You are the gift.

As you are making lists, sorting through boxes of decorations, trying to remember what you gave everyone last year, and hoping that the knock-off latest gadget you bought A) gets here in time from China B) is the right color C) works for more than 6 minutes and D) the fad isn’t already “over” in the next 16 days...keep a few things in mind - for now, and, well, always:

STOP.Take a breath. I know we hear this all the time, but it really is important. Take at least 5 minutes each day to just sit quietly and reflect on what is happening around you and within you. Connect to your body. Connect with your soul. Take care of yourself. Enjoy the smells. Enjoy the colors. Enjoy the joy. This is all temporary.

CONNECT.   As much in-person as possible. Go to the party, to the open house, to the cookie exchange. Enjoy your people. If small talk is a bugger for you, create a meaningful conversation. Or enjoy the energy of a group of people being together. Ask someone how they are, look them in the eye, give them a big hug in such a way they know you really mean it. Enjoy all conversations. Everyone has something to say. This is all temporary.

LOVE.   Fill your heart up with love before walking into any room. Fill your heart up with love as you stand in line. Fill your heart up with love when someone wants to be rude or pick a fight. Fill your heart up with love before making a statement. Fill up first, then go in. Much more pleasant for everyone. This is all temporary.

RECEIVE.   Receive all the blessings and compliments and good wishes and gifts that come your way. No excuses. No platitudes. No second-guessing. No “this ole’ thing” or “I just whipped this up.” Look them in the eye and say thank you and mean it. That is your gift to them. Let them have it. This is all temporary.

GIVE.   Beyond the hunt, the wrapping, the excitement. Beyond the toys and hoverboards and sweaters and jewels and food. Beyond the beauty, the philanthropy or the joy of giving itself. The greatest of all gifts is your presence. Not just your physical presence of spending time with someone, but each moment in time that is lived. The one that you are present to. The current of energy that is ridden. The moment you break out into laughter that stops time and you love that person so much you can’t think straight. Or you take the heartbreak that’s in their eyes and hold it for them, and they feel a spontaneous sense of relief, even if just for a moment.

The moment you are so present, so listening, to the life that is before you, there is a connection created that will live in eternity through the sharing of a magical spark ignited by the Truth of giving, and the Grace of receiving. An infinite memory loop captured by willing souls who simultaneously drop who they are, and choose Love.

This moment is always a possibility. It always exists. When we remember…

This is all temporary.

And exquisite. And sometimes sloppy. And always a miracle.

You are the gift.

Receive it.