The Present of Presence 活在當下 - 最棒的禮物
The simplest gift is the longest lasting of all
We’re just a couple weeks from Christmas gift-giving season, and I realized yesterday that I haven’t shopped for a single present yet. The best part is, I’m totally OK with it!
Although Christmas and even Chinese New Year outwardly revolve around spending money or gifting red envelopes, I’m surprised about how few presents I can actually remember from years past— except maybe that Barbie mansion I got one year as child (Mom and Dad, ahem, Santa really knocked it out of the park with that one!).
The thing that I can recall with the most clarity is how I felt during the holidays in the company of family and friends— the pride in helping my father sort sparkling lights for the house outside in the cold, the excitement of having my Mom teach me her favorite Christmas cookie recipes (and licking the spoon), and the awe of lying underneath the fragrant Christmas tree with my sisters while listening to Christmas music. The best parts of my adult Christmas celebrations have been cozy sofa snuggles by a tiny plastic Christmas tree and easy potluck dinners filled with laughs amongst my family of friends.
In short, the smallest, plainest, and probably least bank account draining portions of the holiday are what I cherish most. The things that all of them have in common are being present in the moment and being in the presence of people that I love. And even being far from home I can find ways of experiencing closeness. When I can’t physically be with those I care about, a phone call with undivided attention or the reenactment of a tradition or a family recipe can create this feeling of warm presence.
Whichever holiday you choose to celebrate and no matter whom you have by your side, I hope you can keep present in the moment and find some of the simplest, least stressful aspects to enjoy. Others, and even we ourselves will likely forget the gifts we gave or received, the new outfits we wore, or the level of perfection in the meals we ate. Effort, intention, and most of all, LOVE linger for years to come!
If you are joining in classes next week, feel free to wear red, green or something festive. I’ll be adding in holiday songs and we can practice being present and enjoy celebrating in each other’s presence! Please remember, no classes Friday-Sunday while I am teaching in Japan ,and 21-30 while I’m on Christmas holiday..
Keep moving! xx, Katie
( Anna Liang 譯 )