“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why we call it the PRESENT.” – Bil Keane
As the holidays approach and the stress of finding and affording the perfect gifts begins, let’s gain some perspective!
Firstly, the practical picture. Finances may have changed with the divorce and you’re not sure what you can afford. PRESENTS don’t have to cost a lot of money to be meaningful (which is what the real goal is). Shoot for thoughtful rather than expensive. You may be sharing custody and be unclear about what to get your children. Do you get your own gifts or buy gifts with your ex? There are no perfect answers but there are good attitudes to approach the act of giving. Some of the best gifts I’ve ever received have been home-made or simply thoughtful.
Secondly, let’s look at the real meaning behind PRESENTS. Gifts are about showing love. Rather than getting caught up in giving the perfect gift OR getting stuck in happy memories of holidays past, focus on what is right in front of you and make the most of every moment. Being PRESENT is also a gift to yourself because it keeps you from wallowing in the past or catastrophizing about the future.
- Give the PRESENT of gratitude for what you have instead of looking at what you don’t have. Tell the people in your life how much you love them and share what you are thankful for. This will bless them as well as you.
- Be PRESENT in the holiday season. Enjoy and share the music, lights, themes, and scenes of this special time of year. Soak it in with joy.
- Create moments of uninterrupted time with your children, being totally PRESENT. Make ornaments and cards, decorate, and read holiday stories together.
- Use your PRESENCE to spread joy and love by thinking of others rather than your own struggles. Make a donation to someone in need, reach out to someone who is struggling and needs a boost.