Simplicity – so many families I know are really seeking simplicity – trying hard to determine what things are essential in their lives.   But, especially at this time of year, our desire to foster a simpler approach is challenged at every twist and turn.

Yet there are moments – a small, stuffed, hand- stitched felt evergreen tree received – a red cardinal perched on its boughs – a ribbon to hang it on my own Christmas tree – a gift so lovely in its simplicity and its charm.  Perfect!

And then there’s the mom who told me about the Thankful Tree they have on their kitchen table.  Each day the family adds thankful leaves to their tree – remembering something, somebody for which they are grateful – realizing the richness of their lives.

In spite of Gray Thursday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, we can nurture ways that will bring more meaning and more connection to our families’ lives.

You’ve heard this before perhaps – what children really want – what children really need – to make their holidays special is not presents, but presence – the presence of family time, of one-on-one time, of sharing meaningful time together.

I remember a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip where Hobbes tells Calvin his Christmas present is outside.  When Calvin finds it, it is a pile of ready-made snowballs that Hobbes has made for him.  And very smartly, Hobbes has his own pile of snowballs prepared too.  Let the snowball fun begin – together!

This season let’s try and think more like Hobbes – more like little felt evergreen trees – more like a Thankful Tree – and enjoy our presence together.



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