My parents lived a life of gratitude. Any time we asked them what they wanted for Christmas, they would answer, “Just your love.”

It was enough for them to live a life where they loved God and they knew He loved them … and they loved others and knew they were loved.

Jay’s parents also lived a life of gratitude. When we asked Jim, Jay’s Dad, how he was doing, he would smile and say, “I am fine. I have a great sufficiency!”

We exchanged gifts on Christmas Day, but they were usually simple, inexpensive, and spoke to our knowing each other well. We knew what would make each other smile.

It might be a bottle of old spice aftershave for Daddy, a box of Whitman’s Sampler candy for mother, a new piece of sheet music for me … and always with love notes included.

And we talked. There were no cell phone interruptions, no ducking off to watch tv. We were truly with each other, looking at each other, remembering our past, celebrating our present and anticipating our future.

Our real present to each other was our truly being present with each other.

In sadness, some have shared how some celebrations now are merely extensions of parallel living.

We are physically in each other’s space. We can check the box we made it to the get together on a certain day. We eat the food. We have a little conversation about the state of the world, and maybe share a little about our current lives.

But truth be told, we then often retreat back to our real lives without a clue of how little we really know about each other, even those we call family or close friends.

In this time of not being able to be in each other’s physical space as much as we were in past years, the real question is … if we were allowed to be together, but without all of our devices, would we know how to relate to each other in person … unplugged?

This year, I encourage you to really be present, wherever you are. Really see other people. Be truly thankful for who God created them to be.

And for conversation starters, find out what they think about Jesus, The Reason not only for this season, but for all seasons!

Jesus is The Perfect Example of Presence. He is God with us and He is with us always!

“ … they shall call His Name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Matthew 1:23

“I am with you always!”

Matthew 28:20

About carolynpriesterjones

Follower of Jesus, Seeker of Truth, Commentator on Life, Light Bearer, Water Carrier, one of God's Creations still under construction

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