The Best Gift of All This Holiday Season: To Be Present


With the holidays just around the corner, I wanted to write about the wondrous joy of gift giving. Seriously, isn’t it a joy to watch your loved one open a well-thought out gift straight from the heart?

Ever since I was a teenager, Ive always loved to give special gifts to my family and friends- gifts with real meaning and sentiment.  I try my best to make a list well in advance of 1 or 2 perfect gifts for each person.  I also try and think outside the box and consider making/cooking something for everybody. Then reality sets in and I remember that I am no good at cooking or crafting so that doesn’t always work out too well.

I don’t like to buy just any gift so I spend time thinking about the person, their interests, hobbies, favorite places to eat, etc. I try not to break the bank but let’s be honest, Christmas does set ya back a bit!

This will be my daughter’s second Christmas- on the outside anyway- and I’ve made my mind up on the best present of all: giving her my presence.


It’s easy in a technology-driven world and in a day and age where many parents both have to work, to feel distracted. I’m guilty of it myself. For example, on any given night, I’m half listening to my husband tell me a story about what happened at work because I’m trying to get my daughter to eat more than a grape for dinner. I find myself torn about answering an important call while in the middle of playing with my toddler. It happens to the best of us at one time or another.

Since Simone came into our lives, I can relate to the mastery skill of multi-tasking and the feeling of always wanting to be prepared. At the same time, I have to remind myself to slow down, be in the moment and ignore the phone/chores/cleaning/cooking/work/list goes on and on.  Many kids that I know, light up when they see their parents walk into the room and they want nothing more than to just be with them.

There’s no greater feeling in the world, then when I pick up my daughter at the end of the day from daycare and she comes running into my arms yelling “mummy, mummy.” My world stops right there. In that moment, what happens before that is forgotten and nothing else matters. Time freezes. I do my best to carry that moment, that feeling, that stillness with me whenever possible so that I am present with my daughter

Being present is a gift and an important one.

It carries a lot of weight and can be remembered for many years to come. I don’t remember any of my first few Christmas gifts, but I sure as heck remember the time my parents took me sledding on Caseys Hill in Underhill or the time my dad taught me to ice skate using a milk crate. The point is: I remember the moments and the feelings, that’s what carries over.

My intention is not to sound like a hallmark card but to remind myself, and maybe others, that our presence as mothers truly is a gift. Its a gift that shines and glimmers and glows in the dark; and if you’re lucky, it will last a lifetime.

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I am the oldest of three children from Jericho Vermont. I definitely "fit the mold" as the first born and always knew I wanted to be a mom! I went to college in Boston for social work and now work part time in the Burlington area. This allows me to spend time at home with my very active toddler. I enjoy reading and writing about being a new mom and I can't wait to gear your stories. I am honored to be mom to Simone, our fiery little 14 month old!


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