Arts & Crafts Magazine

The Gift of Christmas Presence

By Whollykao @whollyKao

Christmas This Christmas season, I spent most of my time furiously working on orders for my etsy shop. I guess it’s a good sign that I was busy, right? It meant business was going well. At one point, I stopped to think about why I felt so frazzled, and calculated that I cranked out 120 items to ship out within that past week. No wonder I was so tired!

The sad part about it was that as I was scrambling to get orders done for customers (i.e. mostly strangers to me), I was ignoring my own family’s Christmas gifts. I didn’t have time to shop because I was too busy making things to sell. Jeff and I had agreed that we didn’t need to give presents to each other this year. But there were still siblings, parents, in-laws, and a niece and nephew to get things for. I especially wanted to give something to my parents. And as the clock ticked down to when we were leaving to see them in Boston, I got anxious.

It’s always been hard giving gifts to my parents. There are lots of things I’d love Jeff and I would love to give them, but it’s big ticket stuff like a kitchen renovation, or a new mattress or fridge. Things that we can’t practically give right now. And I know my mom would appreciate sentimental things, but I’m more of a practical giver. Needless to say, we arrived in Boston empty handed. I felt really bad.

Christmas Eve came, and we went to church. Lo and behold, the pastor talked about how the Christmas season is always focused on presents, but we need to remember that our presence (i.e. spending time with your loved ones) is just as important as gifts. Suddenly, it all made sense. Jeff and I were here to see my parents. Though they would appreciate physical gifts, what they truly wanted was to spend quality time with us. So I quit worrying about gifts, and just enjoyed the time we had. I will cherish the memories of watching the Sound of Music, taking a walk with my dad, and teaching my mom to play Candy Crush!

I’m grateful for the message about Christmas presence. And though this blog post comes after the holidays are over, may it be a reminder for us for the next Christmas season!

My family (minus Hoy, Michelle, and Luke)

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