Yesterday was the busiest shopping day of the year, and holiday gift buying season is officially underway.
It’s good for businesses and their employees, and we all benefit in other ways if the economy picks up. And it’s nice to give and receive presents. But families need to keep that in perspective, and not spend beyond their means.
The presents we buy are meaningful only insofar as they show the heart that gave them. The TRUE purpose of presents–and of the holidays–is about care, love, meaning, spirit. It’s about family, friends, smiling, laughing. It’s about the best things in life.
The best things in life aren’t things, they’re the people we love, and letting them know it by showing your heart.
You don’t need expensive things to do that. You can show your whole heart on any budget.
So don’t add to the stress of your situation or your family’s by overspending. It’s truly beside the point of the holidays.
Don’t let the frenzy of “Black Friday,” with people scrambling and trampling for deals, distort your priorities for the holidays.
We just celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday in which no one gives presents. We give thanks, not things.
It got me thinking about another meaning of that word, “present.” As in, “being present.”
Think of it this way—what are your best holiday memories? They’re not about things you received, not those kind of presents. Your best holiday memories are about your children, your parents, your wife, your husband, your partner. Not presents you got, but the gift of being present with your loved ones.
In a given year we might have more or less money to buy “presents,” but there’s never a budget limit on “being present.”
I was watching the football games on Thanksgiving, and they showed soldiers stationed overseas sending greetings by video to their families back home.
For the spouses and children of those serving far away for our benefit in the military, the best present they’ll receive is when mom or dad comes back home, to be present with them. The kids will soon forget this year’s video game or DVD, but they’ll never forget the day mom or dad came home.
For those of us fortunate enough to be here with our family and loved ones this holiday season, we’re in a position to give the priceless gift of our presence.
To all the families out there on tight budgets this holiday season, spend prudently on presents, then overspend on emotion. That’s another thing to keep in mind from now through the new year. Don’t wait for the holiday to give the gift of your presence—your love and gratitude to people who mean the most to you. Presents are opened only once, but you can give your presence every day.
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