It’s easy to get so lost in the momentum of holiday activities and the seemingly endless to-do-lists that we forget what the holidays are for. There is always more to do than there is time for, and probably never quite so acutely as during the holidays. Gift giving drives a lot of the frenzy and although we can point to all the cultural mania driving us to purchase our good holiday feelings, for many of us there is a legitimate desire to really give something that feels meaningful and is a true reflection of our love.
Every now and again we are fortunate enough to know of a particular thing that is desired… Better still when we have the exact make and model number… but short of those golden opportunities where the desire matches our ability to give, there is precious little that we can offer in the way of material goods that can communicate our deepest feelings. The power of advertising further complicates this by making us believe that certain gifts will speak volumes about our love- diamonds, flowers and fine chocolate are a few that come to mind.
While those are all nice gifts, I don’t know if I have ever gotten a more authentic sense of my partner’s love for me than when he has taken the time and gotten over the inconvenience factor to show up for me. Some years this has been in the small mundane tasks of trying to get gifts wrapped for our four kids late into the night. Other holidays, it was night after night of drawing a bath for me and reminding me to give myself the attention I so readily give away to others. A couple of romantic holidays ago, it was making a romantic bed by the fireplace. The best gifts have always been him giving himself.
Giving the gift of our presence is the best because what we all want most is to know that we are not alone in the world. What this looks like in a day to day way is that our partner is committed not only in words but in actions as well to helping meet our needs. Feeling like there is someone at your back who cares enough to help, makes our lives and our relationships sustainable. It’s a gift that keeps on giving and is never the wrong size or color. It is the most precious gift of all.