Presents and Presence: Two Different Opportunities to Give and Receive

This year will be a great opportunity to think more about presence than presents. Presents are those things that we all go out and buy and put under our Chanukah bush or Christmas tree. Presence is our willingness to slow down and be with and enjoy people during this holiday season. It’s a quandary. If you don’t go out and buy presents you are somehow contributing to the economic slowdown. But if you do, you are spending money that you might need for more basic things…. so, it’s a quandary and each of us must decide how much we will spend for presents this year. The gift of presence, being with someone in a warm and unhurried way mixed with a humble present might be a way to think about the holiday season. During this holiday season you and your protégé might:

Share a holiday meal together.
Share some sort of holiday entertainment together.
Attend one another’s church, synagogue, or mosque together.
Be at the beach together on a beautiful, sunny, December day.
Introduce one another to someone the other person doesn’t know.
Reminisce about things you’ve done together through the years.

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