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Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values.

Thomas S. Monson

Some years ago, whenever I went to visit someone, I used to buy several gifts for friends and family. They often said it was too much, and totally unnecessary.

Until a time came in my life, when I had to spend less, and consciously watch what my income would be able to cover. So, it meant I also had to change how I was buying presents, and because of this I felt terribly uncomfortable. I was ashamed, that I would not be able to spend as much on what I thought would be important gifts.

I asked someone I trust, and whose opinion I value dearly, about how I should handle this, and here’s what she said:

“Most of the time, even a slice of chocolate we give is enough, because it’s not the material things that count. Much more valuable is the time we chose to spend with someone, the attention we give them, and how we are present in that relationship. What would happen, if from now you would think of yourself as the present? That the fact that you are there with them is enough?”

First it was a weird thought, I have to admit. But not much later I visited a friend of mine, and told him that I didn’t bring anything, just myself. He started to laugh, hugged me and said, that’s the most important of all, because he has everything else.

So, since this time, I think differently about the importance of presents we buy in a shop, and I am more grateful for a phone call, a coffee we have together, or a time spent sharing our story. I don’t care much about gifts, as those are not as important as I used to think.

I thought I would share this with you too.

Just so you know, that you are the best present.

Your smile, your presence, your attention, your kindness, your thoughts, the sacrifices you continuously make for others, your love, your acceptance, your patience, your compassion, your time. These cannot be bought in any store, and are still the loveliest, most important presents. In the end these are what we will be remembering.

For Christmas I wish you an abundance of these gifts.

And I would like you to know, that I’m grateful for the time and attention you’re giving me, when you read my newsletters, and posts. Thank you for being here!

I wish you and your loved ones a magical Christmas, with lots of love.

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