As we head into the week of Christmas, I feel led to remind us all of what is most important. This weekend was the busiest shopping day of the year. I even made a few trips to get some last-minute gifts. My wife calls me her “man of abundance” because I love to give gifts. In what has become a holiday full of material goods, I wanted to take some time to remember the most valuable gifts we can give to our loved ones, and they’re gifts you can’t actually buy.
Valuable Gifts Your Loved Ones Truly Need
This is one thing you can never get back, and one thing that you will regret not giving enough of. There was a study done on what people on their deathbed regretted most in their life. In the top five was not spending enough time with their loved ones. In America, we tend to think that working is the most valuable thing we can contribute. Now, don’t get me wrong, working is incredibly important, but family should always come first. This holiday season, I encourage you to take some time off and spend it with your family.
I get bothered when people are sitting near you, but they are looking down at their phone or their tablet. They’re with you, but they’re not present. You know the difference between someone who isn’t paying any attention to you and someone who is looking you in your eyes. We can get so bogged down by technology that we don’t spend enough time being truly present with our loved ones. I encourage you to put down your distractions and have a real conversation. Give the gift of your presence this year.
In my teaching the 5 Characteristics of a Healthy Family, I teach that it’s incredibly important that your family has to have traditions. These don’t have to be expensive at all, they just need to be something that your family looks forward to doing together. For example, many families bake sugar cookies and lay them out for Santa. I remember laying out “reindeer food” with my grandkids once in the yard. You can spend Christmas in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, or even open one present early on Christmas Eve. Whatever tradition you establish, make it consistent and fun.
Some of my most cherished memories have come from spending quality time, distraction-free with my family. I love the joy and expectations my grandkids have for our Christmas traditions. I hope this year, you will give these gifts to your family as well. Becky and I wish you a very Merry Christmas this year!