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Posts Tagged ‘Gifts of Conversation’

Presence as Presents

Monday, December 21st, 2009

IMG_0221As the holiday season is now in full gear, I am aware of the frenetic energy, the sense of consumerism, the crowds, and the commercials trying to convince me of everything I “must have.” There is also the barrage of ads telling me I will save so much money with 50 – 90% off items and who would want to pass up the last of the “One Day Sales?” The greatest gifts I want to give and receive are not from stores – they are gifts of the heart. There are so many creative gift ideas that are about presence rather than presents.  There is the gift of conversation, like the one I had with a Facebook friend in Arizona who I spoke with for the first time last week. For two hours we spoke about our lives, our loves, and our dreams. We laughed as we realized that we had done social work, youth work, elder work, life coaching, and healing work. It was the type of conversation that gets replayed because it was so meaningful and an unexpected gift.

This led me to think about sharing “presence” this season. My friend Louis and his family will be celebrating the holidays with “make it or bake it gifts.” My friends Didi and Ellenrita will be serving over 500 meals on Christmas Day to those in need in the Highbridge neighborhood of the South Bronx. I will be sharing the gifts of time and conversation over the holidays with my friend Paulette. And most importantly, I will share the gift of love with Lorene & my family.

The greatest gifts don’t come with a price tag – they come with love. To this day, my favorite Christmas gift is the ornament my mom bought in a rehab center back in 1992. She couldn’t go to a store or mall, but she wanted to have a gift for her daughters and went into the gift shop in the center and bought something small to give each one of us for Christmas. It is by far my most treasured ornament and I hang it every year, with or without a tree.

As we prepare for a season of “Peace on Earth”, may each exchange this season be one of love and presence. It’s the economy of the heart that I am looking to build this coming year. It’s increasing our capacity to love that I am hoping to stimulate. I am asking Santa for the gifts of presence, connection, and conversation. I give everyone this holiday season the gift of love!

Peace on Earth ~ Mary Anne

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