As you all know, Christmas time is here. You are probably finishing up those last minute details and getting ready for guests, or maybe even packing for a trip. No matter what we get done or what we don’t get done, the 25th will come and before we know it, it will be over.

We all know that Christmas is a time set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but it is so easy to get distracted by all the other things that are going on around us. One of those distracting things is presents. Parents and grandparents asking children, “What do you want for Christmas?” Maybe it is the assignment at school where children are asked to write a letter to Santa telling him what they want for Christmas. Sometimes it is just a simple question asked of children by so many adults, “Do you have your Christmas list ready?” It seems like no matter how purposeful we try to be, no matter how much we try to keep Jesus the focus, the distraction of presents will always be there in this culture.

The other day, I was thinking about this distraction of presents and it hit me. Children don’t need presents they need presence. Please do not hear what I am not saying. It is fine and dandy to give children presents, not to mention a privilege. I gave my son a bearded dragon this year and the gift was spot on. With that said, I do not want my presents to replace my presence. Because children need us!

How do you give the gift of presence? Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Play a game with them (Uno, Skip-bo, Checkers, tag, hide and seek, etc.)
2. Go for a walk with them
3. Play Play-do
4. Read them a book
5. Dance with them
6. Play legos
7. Put together a puzzle
8. Bake
9. Take turns giving back rubs
10. Play charades

Do not limit yourself to this list, be creative and come up with your own ideas as well.

In two days it will be Christmas morning and as you are watching your children open their presents don’t forget to give them the gift of presence as well. Your presence in the life of your child is priceless.