And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store." "Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" Dr Suess
With the holiday break rapidly approaching, many may be anticipating the excitement of opening presents on Christmas morning. With work commitments soon complete, there's likely still some last minute shopping to be done in search of the perfect gift for friends or family. Whether its figuring out just what's in that enticing package under the tree, or musing about what to get for somebody else, many are no doubt wondering what would be the best present ever?
Perhaps one way to go is to work on self improvement. Dr. Leslie Becker- Phelps in Psychology Today suggests concentrating on the four domains of better organizing personal and professional commitments, taking care of one's health, accepting present personal limitations and setting realistic goals for the future. Certainly such steps can help make any person more "present-able".
Another option is to choose experiences over things. Many studies suggest that experiences give people greater and more lasting happiness than the acquisition of more stuff. A 2009 CNN report suggests experiences create a greater sense of connectedness with others, while the impact of material gifts, while initially well received, diminishes over time. Memories revisited, year after year can grow into treasured family traditions.
In busy lives time can often the greatest gift of all, and using it wisely is one of the best ways to reward oneself. Blogger Mari Hernandez-Tuten suggests that spending time with others, especially children, makes our presence the present. Just paying attention and spending creates connections and builds memories with lasting impact.
This holiday break, I hope everyone gets some time away from work, has some time to connect with loved ones, and maybe to reflect on how they might improve things for themselves and others. May this holiday season bring you you much joy and laughter and many happy memories!
"and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!"
from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens