The Joy of being Present this Christmas

By on December 19, 2011

By Donna Ryan –

This time of year with all the hustle and bustle of the  holiday season I am sure most people would agree the word present is a common one. Many of us are writing lists and doing everything we can to have a gift and not leave anyone special to us off in error.

This year I put a lot of effort into my gift giving. In the past at times I would run to the supermarket to purchase the perfect gift card for a loved one. Gift cards are handy and wonderful ideas and I do appreciate receiving them. I however this year wanted  to be more present in the process of my gift giving. I made an effort to go shopping with the thought of what the recipient may enjoy or need and I wrapped them with care. I did not want to rush through the season. I truly wanted to reflect on the present. The same is true with my holiday greetings and home decorating. I did not want to rush.

Every year my holiday tree is my canvas and on it I display ornaments reflecting my main thought of the events that unfolded the past 365 days. This year’s canvas tells the story of my son who recently moved from our home to strike out on his own. I dressed my 2011 tree with butterflies, green and red Christmas balls, green gift boxes with red bows, santa boots, ornaments shaped like huge peppermints as well the old memories such as his first rattle, the memory of my aunt in heaven  that says we will always remember you Aunt Hilda, and I love NYPD. As I write this post I am admiring the story. Each piece has a meaning and it is a gift I create for myself for three or four weeks to sit and enjoy every year.

My beautiful butterfly left the web to start a new life. The day I met him he became my most valuable gift and from that day on in my heart he will always remain childlike which is reflected through the santa boots and peppermints. His favorite color is green and he found a wonderful girl who loves him. I smile thinking of her as I glance at my glittery red  Christmas balls. My little boy blue has become one of New Yorks Finest. My canvas reflects the present but the memories of the past will always be included.

I recently read two books from a wonderful author Katrina Kenison. The first books title is Mitten Strings For God, reflections for Mothers in a Hurry and the second one is The Gift Of An Ordinary Day. In her books she describes our role as parents is to prepare children as best as we can to move away from us and into lives of their own. She writes of stories of her children when little and wondered what their futures would be. Suddenly they are grown and their future is the present. As I look at my beautiful canvas I think to myself I could not have said it any better myself. The thoughts and dreams I would think about through the years  regarding my little boys future is now my present.

The word present is a wonderful one. It reminds me that every day both in the past and the present are huge gifts. I miss the sound of my butterflies voice for afterall I heard it every day for 24 years. Every few days I get to hear it through a phone call, or a quick visit. My beautiful butterfly has given me many special times to remember and still does.

Sadly despite keeping the caterpillar safe in the web we don’t own it. Our goal is create the best butterfly to send out into the world to make it a happier place. I am incredibly proud to say my husband and I accomplished that job. We now sit back and enjoy watching him spread his wings and fly and begin spinning the web of his present  life.

We are 50 something and these truly are the best day of our lives. I hope in someway during these last hectic days we all become present of the meaning of the season. I hope while your wrapping your presents you are thinking of how much the recipient means to you. It’s not the value of the gift it is the thought and love that goes into it. Try to keep the simple things in your heart. The wrapping paper and bows will find themselves thrown away but the memories will be painted on canvases of our hearts for a lifetime. Our present days are huge gifts.

I hope your day presents you with many special gifts and keep admiring and loving all the butterflies in your life.

 

Donna Ryan is 52 and resides in New York City. Married for 31 years, she and her husband raised their now 24 year old son. Donna like many boomers has a 93 year old mother who lives with them. She is the owner of a website http://www.50plusstickingtogether.com/ and also hosts a monthly blog talk radio program with the same name 50plusstickingtogether.

Donna Ryan

About Donna Ryan

Donna Ryan is 52 and resides in New York City. Married for 31 years, she and her husband raised their now 24 year old son. Donna like many boomers has a 93 year old mother who lives with them. She is the owner of a website http://www.50plusstickingtogether.com/ and also hosts a monthly blog talk radio program with the same name 50plusstickingtogether.

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The Joy of being Present this Christmas