The gift of attention 

Every year about this time, families begin to think about the time they will spend together preparing for the holidays,  traveling and often the most important aspect of it is giftgiving. While I enjoy giving and receiving gifts, I am also reminded that the things we remember most deeply tend to be the moments, experiences and time that we share with others.  

Children often enjoy the gifts and activities we buy them when it means that we spend time together because of the gift, rather than the common belief that the gift itself makes a child happy.  Do you ever notice that they will choose the toy that often means having to interact with their friends or others to use them? …such as a role-playing with their dolls, rollerskating with a friend, bike riding with their parents?  That does not mean that solitary activities have not increased –they most certainly have… children spend a lot more time alone today because families tend to be smaller and there are more solitary activities that can be done with technology.   Ideally, that will not be the overwhelming way children spend their time.

As we approach the holidays we can be more forgiving of ourselves and our bank account by realizing that it is not about the monetary or material gifts and we can buy less stuff and offer more of our attention.   The gifts of ourselves and our time make the most lasting impressions and do not require a gift receipt!  In peace, K.