December is here in full force, and all around me, I can feel the hustle and bustle increasing as each day draws nearer to Christmas Day.
My Girl Child, like many kids her age, has been circling catalogue items for weeks, amending, and re-amending her Christmas list, having written a beautiful letter to Santa, using her best manners and handwriting, with a thoughtful note added stating that she fully trusts him to choose the perfect gift for her, even if it’s not something she has requested. Oh, and that she loves him. Bless.
My Boy Child is tackling his first Christmas as a Santa non-believer, and has found himself armed with the responsibility of protecting the magic of Christmas for the little ones, while being given the privilege of choosing his own gifts, with his own budget. He’s quite giddy with the excitement of it all.
Christmas is all about the presents, at least for my kids.
For me, though? The biggest gift I could wish for this year is time.
Last month, my beautiful Nanna fell ill with a cruel bout of pneumonia, and it looked very likely that at 97 years old, she was going to leave us.
By some miracle, and despite all odds, she remains with us, although it is abundantly clear that our time is not infinite. It seems that we are into overtime, in an unexpected bonus round with her, and the hours and days that we spend together right now, are some of the most precious moments I think I’ll ever have.
Being gifted the opportunity to sit by her bedside as she rests, or to read her a few pages of a book as she drifts off to sleep, is far more valuable to me than any present that could be wrapped under the tree for me.
When you’re a child, the magic of Christmas is in the experience of leaving snacks for Santa, unwrapping presents, and being caught up in the magic of the tinsel, the carols, the late nights and the Christmas lights. Kids have an incredible capacity to sit happily in the moment, exactly as it is, and their joy is pure, because they don’t know yet that the moment is fleeting, and that it won’t always feel this way.
Perhaps this is the true innocence and magic of Christmas?
As adults, we know that despite our wishes, time marches on – subtly, yet unrelentingly. And as much as we wish to hold on to those glorious moments – frozen in time – we simply can’t. The best we can do is to make the most of them.
So, if you’re finding yourself caught up in your to-do lists, and shopping; meal planning and baking; decorating and wrapping – take a moment today to step back and reflect on the people around you.
It is the season for giving! And while beautifully wrapped gifts are lovely, they ain’t worth nothin’ when compared to your time.
You can’t get it back, you can’t store it for later, and you can’t do it over. So, spend it as wisely and as mindfully as you do your dollars.
With Festive Greetings to you and yours,