If you ever gave me a thank you card, it rests inside a box because I could never come to throw it out. Your words mean a lot to me. Anytime we meet and I get a smile or a hug from you, you give me food for my soul. Understand that even if you and I met a couple of times and you think I might not know who you are…your presence has impacted me. I am going to be selfish and say that I want you to gift me every day…give me your smiles, hugs and presence through out the year. If you do that, it is something that I will just have to return…now with a store bought gift, returning it means I did not like it. With me returning the smile, hug or presence, it just helps to make the world a bit better. Thank you for the wonderful gift of you. Merry Christmas!

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