Our Presence, not Presents, Matters Most


Depending on your faith tradition, you have likely just wound up the gift-giving winter holidays or are finally in the home stretch.

Each year, the months-long build-up to these important celebrations seems to instill hope that this time we can get it “right.”

We feel compelled to turn sacred, intimate moments into flawless staged productions.

Pinterest boards, Facebook, and Amazon.com have clearly conspired to create an “ad hoc commercialization collaborative” that compels us to stage the moment, not live in the moment.

Finding the “perfect” recipe, craft, or gift idea on Pinterest may lead to a few more mouse clicks so that Amazon can deliver the now essential supplies for your holiday perfection. Overnight shipping seems worth its cost if it means folks’ smiles will be a little broader as they feast at your table or unwrap their gifts.

Unfortunately, you are still likely to find yourself desperately photo-shopping pictures and cropping out the lumps, bumps, or other shortcomings of your masterpiece or the messy kitchen counter in the background.

Hey, it’s the holidays! No effort or expense is too much to spare to make those moments perfect, right?

Nope, that’s wrong.

Perhaps we need a rule of thumb in life – at the holidays and throughout the year.

If you find yourself spending increasingly more time each holiday photo-shopping images of your bickering relatives, cranky children, wailing infants, or impatient spouses, just to make a photo Facebook-worthy, maybe you need to put down the phone and “crop yourself” back into to the events going on around you.

Staging your life – at the holidays or beyond – will never bring the lasting joy that just “living your life” can provide.