With the holidays upon us, I’ve been reflecting on giving and receiving gifts. Due to the pandemic, there are barriers to the traditional hustle and bustle of the holiday season. While unemployment has dropped compared to last month it’s still higher than normal and food insecurity remains high according to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap. In Guilford County, about 18 percent of the county suffers from food insecurity. When you focus just on children, that number rises to 21 percent. The CDC’s moratorium on eviction ends December 31, 2020 and experts fear children will suffer greatly during the looming wave of evictions.
The pandemic has put up many obstacles to our “traditional” busy holiday season of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. For many reasons, this will be a holiday season like no other. Which brings me back to giving and receiving gifts. We’re all feeling the stress of being together (maybe too much together) with our families for nearly a year now. So I’d like to urge you to focus not on presents, but presence. Being present allows you to fully enjoy the moment that you are in. Whether it’s challenging your habitual behavior, accepting what you don’t know, or getting into nature, the benefits of being present allow you to better handle obstacles and stress.
We have the opportunity for a bit more stillness and can use this opportunity to teach the children in our lives how to be present. Use the present to connect with the children in your lives, not the presents you wrap in shiny paper. Here are seven ways to practice being in the present moment. Doing this may be the gift you didn’t know you needed until you unwrapped it.
Wishing you health, strength, peace, and joy this holiday season.