It is that time of year–the season of gift giving. We give each other presents in order to show our affection and admiration for the loved ones in our lives. We scan online descriptions of “gift guides,” hope that Amazon will be able to come through for us again and venture into bookstores to get ideas for those hard-to-buy-for people in our lives.
It is quite possible we have waited until the last moment, not giving enough thought into what our friends and family members have dropped hints about or explicitly asked for throughout the year. When it comes down to it, it always seems to be a hassle and a source of stress to pick out the perfect presents. While it can be enjoyable to stumble upon the one item we know they will love, with this knowledge comes the vision in our mind of them opening the gift and potentially–horrifically–disliking it.
It is true that gift giving inevitably brings with it some stress and anxiety. However, this can be eliminated, or at least diffused, if we take a moment to recognize how important the “presence” aspect of our “presents” is.
The best gift we can give our loved ones is the gift of support. This looks different for everyone, and there is never one way with which to fully invest our attention and time into one another. Every relationship is different. It takes time and care in order to understand the best way with which to give our presence to one another in the most effective manner. It may mean putting down our phones when we gather for a meal. It may look like taking our parents up on their offer to help when we need it. It may simply sound like a phone call to a friend we haven’t spoken to in a while.
The best gift we can give our loved ones is the gift of support.
Gifts are fun and bestowing material objects onto one another is an effective way to express our love. It is just as important, though, to make sure that we aren’t using these gifts in order to disengage from investing our dedication into these relationships.
We can’t buy time for one another, or with one another, but we can give it. It doesn’t cost any money, but that does not mean it is free or easy to give away. We have to prioritize those around us and make sure that we put more time into our relationships than we do looking for last-minute presents to go under the tree.