The Best Gifts Aren’t Under the Tree

As I look over at my infant son dressed in his silly Christmas jumper, my heart swells with joy. There are two reasons for this overwhelming amount of happiness; the first that I love that for now he lacks both the verbal capabilities and fine motor skills to protest to the ridiculous holiday outfits I force upon him, and the second that I am celebrating my first Christmas with a family of my own. I have never been happier than I am at this very moment. I want to share a short but simple message with everyone this holiday season, a reminder of what is truly most important in this life, and you can’t put a price tag on it.

The Best Gifts are the People Around the Tree

Whether you are celebrating with your family, your family of friends, or just a quiet holiday with your partner, these are the people who bring the magic to this time of year. Our allies in life are our greatest asset. A glass of mulled wine would not taste as sweet if they were not there sipping one beside you. It is easy to enjoy the company of our loved ones now at the best of times, but we must remember their support, and cherish their presence all year round, above any presents wrapped-up with bows and printed paper.

The Best Gifts are the Memories Made Around the Tree

I have a new saying I repeat to myself a few times a day “these are the best days of my life”. My son will never be this small again, and we will never be so young and so healthy as we are in this moment. You never realise you are living the good ole days, until that time has come and gone. This holiday season I am going to embed myself in the present and absorb the perfect imperfection of every moment. I am going to make the most of all the extra family time, and rather than complain about driving around to see all the relatives, or having a full house if you are hosting, I will be thankful that I have so many opportunities to make memories with these special people in my life.

The Best Gift is the Gratitude Felt Around the Tree

Above all else I will be thankful this holiday season. I am blessed with the best gifts; family, friends, and the opportunity to enjoy them both. The joy I will experience because of these gifts will not go unnoticed, and unappreciated. So I am sending out a special thank you to everyone in my life, near and far. Thank you for being one of my allies, and thank you for the memories we have made this year and in past years. I am wishing you all the best gifts the season can bring, and the wisdom to be grateful for them over anything that can be bought in a store.

Merry Christmas.

Main photo by Alan Cleaver.